Friday, June 26, 2009

Missa pro Defunctis: Dies Irae (Sequentia)

Dies Irae is the old Gregorian Sequence from the Requiem Mass, here sung by the Alfred Deller Consort.



According to this article at Wikipedia:
Those familiar with musical settings of the Requiem Mass—such as those by Mozart or Verdi—will be aware of the important place Dies Iræ held in the liturgy. Nevertheless the "Consilium for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy" - the Vatican body charged with drafting and implementing reforms to the Catholic Liturgy ordered by the Second Vatican Council - felt the funeral rite was in need of reform and eliminated the sequence from the ordinary rite. The architect of these reforms, Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, explains the mind of the members of the Consilium:
They got rid of texts that smacked of a negative spirituality inherited from the Middle Ages. Thus they removed such familiar and even beloved texts as the Libera me, Domine, the Dies Iræ, and others that overemphasized judgment, fear, and despair. These they replaced with texts urging Christian hope and arguably giving more effective expression to faith in the resurrection.[2]


It remained as the sequence for the Requiem Mass in the Roman Missal of 1962 (the last edition before the Second Vatican Council) and so is still heard in churches where the Tridentine Latin liturgy is celebrated.

The "Dies Irae" is still suggested in the Liturgy of the Hours during last week before Advent as the opening hymn for the Office of Readings, Lauds and Vespers (divided into three parts).[3]


Here are the words from that page:


Dies iræ! dies illa
Solvet sæclum in favilla
Teste David cum Sibylla!

Quantus tremor est futurus,
quando judex est venturus,
cuncta stricte discussurus!

Tuba mirum spargens sonum
per sepulchra regionum,
coget omnes ante thronum.

Mors stupebit et natura,
cum resurget creatura,
judicanti responsura.

Liber scriptus proferetur,
in quo totum continetur,
unde mundus judicetur.

Judex ergo cum sedebit,
quidquid latet apparebit:
nil inultum remanebit.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?
Quem patronum rogaturus,
cum vix justus sit securus?

Rex tremendæ majestatis,
qui salvandos salvas gratis,
salva me, fons pietatis.

Recordare, Jesu pie,
quod sum causa tuæ viæ:
ne me perdas illa die.

Quærens me, sedisti lassus:
redemisti Crucem passus:
tantus labor non sit cassus.

Juste judex ultionis,
donum fac remissionis
ante diem rationis.

Ingemisco, tamquam reus:
culpa rubet vultus meus:
supplicanti parce, Deus.

Qui Mariam absolvisti,
et latronem exaudisti,
mihi quoque spem dedisti.

Preces meæ non sunt dignæ:
sed tu bonus fac benigne,
ne perenni cremer igne.

Inter oves locum præsta,
et ab hædis me sequestra,
statuens in parte dextra.

Confutatis maledictis,
flammis acribus addictis:
voca me cum benedictis.

Oro supplex et acclinis,
cor contritum quasi cinis:
gere curam mei finis.

Day of wrath! O day of mourning!
See fulfilled the prophets' warning,
Heaven and earth in ashes burning!

Oh, what fear man's bosom rendeth,
when from heaven the Judge descendeth,
on whose sentence all dependeth.

Wondrous sound the trumpet flingeth;
through earth's sepulchers it ringeth;
all before the throne it bringeth.

Death is struck, and nature quaking,
all creation is awaking,
to its Judge an answer making.

Lo! the book, exactly worded,
wherein all hath been recorded:
thence shall judgment be awarded.

When the Judge his seat attaineth,
and each hidden deed arraigneth,
nothing unavenged remaineth.

What shall I, frail man, be pleading?
Who for me be interceding,
when the just are mercy needing?

King of Majesty tremendous,
who dost free salvation send us,
Fount of pity, then befriend us!

Think, good Jesus, my salvation
cost thy wondrous Incarnation;
leave me not to reprobation!

Faint and weary, thou hast sought me,
on the cross of suffering bought me.
shall such grace be vainly brought me?

