Music

Veni Creator Spiritus – Come, Creator Spirit (Traditional Christian Hymn)

Veni Creator Spiritus – Come, Creator Spirit (Traditional Christian Hymn)

Veni Creator Spiritus (Come, Creator Spirit) is a traditional Christian hymn believed to have been written by Rabanus Maurus, a 9th-century German monk, teacher, and archbishop. When the original Latin text is used, it is normally sung in Gregorian Chant. It has been translated and paraphrased into several languages, and adapted into many musical forms, often as a hymn for Pentecost or for other occasions that focus on the Holy Spirit.

Veni, creator Spiritus,
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia,
quae tu creasti, pectora.
Qui diceris Paraclitus,
donum Dei altissimi,
fons vivus, ignis, caritas,
et spiritalis unctio.
Tu septiformis munere,
dextrae Dei tu digitus,
tu rite promissum Patris,
sermone ditans guttura.
Accende lumen sensibus,
infunde amorem cordibus,
infirma nostri corporis
virtute firmans perpeti.
Hostem repellas longius
pacemque dones protinus;
ductore sic te praevio
vitemus omne noxium.
Per te sciamus da Patrem
noscamus atque Filium,
te utriusque Spiritum
credamus omni tempore.
In some instances, a doxology follows:
Deo Patri sit gloria,
et Filio qui a mortuis
surrexit, ac Paraclito,
in saeculorum saecula.
Amen.

As an invocation of the Holy Spirit, Veni Creator Spiritus is sung in the Catholic Church during liturgical celebrations on 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 they elect a new pope, as well as at the consecration of bishops, the ordination of priests, the sacrament of Confirmation, the dedication of churches, the celebration of synods or councils, the coronation of monarchs, the profession of members of religious institutes, and other similar solemn events. There are also Catholic traditions of singing the hymn on New Year’s Day for plenary indulgence.

Martin Luther used the hymn as the basis for his Pentecost chorale “Komm, Gott Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist”, first published in 1524.

Veni Creator Spiritus 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), and in the Novena to The Holy Ghost in Saint Augustine’s Prayer Book (1947).[1] The translation “Come Holy Ghost, our souls inspire” was by Bishop John Cosin in 1625, and has been used for all subsequent British coronations. Another English example is “Creator Spirit, by whose aid”, written in 1690 by John Dryden and published in The Church Hymn Book (1872, n. 313).

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