Anthems for Day of Pentecost

Pentecost DoveWe want our users of the eLibrary to feel comfortable with  search procedures to get the most good from more than 4,200 anthems offered by Church Music Institute.   I have chosen anthems for Day of Pentecost in my tutorial to illustrate using the eLibrary.

Day of Pentecost occurs in the Church fifty days after Easter Sunday, this year, Sunday, May 19th.  (Trinity Sunday follows, May 26th. )   Pentecost celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the twelve apostles of Christ and other followers of the Church and is sometimes referred to as  the “birthday of the Church.”  Music used in worship should reflect scriptures in the lectionary and the special emphasis of the day.

In  the eLibrary, we have numerous hymn anthems for Day of Pentecost and the season of Pentecost (use the topical index to search Pentecost in the hymnal if you are unsure).   Anthem searches in the eLibrary can be initiated  by searching the Liturgical References list and choosing such  titles as Pentecost, Holy Spirit, or by simply writing in words or phrases that are related to your search.  For example, I could enter words associated with the day such as come down, Spirit, breathe, Ghost,  etc.  These words will yield titles of anthems that have the search words in them.

I entered Pentecost as a search word in the eLibrary website and received 238 titles of anthems.  Browsing through this long list,  Pentecost hymn titles are easily recognized:  Come Down, O Love Divine, Like the Murmur of the Dove’s Song, Breathe on Me Breath of God, Draw Us in the Spirit’s Tether, etc.  These are all anthem settings of hymns by varied composers.  You might search your own choir’s library of anthems for these titles if you are looking for a Pentecost anthem from your own collection.

You will notice in eLibrary a large number of Pentecost anthems based on scripture that are not hymn texts.  One of the well-known anthems from this category is a setting of the John 14:18 passage: I Will Not Leave You Comfortless.  There are three settings of this text in our eLibrary.

Of course, you can always search by scripture (“Acts 2:”) or Lectionary Reference (“Pentecost, ABC”).  Be sure to follow directions on the website for entering your searches.  And, remember that search criteria can always be modified (SAB, organ, easy).

If you are looking for specific recommendations for Pentecost anthems from the titles above, I recommend the following that are Easy to Moderate in Level of Difficulty:


  1.      I Will Not Leave You Comfortless  Titcomb, Everett SATB/organ,  C. Fischer, 1984
  2.      Come Down, O Love Divine  Leavitt, John  SATB/organ/fl or vln, MorningStar, 1988
  3.      Like the Murmur of the Dove’s Song Burkhardt, Michael Unison-mixed, MorningStar, 1998
  4.      Let Thy Holy Presence Come Upon Us  Tschesnokoff, Paul arr. Hal Hopson SATB/kbd, Sacred Music Press, 2003
  5.     Come, Holy Spirit  Busarow, Donald SAB/organ Augsburg Fortress, 2009
  6.     Gracious Spirit Dwell with Me Scott, K.Lee Unison-2 part mixed/organ Augsburg, 1984
  7.     Breathe on Me , Breath of God Willcocks, Jonathan SATB/kbd Sacred Music Press, 1996
  8.     Concertato on “Come, O Spirit, Dwell Among Us” Hopson, Hal SATB/organ/handbells/opt. brass, timpani Hope Publishing, 2000


For a recommendation of a Trinity Sunday anthem, I recommend:

Hymn to the Trinity  Thomas, Paul Lindsley SATB/org  (This is a wonderful anthem that is permanently out of print, but Church Music Institute owns copyright permission to reproduce this anthem and we have copies for sale at a very reasonable price.  Click here to see a PDF sample.)


Robert C. Mann, D.M.A.
Resource Library Director, CMI