Righteous Judge! for sin's pollution
grant thy gift of absolution,
ere the day of retribution.

Guilty, now I pour my moaning,
all my shame with anguish owning;
spare, O God, thy suppliant groaning!

Thou the sinful woman savedst;
thou the dying thief forgavest;
and to me a hope vouchsafest.

Worthless are my prayers and sighing,
yet, good Lord, in grace complying,
rescue me from fires undying!

With thy favored sheep O place me;
nor among the goats abase me;
but to thy right hand upraise me.

While the wicked are confounded,
doomed to flames of woe unbounded
call me with thy saints surrounded.

Low I kneel, with heart submission,
see, like ashes, my contrition;
help me in my last condition.





Since this one's so long, I'll point you to the chant score in this PDF file (it begins on page 9), which comes originally from Giovanni Viannini and his Schola Gregoriana Mediolanensis.


Here are links to posts on this blog, for all the movements of the Requiem mass:

Monday, June 22, 2009

Funeral Ikos

John Tavener is just about my favorite contemporary composer, and this song is achingly, stunningly beautiful. Tavener is a British convert from Presbyterianism to Eastern Orthodoxy, and writes music for the liturgy; he's a complete genius, I think.

I first heard this piece in around 2003, on September 11, at a memorial service for that day.  I've since learned, via a commenter, Robert, that the text comes from an Orthodox liturgy; we've seen it in this Google Book, at least: Service Book of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Apostolic (Greco-Russian) Church.  There, it's labeled as part of "The Order for the Burial of the Dead (Priests)."



Funeral Ikos (1981)

Why these bitter words of the dying,
O brethren, which they utter
as they go hence?

I am parted from my brethren.
All my friends do I abandon,
and go hence.

But whither I go, that understand I not,
neither what shall become of me yonder;
only God who hath summoned me knoweth.

But make commemoration of me with the song:
Alleluia.

But whither now go the souls?
How dwell they now together there?
This mystery have I desired to learn,
but none can impart aright.

Do they call to mind their own people,
as we do them?
Or have they forgotten all those
who mourn them and make the song:
Alleluia.

We go forth on the path eternal,
and as condemned, with downcast faces,
present ouselves before the only God eternal.
Where then is comeliness?
Where then is wealth?
Where then is the glory of this world?
There shall none of these things aid us,
but only to say oft the psalm:
Alleluia.

If thou hast shown mercy
unto man, o man,
that same mercy
shall be shown thee there;
and if on an orphan
thou hast shown compassion,
that same shall there
deliver thee from want.
If in this life
the naked thou hast clothed,
the same shall give thee
shelter there,
and sing the psalm:
Alleluia.

Youth and the beauty of the body
fade at the hour of death,
and the tongue then burneth fiercely,
and the parched throat is inflamed.

The beauty of the eyes is quenched then,
the comeliness of the face all altered,
the shapeliness of the neck destroyed;
And the other parts have become numb,
nor often say:
Alleluia.

With ecstasy are we inflamed
if we but hear
that there is light eternal yonder;
That there is Paradise, wherein
every soul of Righteous Ones rejoiceth.
Let us all, also, enter into Christ,
that all we may cry aloud thus unto God:
Alleluia.

An ikos, according to this site, "is a short composition that follows the Kontakion, between the Sixth and Seventh Odes of the Canon."  Here is the entire ikos - not short! -  from the book at the link above; again, this comes from the funeral service for a priest:
Thou only art immortal, who hast created and fashioned man. For out of the earth were we mortals made, and unto the earth shall we return again, as thou didst command when thou madest me, saying unto me: For earth thou art, and unto the earth shalt thou return. Whither, also, we mortals wend our way, making of our funeral dirge the song: Alleluia.

In thought I implore ye, hearken unto me: For with difficulty do I announce these things. For your sakes have I made moan ; perchance it may profit one of you. But when ye shall sing these things make mention, now and then, of me whom ye have known. For often have we walked together, and together in the house of God have sung: Alleluia.

