Veni, Sancte Spiritus (Pentecost Sequence)

If you were at Mass at the Church of Saint Paul yesterday, you may be wondering about that additional bit after the second reading.  It was the beautiful Pentecost Sequence- a piece of liturgical poetry that is read or sung as part of the Liturgy of the Word at Mass on some feast days. A Sequence expands on and explains the meaning of the celebration. During the Middle Ages myriads of Sequences were added to the liturgy.  Today, they are a required part of the Mass on Easter and Pentecost and an option for Corpus Christi and Our Lady of Sorrows.*

Due to a variety of circumstances (changing pastors and updates in the music ministry) this is the first year we’ve heard it at COSP so we know it took a number of you by surprise.  For that reason, we wanted to take advantage of the teachable moment and post the text so you could take a closer look at it.

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. Amen.


* See Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship, USCCB, 2007 – paragraphs 165-166

Many thanks to Father Norris and to Bev Green for making sure this beautiful bit of Catholic Tradition was part of our 2014 Pentecost!

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