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The dove: iconographic symbol of the Holy Spirit

Veni Sancte Spiritus, sometimes called the "Golden Sequence," is a sequence prescribed in the Roman Liturgy for the Masses of Pentecost and its octave, exclusive of the following Sunday.[1] It is usually attributed to either the thirteenth-century Pope Innocent III or to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cardinal Stephen Langton, although it has been attributed to others as well.

Veni Sancte Spiritus is one of only four medieval Sequences which were preserved in the Missale Romanum published in 1570 following the Council of Trent (1545–63). Before Trent many feasts had their own sequences.[2] It is still sung today, having survived the liturgical changes following the Second Vatican Council.

It has been set to music by a number of composers, especially during the Renaissance, including Dufay, Josquin, Willaert, Palestrina, John Dunstaple, Lassus, Victoria, and Byrd. Later composers who have set the text include Arvo Pärt, Morten Lauridsen, Frank La Rocca and most familiarly to Catholics, Samuel Webbe.[3]

Contents

TextEdit

Original Latin textEdit

Veni, Sancte Spiritus,
et emitte caelitus
lucis tuae radium.
Veni, pater pauperum,
veni, dator munerum,
veni, lumen cordium.
Consolator optime,
dulcis hospes animae,
dulce refrigerium.
In labore requies,
in aestu temperies,
in fletu solatium.
O lux beatissima,
reple cordis intima
tuorum fidelium.
Sine tuo numine,
nihil est in homine,
nihil est innoxium.
Lava quod est sordidum,
riga quod est aridum,
sana quod est saucium.
Flecte quod est rigidum,
fove quod est frigidum,
rege quod est devium.
Da tuis fidelibus,
in te confidentibus,
sacrum septenarium.
Da virtutis meritum,
da salutis exitum,
da perenne gaudium.

Literal (non-poetic) English translationEdit

Come, Holy Spirit,
send forth the heavenly
radiance of your light.
Come, father of the poor,
come, giver of gifts,
come, light of the heart.
Greatest comforter,
sweet guest of the soul,
sweet consolation.
In labour, rest,
in heat, temperance,
in tears, solace.
O most blessed light,
fill the inmost heart
of your faithful.
Without your spirit,
there is nothing in man,
nothing that is not harmful.
Cleanse that which is unclean,
water that which is dry,
heal that which is wounded.
Bend that which is inflexible,
fire that which is chilled,
correct what goes astray.
Give to your faithful,
those who trust in you,
the sevenfold gifts.
Grant the reward of virtue,
grant the deliverance of salvation,
grant eternal joy.

ICEL English translationEdit

This translation was by Edward Caswall and is sung to the tune ST PHILIP.[4]

Holy Spirit, Lord of light,
From Thy clear celestial height
Thy pure beaming radiance give.
Come, Thou Father of the poor,
Come with treasures which endure,
Come, Thou Light of all that live.
Thou, of all consolers best,
Thou, the soul’s delightsome Guest,
Dost refreshing peace bestow.
Thou in toil art comfort sweet,
Pleasant coolness in the heat,
Solace in the midst of woe.
Light immortal, Light divine,
Visit Thou these hearts of Thine,
And our inmost being fill.
If Thou take Thy grace away,
Nothing pure in man will stay;
All his good is turned to ill.
Heal our wounds; our strength renew;
On our dryness pour Thy dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away.
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.
Thou, on those who evermore
Thee confess and Thee adore,
In Thy sevenfold gifts descend:
Give them comfort when they die,
Give them life with Thee on high;
Give them joys that never end.

Alternative Edward Caswall translationEdit

This translation is sung commonly to the Samuel Webbe music.[5]

Come, thou Holy Spirit, come,
and from thy celestial home
shed a ray of light divine!
Come, thou Father of the poor!
Come, thou Source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine!
Thou, of comforters the best;
thou, the soul's most welcome guest;
sweet refreshment here below;
in our labour, rest most sweet;
grateful coolness in the heat;
solace in the midst of woe.
O most blessèd Light divine,
shine within these hearts of thine,
and our inmost being fill!
Where thou art not, man hath nought,
nothing good in deed or thought,
nothing free from taint of ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
on our dryness pour thy dew;
wash the stains of guilt away;
bend the stubborn heart and will;
melt the frozen, warm the chill;
guide the steps that go astray.
On the faithful, who adore
and confess thee, evermore
in thy sevenfold gift descend;
give them virtue's sure reward
give them thy salvation, Lord;
give them joys that never end.

J. M. Neale translationEdit

This translation by John Mason Neale is also sung to the Samuel Webbe music.[6]

Come, Thou holy Paraclete,
And from Thy celestial seat
Send Thy light and brilliancy:
Father of the poor, draw near;
Giver of all gifts, be here;
Come, the soul’s true radiancy.
Come, of comforters the best,
Of the soul the sweetest guest,
Come in toil refreshingly:
Thou in labour rest most sweet,
Thou art shadow from the heat,
Comfort in adversity.
O Thou Light, most pure and blest,
Shine within the inmost breast
Of Thy faithful company.
Where Thou art not, man hath nought;
Every holy deed and thought
Comes from Thy divinity.
What is soilèd, make Thou pure;
What is wounded, work its cure;
What is parchèd, fructify;
What is rigid, gently bend;
What is frozen, warmly tend;
Strengthen what goes erringly.
Fill Thy faithful, who confide
In Thy power to guard and guide,
With Thy sevenfold mystery.
Here Thy grace and virtue send:
Grant salvation to the end,
And in Heav’n felicity.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Liber Usualis, pp. 880-81. Solesmes 1961.
  2. ^ David Hiley, Western Plainchant : A Handbook (OUP, 1993), II.22, pp.172-195
  3. ^ Cyber Hymnal, "O" titles, #347 http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/c/t/h/cthscome.htm
  4. ^ http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/h/o/l/holspill.htm
  5. ^ http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/c/c305.html
  6. ^ http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/c/t/cthparac.htm

External linksEdit