Rise now, all ye, and make ready, and when ye are set, hearken ye unto the word. Terrible, my brethren, is the judgment Seat before which all we must appear. There is neither bondman nor freeman there; there is neither small nor great; but we shall all stand naked there. Wherefore, it is good to sing together the psalm: Alleluia.

Let us all be consumed with tears, when we behold the earthly remains lying low; and when we shall all draw near to kiss, and peradventure to utter such things as these: Lo l thou hast abandoned us who love thee. Why speakest thou no more with us, 0 friend? Why speakest thou not, as thou wert wont to speak, but holdest thus thy peace who before with us didst say: Alleluia.

Why these bitter words of the dying, O brethren, which they utter as they go hence? I am banished, brethren. All my friends do I abandon, and go hence. But whither I go, that understand I not, neither what shall become of me yonder; but only God, who hath summoned me knoweth. But make commemoration of me with the song: Alleluia.

But whither now- go the souls? How dwell they now together there ? This mystery have I desired to learn, but none can impart aright. Do they call to mind their own people, as we do them? Or have they already forgotten those who mourn them and make the song: Alleluia?

Accompany ye the dead, 0 friends, and come ye to the grave with heed, and there gaze ye steadfastly, with understanding; and make ready your feet. All youth is fallen to dissolution there; there all the flower of life is faded ; there are dust, and ashes, and worms; there all is silent ; and there no man saith : Alleluia.

Lo! now behold we him who lieth here, but ne’er shall lie before us more. L0! already is his tongue stilled, and 10! his mouth hath ceased to speak. Fare ye well, 0 my friends, my children. Fare ye well, 0 brethren! Fare ye well, 0 my comrades ; for I go forth upon my way. But make commemoration of me with the song: Alleluia.

None of the dwellers yonder have returned to life to tell us howthere they fare, our erstwhile brethren and our offspring gone before us to the Lord. Wherefore, again and 0ft we say: Shall we see each other there? Shall we see our brethren there? Shall we there again together say the psalm : Alleluia?

We go forth on the path eternal, and as condemned, with downcast faces, present ourselves before the only God. Where then is comeliness? Where then is wealth? Where then is the glory of this world? There shall none of these things aid us, but only to say oft the psalm: Alleluia.

Why dost thou untimely vex thyself, O man! Yet one hour, and all things shall pass away. For in Hell there is no-repentance, nor further remission there. There is the worm that sleepeth not; there is the land, all dark and gloomy, where I must be judged. For I made not haste to say the psalm : Alleluia.

Naught is so easily forgot as mortal from his brother-mortal parted. If for a brief space we call to mind, yet straightway forget we Death, as we had not ourselves to die. Parents, also, are utterly forgotten of their children, whom from their own bodies they have borne and reared ; and they have dropped tears with the song: Alleluia.

I remind ye, O my brethren, my children, and my friends: Forget me not, when unto the Lord ye pray. I entreat, I beseech, I implore, that ye learn by heart this thing, and mourn for me night and day. As said job unto his friends, so sayI also unto you: Sit ye again and say: Alleluia.

Leaving all things behind us, forth we go, and naked and grieving must present ourselves to God. For like the grass doth beauty fade, and man is but allured therewith. Naked wast thou born, O wretched one, and naked there must every man appear. Dream not, O mortal, of sweetness in this life, but only groan ever with the moan : Alleluia.

If thou hast shown mercy unto man, O man, that same mercy shall be shown thee there; and if on an orphan thou hast shown compassion, the same shall there deliver thee from want. If in this life the naked thou hast clothed, the same shall give thee shelter there, and sing the psalm : Alleluia.

Toilsome the way in which I must go hence, the which, in truth, I never yet have trod; and unknown is that land, and thereof knoweth no one anywhere. Awesome is it to behold my guides; most terrible he who hath called me. the Ruler of life and death, who also calleth us, when he willeth, thither: Alleluia.

If journeying from a home-land we stand in need of guides, what shall we do when forth we fare to a land to us still all unknown? Many leaders wilt thou then require, many prayers to accompany thee, to save the wretched sinner's soul; until thou come to Christ and say to him: Alleluia.

