Veni Creator Spiritus

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First verse of Veni Creator Spiritus Veni Creator Spiritus-1.BMP.jpg
First verse of Veni Creator 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.

Hymn type of song

A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification. The word hymn derives from Greek ὕμνος (hymnos), which means "a song of praise". A writer of hymns is known as a hymnodist. The singing or composition of hymns is called hymnody. Collections of hymns are known as hymnals or hymn books. Hymns may or may not include instrumental accompaniment.

Rabanus Maurus archbishop of Mainz and writer

Rabanus Maurus Magnentius , also known as Hrabanus or Rhabanus, was a Frankish Benedictine monk, theologian, poet, encyclopedist and military writer who became archbishop of Mainz in East Francia. He was the author of the encyclopaedia De rerum naturis. He also wrote treatises on education and grammar and commentaries on the Bible. He was one of the most prominent teachers and writers of the Carolingian age, and was called "Praeceptor Germaniae," or "the teacher of Germany." In the most recent edition of the Roman Martyrology, his feast is given as February 4th and he is qualified as a Saint ('sanctus').


Liturgical use

As an invocation of the Holy Spirit, it is sung in the Roman 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, when celebrating the sacrament of Confirmation, the dedication of churches, the celebration of synods or councils, coronations, the profession of members of religious institutes, and other similar solemn events.

Pentecost Christian holy day commemorating the New Testament account of the Holy Spirits descent upon the Apostles

The Christian holy day of Pentecost, which is celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter, commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles. In Christian tradition, this event represents the birth of the early Church.

Terce, or Third Hour, is a fixed time of prayer of the Divine Office in almost all the Christian liturgies. It consists mainly of psalms and is said at 9 a.m. Its name comes from Latin and refers to the third hour of the day after dawn.

Vespers sunset evening prayer service in the Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran liturgies of the canonical hours

Vespers is a sunset evening prayer service in the Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran liturgies of the canonical hours. The word comes from the Greek ἑσπέρα ("hespera") and the Latin vesper, meaning "evening". It is also referred to in the Anglican tradition as evening prayer or evensong. The term is also used in some Protestant denominations to describe evening services.

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); one of the earlier is the 1627 version "Come Holy Ghost, our souls inspire" by Bishop John Cosin. Martin Luther used it as the basis for his chorale for Pentecost " Komm, Gott Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist ", first published in 1524.

Anglican Communion International association of churches

The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion. Founded in 1867 in London, England, the communion currently has 85 million members within the Church of England and other national and regional churches in full communion. The traditional origins of Anglican doctrines are summarised in the Thirty-nine Articles (1571). The Archbishop of Canterbury in England acts as a focus of unity, recognised as primus inter pares, but does not exercise authority in Anglican provinces outside of the Church of England.

<i>Book of Common Prayer</i> Prayer book used in most Anglican churches

The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by other Christian churches historically related to Anglicanism. The original book, published in 1549 in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English Reformation following the break with Rome. The work of 1549 was the first prayer book to include the complete forms of service for daily and Sunday worship in English. It contained Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, the Litany, and Holy Communion and also the occasional services in full: the orders for Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, "prayers to be said with the sick", and a funeral service. It also set out in full the "propers" : the introits, collects, and epistle and gospel readings for the Sunday service of Holy Communion. Old Testament and New Testament readings for daily prayer were specified in tabular format as were the Psalms; and canticles, mostly biblical, that were provided to be said or sung between the readings.

John Dryden 17th-century English poet and playwright

John Dryden was an English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who was made England's first Poet Laureate in 1668.


Latin text [1]
English version [1]
Veni Creator Spiritus,
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia,
quae tu creasti, pectora.
Come, Holy Ghost, Creator, come
from thy bright heav'nly throne;
come, take possession of our souls,
and make them all thine own.
Qui diceris Paraclitus,
donum Dei altissimi,
fons vivus, ignis, caritas,
et spiritalis unctio.
Thou who art called the Paraclete,
best gift of God above,
the living spring, the living fire,
sweet unction and true love.
Tu septiformis munere,
dextrae Dei tu digitus
tu rite promissum Patris,
sermone ditans guttura.
Thou who art sevenfold in thy grace,
finger of God's right hand;
his promise, teaching little ones
to speak and understand.
Accende lumen sensibus,
infunde amorem cordibus,
infirma nostri corporis
virtute firmans perpeti.
O guide our minds with thy blest light,
with love our hearts inflame;
and with thy strength, which ne'er decays,
confirm our mortal frame.
Hostem repellas longius
pacemque dones protinus;
ductore sic te praevio
vitemus omne noxium.
Far from us drive our deadly foe;
true peace unto us bring;
and through all perils lead us safe
beneath thy sacred wing.
Per te sciamus da Patrem
noscamus atque Filium,
te utriusque Spiritum
credamus omni tempore.
Through thee may we the Father know,
through thee th'eternal Son,
and thee the Spirit of them both,
thrice-blessed three in One.
(In some instances, a doxology follows) [2]
Deo Patri sit gloria
et Filio, qui a mortuis;
surrexit, ac Paraclito
in saeculorum saecula.
All glory to the Father be,
with his coequal Son;
the same to thee, great Paraclete,
while endless ages run.

