Saturday, 18 May 2013

Latin prayer of the week: Veni Sancte Spiritus

As I've previously covered the hymn usually sung at Pentecost, Veni Creator Spiritus, I thought this week I would focus on the sequence sung at Mass throughout the Octave (assuming you are following the traditional calendar which still retains it!) Veni Sancte Spiritus instead.

Just a reminder though, that there is a plenary indulgence attached to singing or reciting the hymn publicly on the feast of Pentecost.

The 'Golden Sequence'

This sequence, one of the few remaining in the liturgy (Pope Pius V's reform of the Missal tossed most of them out), is most likely by the thirteenth-century Archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton.

Here is the text as set out in the Compendium of the Catechism:

Veni, Sancte Spíritus,
et emítte cælitus
lucis tuæ rádium.

Veni, pater páuperum,
veni, dator múnerum,
veni, lumen córdium.

Consolátor óptime,
dulcis hospes ánimæ,
dulce refrigérium.

In labóre réquies,
in æstu tempéries,
in fletu solácium.

O lux beatíssima,
reple cordis íntima
tuórum fidélium.

Sine tuo númine,
nihil est in hómine
nihil est innóxium.

Lava quod est sórdidum,
riga quod est áridum,
sana quod est sáucium.

Flecte quod est rígidum,
fove quod est frígidum,
rege quod est dévium.

Da tuis fidélibus,
in te confidéntibus,
sacrum septenárium.

Da virtútis méritum,
da salútis éxitum,
da perénne gáudium. Amen.

And the translation given there is as follows:

Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!
Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine.
You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul’s most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;
In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.
O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
And our inmost being fill!
Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your 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 you, evermore
In your sevenfold gift descend:
Give them virtue’s sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end.

And here is a nice video via the excellent Corpus Christi Watershed site, that allows you to follow words and music with a line by line translation.


Joshua said...

Fr Z has an excellent podcast about the Veni Sancte Spiritus on his website somewhere - do look it up, he delves into its meaning with great insight.

Joshua said...

I had the pleasure - at very short notice - of being called on to sing this (as backup for a better singer) at our vigil Mass (OF) this evening. How nice to sound the immemorial chant (even if we did make a few boo-boos).