They who are in thrall to the material passions shall find no pardon whatsoever there. For there are the dread accusers; there, also, the books are opened. Where, then, around about thee wilt thou gaze, O man? And who then shall succour thee? Unless thou hast led an upright life, and hast done good to the needy, singing: Alleluia.

Youth and the beauty of the body fade at the hour of death,and the tongue then burneth fiercely, and the parched throat is inflamed. The beauty of the eyes is quenched then, the comeliness of the face all altered, the shapeliness of the neck destroyed ; and the other parts have become numb, nor often say: Alleluia.

Hush, then ; be dumb. Henceforward keep ye silence before him who lieth there, and gaze upon the mighty mystery; for terrible is this hour. Be silent, that the soul may issue forth in peace. For it to a great ordeal is constrained, and in fear doth oft petition make to God : Alleluia.

I have beheld a dying child, and I have mourned my life. He was all agitated, and trembled greatly when the hour was come, and cried, O father, help me! O mother, save me! And no one then could succour him, but only pined away as they gazed on him, and wept for him in the grave: Alleluia.

How many suddenly are snatched even from the plighting of their troth, and united by a bond eternal ; and without avail have made their moan unending, and have not risen from that bridal chamber! But there was both marriage and the grave, both union and disunion, both laughter and weeping, and the psalm : Alleluia.

With ecstasy are we inflamed if we but hear that there is light eternal yonder; that there is the fountain of our life, and there delight eternal ; that there is Paradise, wherein every soul of Righteous Ones rejoiceth. Let us all, also, enter into Christ, that all we may cry aloud thus unto God : Alleluia.


Missa pro Defunctis: Sicut Cervus (An alternate Tract)

From Giovanni Viannini, a recording of Sicut Cervus, which is an alternate Tract for the Mass for the Dead (although I'm actually not sure if this is the form used, or if there was another). There are several online references to this (although it is not included in the Wikimedia article on the Requiem Mass); this site says:
The text of Sicut cervus directly quotes the Psalm text in its imagery: "As the deer thirsts for the waters, so my soul longs for Thee, O God!" The Psalmist's words remain completely pertinent to the Christian adaptation, as a soul cries over its own complete emptiness and parched nature without the nourishment of water. Its very music almost embodies this thirst, as it alternates between passages of more melodically bound stasis (known within the traditions of chanted psalmody) and more passionate melismas that might attempt to represent the soul's desire. Both music and text add a level of richness to an extremely solemn moment, one of two every year when new souls may be brought into the church. Pointedly, one other use that the medieval church made of Sicut cervus was during the Requiem or funeral Mass, when the soul proceeded from earth to its Promised Land.


And several composers - Ockeghem, Josquin, and Brahms, for three - have included the Sicut Cervus in their own Requiems, so I include it here as well.



The words come from Psalm 42 (below is the Coverdale translation):

Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarum, ita desiderat anima mea ad te, Deus.
Sitivit anima mea ad Deum, Deum vivum; quando veniam et apparebo ante faciem Dei?
Fuerunt mihi lacrimae meae panis die ac nocte, dum dicitur mihi quotidie: "Ubi est Deus tuus?"
Like as the hart desireth the waterbrooks :
so longeth my soul after thee, O God.
My soul is athirst for God, yea, even for the living God :
when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
My tears have been my meat day and night :
while they daily say unto me, Where is now thy God?

Here are links to posts on this blog, for all the movements of the Requiem mass:

Missa pro Defunctis: Absolve, Domine (Tractus)

This is the Tract, Absolve Domine, from the Requiem Mass; here it's sung by the Alfred Deller Consort.:



The Tract is sung in place of the Alleluia in the Requiem Mass. Here are the words:

Absolve, Domine,
animas omnium fidelium defunctorum
ab omni vinculo delictorum
et gratia tua illis
succurente mereantur
evadere iudicium ultionis,
et lucis æterne beatitudine perfrui.



