An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Veni Creator Spiritus

The opening line of a medieval Latin hymn, “Come, Creator Spirit,” usually ascribed to Rabanus Maurus (776-856). It appears in The Hymnal 1982 in three different translations (Hymns 500-504). It was used in the middle ages as an office hymn at terce on Pentecost. It was later used in the Sarum ordination rites, and it passed from the Sarum rites into the Anglican Ordinal. It appeared in the first Ordinal of 1550 in a translation by Thomas Cranmer, “Come holy ghost eternall god Proceeding from above.” This was superseded in 1662 by John Cosin's translation, “Come, Holy Ghost our souls inspire.” In 1928 the American Prayer book replaced Cranmer's translation with one from Hymns Ancient and Modern by Edward Caswell. The 1979 BCP does not contain a text, but it requires either the hymn Veni Creator Spiritus or the hymn Veni Sancte Spiritus before the prayer of consecration and laying on of hands in the ordination of bishops, priests, and deacons (pp. 520, 533, 544). In this position the hymn is an invocation of the Holy Spirit by the assembly. In addition to Cosin's translation (Hymns 503, 504), The Hymnal 1982 contains John Dryden's “Creator Spirit, by whose aid” (Hymn 500) and John Webster Grant's “O Holy Spirit, by whose breath” (Hymns 501-502). See Veni Sancte Spiritus.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.