Tuesday, May 21, 2013

“The Golden Sequence”

Author: Probably by Pope Innocent III (1161-1216). Meter: Trochaic dimeter catalectic. Translation by Father Aylward, O.P. There are about forty translations; of these Father Caswell’s is the most widely used. There are six translations in the Annus Sanctus. Liturgical Use: Sequence for Whitsunday and throughout the octave.  In medieval times the Veni Sancte Spiritus was known as “The Golden Sequence.” In the opinion of critics it is justly regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of sacred Latin poetry. Trench considers it the loveliest of all the hymns in the whole circle of sacred Latin poetry, and adds that it could only have been composed by one who had been acquainted with many sorrows, and also with many consolations (Sacred Latin Poetry, p. 195).
  1. Holy Spirit, come and shine
    On our souls with beams divine,
    Issuing from Thy radiance bright.
    Come, O Father of the poor,
    Ever bounteous of Thy store,
    Come, our heart’s unfailing light.
  2. Come, Consoler, kindest, best,
    Come, our bosom’s dearest guest,
    Sweet refreshment, sweet repose.
    Rest in labor, coolness sweet,
    Tempering the burning heat,
    Truest comfort of our woes.
  3. O divinest light, impart
    Unto every faithful heart
    Plenteous streams from love’s bright flood.
    But for Thy blest Deity,
    Nothing pure in man could be;
    Nothing harmless, nothing good.
  4. Wash away each sinful stain;
    Gently shed Thy gracious rain
    On the dry and fruitless soul.
    Heal each wound and bend each will,
    Warm our hearts benumbed and chill,
    All our wayward steps control.
  5. Unto all Thy faithful just,
    Who in Thee confide and trust,
    Deign the sevenfold gift to send.
    Grant us virtue’s blest increase,
    Grant a death of hope and peace,
    Grant the joys that never end. 
 Source and Latin version

I couldn't find audio for a good chanted English version online. 

Don't flee from Pentecost too quickly. 

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