Forgive, O Lord,
the souls of all the faithful departed
from all the chains of their sins
and may they deserve
to avoid the judgment of revenge by your fostering grace,
and enjoy the everlasting blessedness of light.






Here are links to posts on this blog, for all the movements of the Requiem mass:


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Missa pro Defunctis: Requiem aeternam (Graduale)

This is the Gradual from the Gregorian Requiem Mass, sung by the Alfred Deller Consort:




Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine;
In memoria æterna erit justus,
ab auditione mala non timebit.


Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.
He shall be justified in everlasting memory,
and shall not fear evil reports.







The text for the Gradual ("In memoria æterna erit justus, ab auditione mala non timebit") is taken from Psalm (111/)112, verses 6-7 (although in some renderings of the Psalm, it's verse 7 alone); here's the whole Psalm in English:
1   Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who greatly delights in his commandments!
2   His offspring will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3   Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4   Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
5   It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
who conducts his affairs with justice.
6   For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.
7   He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
8   His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
9   He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn is exalted in honor.
10   The wicked man sees it and is angry; he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
the desire of the wicked will perish!

In the original, Psalm 112 is one of the acrostic Psalms; each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Here are links to posts on this blog, for all the movements of the Requiem mass:

Missa pro Defunctis: Requiem aeternam (Introitus) and Kyrie Eleison

Here is another version of the the Introit of the Gregorian Requiem Mass, followed by the Kyrie:



He's a good singer, and a really dedicated musician, it seems; he's put up the whole Mass for the Dead, among quite a number of other video files.

The chant score for the Introit is in the previous post; here's the score for the Kyrie:





And here's the most beautiful piece of music ever written, I'd say - the Introit and Kyrie from Maurice Durufle's Requiem; it's based on the Gregorian Kyrie from the Mass for the Dead:



Here are links to posts on this blog, for all the movements of the Requiem mass:

Friday, June 19, 2009

Magnificat

The Magnificat is the Evening Canticle, sung each day at the end of the Vespers Office; the text comes from the Gospel of Luke (1:41-55).

Here's a video of the Canticle, sung by the Monk's Choir of the Liguge Abbey:



The words in Latin are:
Magnificat anima mea Dominum,
et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salvatore meo,
quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae.
Ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes,
quia fecit mihi magna, qui potens est,
et sanctum nomen eius,
et misericordia eius in progenies et progenies
timentibus eum.
Fecit potentiam in brachio suo,
dispersit superbos mente cordis sui;
deposuit potentes de sede
et exaltavit humiles;
esurientes implevit bonis
et divites dimisit inanes.
Suscepit Israel puerum suum,
recordatus misericordiae,
sicut locutus est ad patres nostros,
Abraham et semini eius in saecula.

And the English, from the Book of Common Prayer:
My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded : the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth : all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me : and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him : throughout all generations.
He hath shewed strength with his arm : he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat : and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things : and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel : as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for e


Here's Arvo Pärt's lovely Magnificat; I'm not sure what the video footage is about, but actually I like it a lot:



And Sandro Botticelli's Annunciation (not the source of the Magnificat, but something like its subject):

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Missa pro Defunctis: Requiem aeternam (Introitus)

This is the Introit of the Gregorian Requiem Mass, sung by the Schola of the Vienna Hofburgkapelle:



Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Te decet hymnus Deus, in Sion,
et tibi reddetur votum in Ierusalem.
Exaudi orationem meam;
ad te omnis caro veniet.
Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.


Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
A hymn becomes you, O God, in Zion,
and to you shall a vow be repaid in Jerusalem.
Hear my prayer;
to you shall all flesh come.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.”







The Te decet hymnus ("A hymn becomes you") section - through ad te omnis caro veniet ("to you all flesh shall come") - comes from Psalm (64/)65; here's the whole of that Psalm in English, just for context:

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. A Song.

