• Brian Chapple
  • Veni Sancte Spiritus

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Choral parts for sale

  • 0022/0230/timp/str
  • double SATB
  • 8 min

Programme Note


In the Roman Church, Veni, Sancte Spiritus is the sequence, or hymn, for Whit Sunday. It has been attributed to Pope Innocent III at the end of the twelfth century.

Melodically, the work is based exclusively on the opening soprano phrase and variants of it. At 'Sine tuo numine', the tenors take over this material while the harmonic background becomes less dissonant and more overtly tonal.

The three broad phrases of the verse' Da tuis fidelibus' mark the centre point of the work, characterised by a pause on a B flat dominant 7th chord. During the course of the slow final verse the canonic eight-part writing gradually disperses until the music cares to rest on an octave G Amen.

This short setting was written in 1974 for double choir and organ; the orchestrated version of the organ part was made in 1977 for the first performance given by the London Oriana Choir with the English Baroque orchestra conducted by Leon Lovett. This took place on 8 July 1977 at the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields. Veni Sancte Spiritus is dedicated to my wife, Janet.

Veni, sancta Spiritus, Come, O holy Spirit,
Et emitte caelitus And send from heaven
Lucis tue radium The rays of your light.

Veni, pater pauperum, Come, father of the poor,
Veni, dator munerum, Come, give of the gifts,
Veni, lumen cordium. Come, light of our hearts.

Consulator optime, O best of consolers,
Dulcis hopses animae, Welcome guest of souls,
Dulce refrigerium. Sweetly refresh us.

In labore requies, In work grant repose,
In estu temperies, In the heat of the sun relief,
In fletu solatium. In mourning solace.

Sine tuo numine, Without your bidding
Nihil est in lumine, Nothing is illumined,
Nihil est innoxium. Nothing free from harm.

Lava quod est sordidum, Cleanse whatever is foul;
Riga quod est aridum, Quench whatever is dry;
Sana quod est saucium. Heal whatever is hurt.

Flecte quod est rigidum, Bend whatever is unbending;
Fove quod est frigidum, Warm whatever is chill;
Rege quod est devium. Guide whatever is erring.

O lux beatissima, O most blessed light,
Reple cordis intima Fill the inmost hearts
Tuorum fidelium. Of your faithful people.

Da tuis fidelibus Give your faithful people
In te confidentibus, Who trust in you
Sacrum septenarium. Your sevenfold graces.

Da virtutis meritum, Give virtue its reward;
Da salutis exitum, Save us at life’s end;
Da perenne gaudium. Grant us joy everlasting.

Amen Amen