Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pentecost Sequence: what did you hear? What do you prefer?

Once a year on this Solemnity, you hear--at the Sunday Mass only--the Sequence for Pentecost. "Veni Sante Spiritus" in Latin; "Come, Holy Spirit, Come" in English.

Did you hear it? Was it sung or recited? English or Latin?

We recited it at 7 and 9, I don't know what the musicians at 10:30 and Noon did.

Regardless of what you heard, I invite you to compare and contrast.

First, here is an English version using the same chant notation as the original Latin:

Then, here is another English version that seems to use the same English text, but to a metric tune:

Finally, here is the Latin chant:

Admittedly, the aesthetic quality of each is not comparable. I did look for the best available English versions, and I also looked for a parish-based Latin version.

Let me know what you prefer, and why.

If you feel strongly, please feel free to express that.


Anonymous said...

The choir had failed to prepare the Sequence, so 5 minutes prior to Mass, Father asked me (the Lector) to recite it, with the congregation responding - alternating lines. It was OK, but my preference would have been: chanted in Latin (but that's not going to happen here!). I would have been happy to have recited it in Latin, with some advance preparation. Unfortunately, this parish has an aversion to Latin!

Jordan Henderson said...


When I read the title of, at leas the first sentence, I couldn't help but think of the reading. How the Jews in Jerusalem from all over heard the Gospel being preached in their own languages.

A priest once told us in a Homily that people have come up to him after Mass and thanked him for saying something in the Homily that he knows he didn't say and another priest who was concelebrating (? he was present, not sure if they concelebrated now) nodded in confirmation that this had happened to him.

Have you ever had this happen Fr. Fox?

Fr Martin Fox said...


Yes, I have had that happen!

Patrick said...

Our parish always uses an OCP musical adaptation to Ode to Joy...not my favorite, by any stretch, but at least it was sung, and I can "get" how they want a familiar tune...

Jordan Henderson said...

I prefer the Latin one. It's beautiful and dignified. The first, I couldn't understand it even though it was English and the second was not dignified enough for me.

I think those assisting need to be impressed with the special nature of Pentecost. It occurred to me that Pentecost is, I believe, the 2nd most important Sunday on the Calendar. We often pull out all the stops for Easter, I'd like to see more done for Pentecost.