1   Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion,
and to you shall vows be performed.
2   O you who hear prayer,
to you shall all flesh come.
3   When iniquities prevail against me,
you atone for our transgressions.
4   Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts!
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!
5   By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,
O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas;
6   the one who by his strength established the mountains,
being girded with might;
7   who stills the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples,
8   so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.
You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.
9   You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain, for so you have prepared it.
10  You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges,
softening it with showers, and blessing its growth.
11  You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.
12   The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
13  the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.

Here are links to posts on this blog, for all the movements of the Requiem mass:

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Te Deum, Trinity 2009

In honor of Trinity Sunday, here is Giovanni Vianini singing the Te Deum Laudamus:




From Full Homely Divinity, and a page about Trinity Sunday:
The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is older than Celtic Christianity, and the celebration of Trinity Sunday as a major feast of the Church year did not originate in Britain. Nevertheless, it clearly found a most congenial climate and took root easily. Indeed, the spread of the observance of Trinity Sunday and its ultimate establishment in the universal calendar of the Western Church is largely due to the popularity of an Englishman: Archbishop St. Thomas (Becket) of Canterbury. As early as the ninth century, the first Sunday after Pentecost was being observed in some places as a day particularly devoted to celebrating our trinitarian faith in one God in three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. However, the observance was far from universal and one pope even dismissed it as an unnecessary observance since every act of worship is offered in the Name of the Trinity. In 1162, Thomas Becket was ordained to the Priesthood on Ember Saturday in Whitsun week. On the next day, he was consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury. As Archbishop and Metropolitan, he obtained for all of England the privilege of celebrating the Sunday after Whitsunday as Trinity Sunday. After his martyrdom in 1170, and subsequent canonization, his shrine in Canterbury became one of the most important pilgrimage shrines in all of Europe and the popularity of Trinity Sunday also spread.


Much more at the FHD link above, and see last year's post on this blog for the words and etc.

Here is the "Trinity Shield," which says, in Latin, that "The Father is God and the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God, but the Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is not the Father." Sort of.





And here's the famous "Icon of the Holy Trinity" by Andrei Rublev, c. 1365-c. 1430.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

More Digitized Manuscripts

And some quite beautiful ones, from the German site Manuscripta Mediaevalia (that link will take you to a translation of the original page).

Here's the first page of the Book of Exodus, from this MS of the Pentateuch, Joshua, and Judges.





And here's Matthew, from the New Testament MS.





There don't seem to be any chant books in this group, but still: the pages are beautiful and worth posting, I thought.

Monday, June 01, 2009

The Pentecost Sequence: Veni, Sancte Spiritus ("Come, Holy Spirit")

I posted on this hymn, Veni Sancte Spiritus, a couple of years ago and then again last year, but now there's a video available on YouTube, with better audio:



Here's TPL on this song:
Veni, Sancte Spiritus, known as the Golden Sequence, is the sequence for the Mass for Pentecost. It is commonly regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of sacred Latin poetry ever written. Its beauty and depth have been praised by many. The hymn has been attributed to three different authors, King Robert II the Pious of France (970-1031), Pope Innocent III (1161-1216), and Stephen Langton (d 1228), Archbishop of Canterbury, of which the last is most likely the author.


Here's the chant score with Latin words:


Here's a translation from this page; these are the words I've sung myself.  It's really a very beautiful song, both in tis words and its melody:
Holy Spirit, Lord of light,
From the clear celestial height
Thy pure beaming radiance give.

Come, thou Father of the poor,
Come with treasures which endure;
Come, thou light of all that live!

Thou, of all consolers best,
Thou, the soul's delightful guest,
Dost refreshing peace bestow.

Thou in toil art comfort sweet,
Pleasant coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.

Light immortal, light divine,
Visit thou these hearts of thine,
And our inmost being fill.

If thou take thy grace away,
Nothing pure in man will stay;
All his good is turned to ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour thy dew,
Wash the stains of guilt away.

Bend the stubborn heart and will,
Melt the frozen, warm the chill,
Guide the steps that go astray.

Thou, on us who evermore
Thee confess and thee adore,
With thy sevenfold gifts descend.