Notable English translations

Since the English Reformation in the 16th century, there have been more than fifty English language translations and paraphrases of Veni Creator Spiritus. [3] The version included in the 1662 revision of the Book of Common Prayer compresses the content of the original seven verses to four (with a two-line doxology), but retained the Latin title. It was written by Bishop John Cosin for the coronation of King Charles I of Great Britain in 1625. [4] 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. [5] The first verse is:

English Reformation Separation of the Church of England from the Pope of Rome

The English Reformation was a series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church. These events were, in part, associated with the wider process of the European Protestant Reformation, a religious and political movement that affected the practice of Christianity across western and central Europe during this period. Many factors contributed to the process: the decline of feudalism and the rise of nationalism, the rise of the common law, the invention of the printing press and increased circulation of the Bible, and the transmission of new knowledge and ideas among scholars, the upper and middle classes and readers in general. However, the various phases of the English Reformation, which also covered Wales and Ireland, were largely driven by changes in government policy, to which public opinion gradually accommodated itself.

John Cosin English churchman

John Cosin was an English churchman.

Coronation of the British monarch ceremony (specifically, initiation rite) in which the monarch of the United Kingdom is formally invested with regalia and crowned at Westminster Abbey

The coronation of the British monarch is a ceremony in which the monarch of the United Kingdom is formally invested with regalia and crowned at Westminster Abbey. It corresponds to the coronations that formerly took place in other European monarchies, all of which have abandoned coronations in favour of inauguration or enthronement ceremonies.

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,
and lighten with celestial fire.
Thou the anointing Spirit art,
who dost thy sevenfold gifts impart. [6]

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, [7] and excerpts of the Dryden text have been set to the German hymn tune "Lasst uns erfreuen". [8] Dryden's first verse is:

Eternal Father, Strong to Save song

"Eternal Father, Strong to Save" is a British hymn traditionally associated with seafarers, particularly in the maritime armed services. Written in 1860, its author William Whiting was inspired by the dangers of the sea described in Psalm 107. It was popularised by the Royal Navy and the United States Navy in the late 19th century, and variations of it were soon adopted by many branches of the armed services in the United Kingdom and the United States. Services who have adapted the hymn include the Royal Marines, Royal Air Force, the British Army, the United States Coast Guard and the US Marine Corps, as well as many navies of the British Commonwealth. Accordingly, it is known by many names, variously referred to as the Hymn of Her Majesty's Armed Forces, the Royal Navy Hymn, the United States Navy Hymn, and sometimes by the last line of its first verse, "For Those in Peril on the Sea". The hymn has a long tradition in civilian maritime contexts as well, being regularly invoked by ship's chaplains and sung during services on ocean crossings.

John Bacchus Dykes British clergyman and hymnist

John Bacchus Dykes was an English clergyman and hymnwriter.

Lasst uns erfreuen hymn

"Lasst uns erfreuen herzlich sehr" is a hymn tune that originated from Germany in 1623, and which found widespread popularity after The English Hymnal published a 1906 version in strong triple meter with new lyrics. The triumphant melody and repeated "Alleluia" phrases have supported the tune's widespread usage during the Easter season and other festive occasions, especially with the English texts "Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones" and "All Creatures of Our God and King".

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.

Musical settings

In the early 1700s Johann Sebastian Bach used "Komm, Gott Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist" as the basis for his chorale preludes BWV 631 and BWV 667. In the 1860s, a motet for women's voices to the Latin text was among the last works of Hector Berlioz (H 141), and Anton Bruckner harmonized the original tune for voice and organ as his motet WAB 50 in the 1880s. Gustav Mahler set the Latin text to music in Part I of his Symphony No. 8 in E-flat major (1906). 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 1926/1930. Paul Hindemith concluded his 1962 Concerto for Organ and Orchestra with a Phantasy on "Veni Creator Spiritus." Krzysztof Penderecki wrote a motet for mixed choir (1987), and the text has been set for chorus and orchestra by Cristóbal Halffter (1992). Karlheinz Stockhausen used the text in the second hour of his Klang cycle in a 2005 piece for two singing harpists titled Freude (Joy).

Johann Sebastian Bach German composer

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Art of Fugue, the Brandenburg Concertos, and the Goldberg Variations as well as for vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor. Since the 19th-century Bach Revival he has been generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.

In western music, a motet is a mainly vocal musical composition, of highly diverse form and style, from the late medieval era to the present. The motet was one of the pre-eminent polyphonic forms of Renaissance music. According to Margaret Bent, "a piece of music in several parts with words" is as precise a definition of the motet as will serve from the 13th to the late 16th century and beyond. The late 13th-century theorist Johannes de Grocheo believed that the motet was "not to be celebrated in the presence of common people, because they do not notice its subtlety, nor are they delighted in hearing it, but in the presence of the educated and of those who are seeking out subtleties in the arts".

Hector Berlioz French Romantic composer

Louis-Hector Berlioz was a French Romantic composer. His output includes orchestral works such as the Symphonie fantastique and Harold in Italy, choral pieces including the Requiem and L'enfance du Christ, his three operas Benvenuto Cellini, Les Troyens and Béatrice et Bénédict, and works of hybrid genres such as the "dramatic symphony" Roméo et Juliette and the "dramatic legend" La damnation de Faust.

See also

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  1. 1 2 "Mass and Rite of Canonisation" (PDF). Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  2. "Come, Holy Ghost, Creator, Come / Veni Creator Spiritus". January 7, 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  3. Charles S. Nutter & Wilbur F. Tillett, The Hymns and Hymn Writers of The Church, Smith & Lamar, 1911 (p.108)
  4. Reverend Ivan D. Aquilina, The Eucharistic Understanding of John Cosin and his Contribution to the 1662 Book Of Common Prayer (p.6)
  7. "Creator Spirit, by whose aid",
  8. "Creator Spirit, By Whose Aid" (PDF). Oregon Catholic Press . Retrieved 9 May 2017.