Veni Creator Spiritus

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Not to be confused with the sequence for Pentecost, Veni Sancte Spiritus.

Veni Creator Spiritus ("Come Creator Spirit") is a hymn believed to have been written by Rabanus Maurus in the 9th century. When the original Latin text is used, it is normally sung in Gregorian Chant. As an invocation of the Holy Spirit, in the practice of the Roman Catholic Church it is sung during the liturgical celebration of the feast of Pentecost (at both Terce and Vespers). It is also sung at occasions such as the entrance of Cardinals to the Sistine Chapel, when electing a new pope, as well as at the consecration of bishops, the ordination of priests, when celebrating the sacrament of Confirmation, the dedication of churches, the celebration of synods or councils, the coronation of kings, the profession of members of religious institutes and other similar solemn events.

The hymn is also widely used in the Anglican Communion and appears, for example, in the Ordering of Priests and in the Consecration of Bishops in the Book of Common Prayer, 1662. It has been translated into several languages; one English example is Creator Spirit! by whose aid, written 1690 by John Dryden and published in The Church Hymn book 1872 (n. 313). Martin Luther used it as the basis for his chorale for Pentecost "Komm, Gott Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist" composed in 1524.

First verse of Veni, Creator Spiritus

Gustav Mahler set the Latin text to music in Part I of his Symphony No. 8 in E-flat major. The text has been set for chorus and orchestra by Cristóbal Halffter. A motet for women's voices to the text was among the last works of Hector Berlioz. Krzysztof Penderecki wrote a motet for mixed choir, and Paul Hindemith concludes his Concerto for Organ and Orchestra with a Phantasy on "Veni Creator Spiritus." Maurice Duruflé used the chant tune as the basis for his symphonic organ composition "Prélude, Adagio et Choral varié sur le thème du 'Veni Creator'" in 1930. Michael John Trotta's setting [1] incorporates the first two lines of this hymn along with the text from Veni Sancte Spiritus in a 21st-century setting for choir.

Text[edit]


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Latin text
English version
(this is a poem and not a precise literal translation of the Latin)
Veni, creator Spiritus
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia,
quae tu creasti pectora.
Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,
and in our hearts take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heav'nly aid,
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
Qui diceris Paraclitus,
altissimi donum Dei,
fons vivus, ignis, caritas
et spiritalis unctio.
O Comforter, to Thee we cry,
Thou heav'nly gift of God most high,
Thou Fount of life, and Fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.
Tu septiformis munere,
digitus paternae dexterae
tu rite promissum Patris
sermone ditans guttura.
O Finger of the hand divine,
the sevenfold gifts of grace are thine;
true promise of the Father thou,
who dost the tongue with power endow.
Accende lumen sensibus,
infunde amorem cordibus,
infirma nostri corporis,
virtute firmans perpeti.
Thy light to every sense impart,
and shed thy love in every heart;
thine own unfailing might supply
to strengthen our infirmity.
Hostem repellas longius
pacemque dones protinus;
ductore sic te praevio
vitemus omne noxium.
Drive far away our ghostly foe,
and thine abiding peace bestow;
if thou be our preventing Guide,
no evil can our steps betide.
Per te sciamus da Patrem
noscamus atque Filium,
te utriusque Spiritum
credamus omni tempore.
Praise we the Father and the Son
and Holy Spirit with them One;
and may the Son on us bestow
the gifts that from the Spirit flow.
Deo Patri sit gloria,
et Filio qui a mortuis
Surrexit, ac Paraclito,
in saeculorum saecula.
Amen.

V. Emitte Spiritum tuum, et creabuntur: R. Et renovabis faciem terrae.

V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created. R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Oremus: Deus qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere, et de eius semper consolatione gaudere. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate eiusdem Spiritus Sancti Deus. Per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Let us Pray: O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Ghost: give to us, in the same Spirit, to know what is right, and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who with Thee livest and reignest in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, God. World without end. Amen.

Notable English translations[edit]

Since the English Reformation in the 16th century, there have been more than fifty English language translations and paraphrases of Veni Creator Spiritus.[2] The version included in the 1662 revision of the Book of Common Prayer retained the Latin title and was written by Bishop John Cosin for the coronation of King Charles I of Great Britain in 1625.[3] The same words have been used at every coronation since, and is sung by the choir after the singing of the Creed, while the sovereign is dressed in a white alb and seated in the Coronation Chair, prior to the Anointing.[4] The first verse is:

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
and lighten with celestial fire.
Thou the anointing Spirit art,
who dost thy sevenfold gifts impart.

Another well known version by the poet John Dryden was first published in his 1693 work, Examen Poeticum. It may be sung to the tune "Melita" by John Bacchus Dykes.[5] Dryden's first verse is:

Creator Spirit, by whose aid
The world's foundations first were laid,
Come, visit every pious mind;
Come, pour thy joys on humankind;
From sin and sorrow set us free,
And make thy temples worthy thee.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michael John Trotta's setting
  2. ^ Charles S. Nutter & Wilbur F. Tillett, The Hymns and Hymn Writers of The Church, Smith & Lamar, 1911 (p.108)
  3. ^ Reverend Ivan D. Aquilina, The Eucharistic Understanding of John Cosin and his Contribution to the 1662 Book Of Common Prayer (p.6)
  4. ^ [Westminster Abbey - Our History - Royals - Guide to the Coronation Service http://www.westminster-abbey.org/our-history/royals/coronations/guide-to-the-coronation-service]
  5. ^ Hymnary.org - "Creator Spirit by whose aid"