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Veni Creator Spiritus

Creator-Spirit, all-Divine

The Hymns of the Breviary and Missal

  1. Veni Creator Spiritus,
    Mentes tuorum visita,
    Imple superna gratia,
    Quæ tu creasti pectora
  2. Qui diceris Paraclitus,
    Altissimi donum Dei,
    Fons vivus, ignis, caritas,
    Et spiritalis unctio.
  3. Tu septiformis munere,
    Digitus Paternæ dexteræ,
    Tu rite promissum Patris,
    Sermone ditans guttura.
  4. Accende lumen sensibus,
    Infunde amorem cordibus
    Infirma nostri corporis
    Virtute firmans perpeti.
  5. Hostem repellas longius,
    Pacemque dones protinus;
    Ductore sic te prævio,
    Vitemus omne noxium.
  6. Per te sciamus da Patrem,
    Noscamus atque Fillium,
    Teque utriusque Spiritum
    Credamus omni tempore.
  7. Deo Patri sit gloria,
    Et Fillo, qui a mortuis
    Surrexit, ac Paraclito,
    In sæculorum sæcula.
  1. Creator-Spirit, all-Divine,
    Come, visit every soul of Thine,
    And fill with Thy celestial flame
    The hearts which Thou Thyself didst frame.
  2. O gift of God, Thine is the sweet
    Consoling name of Paraclete—
    And spring of life and fire and love
    And unction flowing from above.
  3. The mystic sevenfold gifts are Thine,
    Finger of God’s right hand divine;
    The Father’s promise sent to teach
    The tongue a rich and heavenly speech.
  4. Kindle with fire brought from above
    Each sense, and fill our hearts with love;
    And grant our flesh, so weak and frail,
    The strength of Thine which cannot fail.
  5. Drive far away our deadly foe,
    And grant us Thy true peace to know;
    So we, led by Thy guidance still,
    May safely pass through every ill.
  6. To us, through Thee, the grace be shown
    To know the Father and the Son;
    And Spirit of Them both, may we
    Forever rest our faith in Thee.
  7. To Sire and Son be praises meet,
    And to the Holy Paraclete;
    And may Christ send us from above
    That Holy Spirit’s gift of love.
Author: Probably by Rabanus Maurus (776-856). Meter: Iambic dimeter. Translation by Father Aylward, O.P. There are about sixty translations; eight of which are in the Annus Sanctus. Liturgical Use: Hymn for Vespers and Terce on Whitsunday and throughout the octave. Terce (the 3rd hour, 9am) was the hour on which the Holy Ghost descended upon the Apostles (Acts 2, 15). The hymn is used on many other solemn occasions in liturgical and extra-liturgical functions as an invocation to the Holy Spirit. With the exception of the Te Deum, there is probably no other hymn so extensively used in the Church as the Veni Creator Spiritus.

The authorship has been variously ascribed to Rabanus Maurus, Charlemagne, St. Ambrose, and to St. Gregory the Great. Read the articles on the Veni Creator Spiritus, Paraclete, and on Holy Ghost, in the Cath. Encycl.

  1. “Come, Creator Spirit, visit the souls of Thy children, and fill with heavenly grace the hearts which Thou hast made.” Creator: The three Divine Persons concur equally in their external operation; thus the Father created, the Son created, and the Holy Ghost created.
  2. “Thou who art called the Paraclete, the gift of God most high, the living fountain, fire, love, and spiritual unction.” Paraclitus: the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit; a Greek word signifying—the consoler, comforter. In the Scriptures the word occurs only in St. John 14, 16; 14, 26; 15, 26; 16, 7. Donum: The Holy Spirit is called the “gift of God most high.” To receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2, 38) is equivalent to receiving the Holy Ghost with His gifts. Fons vivus: Sed aqua, quam ego dabo ei, fiet in eo fons aquæ salientis in vitam æternam (John 4, 14). Ignis: Earthly fire illuminates, enkindles, consumes, and purifies from dross; so too, in its nature, is the fire of the Holy Spirit—enlightening, love-enkindling, sin-destroying, and purifying. This fire manifests itself in works of charity, and especially in preaching with zeal and fervor the word of God. Caritas: Deus caritas est, et qui manet in caritate, in Deo manet, et Deus in eo (I John 4, 16). Spiritalis = Spiritualis; The grace of God is called unction or anointing because the effects produced by it in the spiritual order are analogous to those produced by ointment in the natural order. It cools, refreshes, exhilarates, strengthens, heals, enriches, etc.
  3. “Thou are sevenfold in Thy gifts, the finger of the Father’s right hand; Thou art the express promise of the Father, endowing tongues with speech.” Septiformis: The seven gifts of the Holy Ghost are enumerated by the Prophet Isaias: Et requiescet super eum spiritus Domini; spiritus sapientiæ et pietatis, et replebit eum spiritus timoris Domini (Is. 11, 2-3). Digitus Dei: The Holy Spirit is called the “finger of God” as may be seen from the following parallel passages: Si in digito Dei ejicio dæmonia (Luke 11, 20). Si autem ego in Spiritu Dei ejicio dæmones (Matt. 12, 28). Rite, explicit, distinctly stated. Promissum, i = promissio. Et ego mitto promissum Patris mei in vos (Luke 24, 49). Sed expectarent promissionem Patris (Acts 1, 4). Sermone: A reference to the gift of tongues (Acts 2, 4).
  4. “Enkindle Thy light within our minds, infuse Thy love into our hearts; strengthen the weakness of our flesh by Thy never-failing power.”
  5. “Drive far away our enemy, and forthwith grant us peace; so that while Thou leadest the way as our guide, we may avoid everything harmful.”
  6. “Grant that through Thee we may know the Father; through Thee, the Son; and may we ever believe in Thee, the Spirit of Them both.”