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This hymn, believed to have been written in the 9th century, appeared in the Durham Hymnal, c. 980, and was in widespread use by the 11th century. It has been attributed to Rabanus Maurus, St. Ambrose, and Gregory the Great.

It is sung at Terce and at Vespers during the feast of Pentecost, and is also used for grand occasions such as the ordination of a priest, consecration of a bishop, the election of a pope, or the entrance of Cardinals to the Sistine Chapel, as well for as dedications of churches and coronations of monarchs.

lyrics

Veni, creator Spiritus
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia,
quae tu creasti pectora.

Qui diceris Paraclitus,
altissimi donum Dei,
fons vivus, ignis, caritas
et spiritalis unctio.

Tu septiformis munere,
digitus paternae dexterae
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.

Deo Patri sit gloria,
et Filio qui a mortuis
Surrexit, ac Paraclito,
in saeculorum saecula. Amen.

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TRANSLATION
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Come, author of life,
call upon your intention,
fill with heavenly grace
the hearts of all whom you have created.

You whom we call our advocate,
Gift of God most high,
fount of life, cleansing fire, charity
and anointing spirit.

You seven-fold gift,
forefinger of the right hand of God;
you, duly promised by the Father,
enriching our throats with the Word.

Illuminate our senses with your light,
infuse our hearts with your love,
strengthen our fragile bodies
with your never ending power.

Drive our enemy far away,
And grant us unending peace;
Thus, with you leading the way,
we may avoid every harm.

Grant that through knowing and accepting you, the son, we may understand and surrender ourselves to the Father
Entrusting our souls to each
for all time.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son who rose from the dead
and to also to our comforter [the Holy Ghost]
from age to age.

(Translation by Donna Stewart)

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Mignarda Danby, New York

Mignarda specializes in thoughtful programming illuminating the vibrant mingling of renaissance music & poetry. Noted for awakening modern audiences to an appreciation for historical music, their work encompasses concertizing, teaching & recording, with ten critically-acclaimed CDs, a series of 12 music editions, scholarly articles, reviews and the internationally-popular blog, Unquiet Thoughts. ... more

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