Hymn #60: O Spirit of God

Johann Niedling (1602-1668) included this hymn and other anonymous texts in his 1651 hymnal Lutherische Handbuchlein.  It is now believed that Niedling was the author of the original German Text, "O Heiliger Geist, o heiliger Gott," as well as many of the other texts in that collection.

 

Johann Niedling was a schoolteacher in Altenburg, Saxony (now a part of Germany), in addition to being a hymnwriter.  His six collections of hymns used in the Lutheran tradition did much to promote hymn singing in the church, and his 1651 Lutherische Handbuchlein was widely used.

This tune by an unknown composer takes its name from the opening line of the hymn, O HEILIGER GEIST, meaning "O Holy Ghost."  Another name used in some hymnals is O JESULEIN SUSS, for the German Christmas text with which it is more frequently sung.

 

The Geistliche Kirchengesang was a German hymnal printed in Cologne in 1623.  This particular tune was reprinted in a number of other hymnals and included by J.S. Bach in Musikalisches Gesangbuch (1736), which he edited for Georg Christian Schemelli in Leipzig.