Give us comfort when we die,
Give us life with thee on high,
Give us joys that never end.

Amen.

The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913 has a bit more about the hymn:
The sequence for Pentecost (the "Golden Sequence"). It is sung at Mass from Whitsunday until the following Saturday inclusively, and comprises ten stanzas of the form:
Veni, Sancte Spiritus,
Et emitte coelitus
Lucis tuae radium.
Some hymnologists bind two such stanzas into one, doubtless in order to complete the rhythmic scheme for the third line, as in the case of the "Lauda Sion" and the "Stabat Mater". The peculiar feature of the "Veni Sancte Spiritus", however, the persistence throughout the hymn of the same rhythmic close in "ium" For all the stanzas — a feature imitated in Dr. Neale's translation (given in the Baltimore Manual of Prayers"). This version of the Anglican hymnologist is only less popular than that of Brother Caswall, which is found alike in Protestant and Catholic hymnals and in the "Raccolta" (Philadelphia, 1881). Dean Trench and others follow Durandus in ascribing the authorship of the sequence to Robert II, who reigned in France from 997-1031. With Cardinal Bona, Duffield gives it to Hermann Contractus and argues earnestly for the ascription. The sequence has indeed been found in manuscripts of the eleventh century, and of the twelfth, but written by a later hand, and the conclusion is drawn that it dates sometime after the middle of the twelfth century. This makes probable the ascription to Stephen Langton (q.v.), made by a writer whom Cardinal Pitra thinks an English Cistercian who lived about the year 1210. More probable is the ascription to Innocent III made by Ekkehard V in his "Vita S. Notkeri", written about 1220. Ekkehard, a monk of St. Gall, says that his abbot, Ulrich, was sent to Rome by Frederick II, conferred with the pope on various matters, and was present at the Mass of the Holy Spirit celebrated before the Holy Father. The sequence of the Mass was Sancti Spiritus adsit nobis gratia". Hereupon Ekkehard remarks (what he probably learned from Abbot Ulrich himself on his return to St. Gall) that the pope himself "had composed a sequence of the Holy Spirit, namely Veni Sancte Spiritus". The older sequence yielded but gradually to its rival, which was almost universally assigned to one or more days within the octave. The revised Missal of 1570 finally assigned it to Whitsunday and the octave. The revision (1634) under Urban VIII left, it unaltered. Well styled by medieval writers the "Golden Sequence", it has won universal esteem, the reasons for which are set forth by Clichtoveus, who in his "Elucidatorium" considers it "above all praise because of its wondrous sweetness, clarity of style, pleasant brevity combined with wealth of thought (so that every line is a sentence), and finally the constructive grace and elegance displayed in the skilful and apt juxtaposition of contrasting thoughts . Daniel applauds this appreciation. Gihr spends not a little space in his work on the Mass in praise of the hymn, and Julian accords it a careful and appreciative tribute.

Interestingly, Hymn melodies for the whole year from the Sarum service-books prescribes a different sequence for Pentecost: Laudes Deo devotas. A post is in the works about that one, which I don't know and which I need to look into further.

Meanwhile, Full Homely Divinity's Pentecost entry is most definitely worth a read.


Here are links to all the mass propers on the day, from the Benedictines of Brazil:

Dominica Pentecostes ad Missam in die
Introitus:  Spiritus Domini (cum Gloria Patri)(5m07.0s - 4798 kb)  view score
Alleluia: Emitte Spiritum tuum (1m55.4s - 1806 kb)  view score
Alleluia: Veni, Sancte Spiritus (2m02.9s - 1922 kb)  view score
Sequentia: Veni, Sancte Spiritus (2m29.7s - 2341 kb)  view score
Offertorium: Confirma hoc, Deus (1m35.3s - 1491 kb)  view score
Communio: Factus est repente (1m16.3s - 1195 kb)  view score
Ad dimittendum populum: Ite missa est (28.7s - 451 kb)  view score

And here are Chantblog posts on the Pentecost propers:

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