"Spiritus Sanctus" is inspired by Hildegard von Bingen’s poem of the same name. The poem speaks of the Holy Spirit 'giving life to all life', 'moving all creatures', 'washing them clean', 'healing their wounds' and 'awakening the heart from its ancient sleep'. The ideas of life and movement are conveyed through tempo and key changes, as well as through various techniques.
The sudden grand pause (G.P.) represents the 'ancient sleep' mentioned in the poem. The expansive middle section musically depicts the poem’s phrases, 'washing them clean' and 'healing their wounds'. The 'awakening of the heart' is represented by the sudden burst of energy and unusual chord changes from measure 109 to the end.