English Setting of Veni, Sancte Spiritus | Pentecost Sequence

ENI, SANCTE SPIRITUS, the Sequence for Pentecost Sunday is one of the great jewels of the Roman Rite. The Gregorian Chant is exquisite. The text alone is a treasure—short, simple, profound, and transcendent.

The text reminds us of the Holy Spirit’s protection and comfort. The text reminds us of God’s infinite mercy and forgiveness. We are also called to inward transformation, forgiveness, and compassion: “Bend the stubborn heart and will. Melt the frozen. Warm the chill. Guide the steps that go astray.”

This setting uses the translation by Edward Caswall from the Lyra Catholica. Cas­wall was or­dained an An­gli­can priest in 1839 and later was a convert to Roman Catholicism. His translations are known for his adherence to Roman Catholic Doctrine, faithfulness to the original text, and pure poetic rhythm. He is also cited for his translations of the Roman Breviary, published in the Lyrica Catholica. (London, 1849)

Free Download:
PDF • “Sequence for Pentecost Sunday | Veni, Sancte Spiritus” | for Schola, Organ or Piano
Includes separate versions for organ or piano and with optional lower key

COMPOSED THIS SETTING APPROXIMATELY TWENTY years ago or more, perhaps in 1992. I’m not sure. I wrote the piece for tenor Mark Donohoe, a superlative cantor who possesses clarity of diction, humility, and prayerful expression, (and a heart of gold.) Also effective for a schola, this setting has been unusually popular, hopefully reverent, and somewhat worthy of the extraordinary sacred text.


Finally, for future reference, or a last minute opportunity for the Vigil for Pentecost and Pentecost Sunday:
Free Download:
PDF • “Easter Season Communion Propers, Years ABC”
(for Schola, Organ, SATB)

Richard J. Clark on “Sounds from the Spires” with Dr. Jennifer Pascual – Podcast

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Jennifer Pascual, Director of Music for Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City on SIRIUS XM 129 Radio, The Catholic Channel. Dr. Pascual is an incredibly down to earth and welcoming host!

Listen here to the interview on 9.24.2012:

The following pieces are featured on the program:

I am deeply grateful to my amazing volunteers and supportive colleagues without whom I am nothing!
Special Thanks to recording engineer Evan Landry