Written by Br. Matthew Augustine, OP
...the Pentecost Sequence, that is. What is the Pentecost Sequence? It is a ancient and beautiful prayer to the Holy Spirit which is often set to music. The prayer is better known as Come, Holy Spirit or Veni Sancte Spiritus. Here are the words of the prayer, with verses in Latin and English:
VENI, Sancte Spiritus,et emitte caelitus lucis tuae radium.
COME, Holy Ghost,send down those beams,which sweetly flow in silent streams from Thy bright throne above.
Veni, pater pauperum,veni, dator munerum, veni, lumen cordium.
O come, Thou Father of the poor;O come, Thou source of all our store, come, fill our hearts with love.
Consolator optime, dulcis hospes animae, dulce refrigerium.
O Thou, of comforters the best, O Thou, the soul's delightful guest, the pilgrim's sweet relief.
In labore requies, in aestu temperies, in fletu solatium.
Rest art Thou in our toil, most sweet refreshment in the noonday heat; and solace in our grief.
O lux beatissima, reple cordis intima tuorum fidelium.
O blessed Light of life Thou art; fill with Thy light the inmost heart of those who hope in Thee.
Sine tuo numine, nihil est in homine, nihil est innoxium.
Without Thy Godhead nothing can have any price or worth in man, nothing can harmless be.
Lava quod est sordidum, riga quod est aridum, sana quod est saucium.
Lord, wash our sinful stains away, refresh from heaven our barren clay, our wounds and bruises heal.
Flecte quod est rigidum, fove quod est frigidum, rege quod est devium.
To Thy sweet yoke our stiff necks bow, warm with Thy fire our hearts of snow, our wandering feet recall.
Da tuis fidelibus, in te confidentibus, sacrum septenarium.
Grant to Thy faithful, dearest Lord, whose only hope is Thy sure word, the sevenfold gifts of grace.
Da virtutis meritum, da salutis exitum, da perenne gaudium, Amen, Alleluia.
Grant us in life Thy grace that we, in peace may die and ever be, in joy before Thy face. Amen. Alleluia.
Here is the prayer set to different musical settings:
This is my favorite. It is a beautiful setting composed by a contemporary composer, Arvo Pärt.
Here is a setting by the 15th Century composer, John Dunstable.
Here is another by an early master of polyphony, Palestrina.
For something entirely different, here is a Nordic version of the Veni Sancte Spiritus.
So, did anyone hear this piece at Mass today? Do you know what version it is?