The Propers of Pentecost

Pentecost Sunday 

Introit The Spirit of the Lord has filled the whole world, alleluia; and that which contains all things has knowledge of the voice, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. Psalm. Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and let them that hate Him flee from before His face. ℣. Glory be to the Father …

Collect O God, who on this day did teach the hearts of Thy faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit: grant unto us, by the same Spirit, to be wise in what is right, and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through … 

Lesson            (Acts 2:1-11) When the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place; and suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because every man heard them speak in his own tongue. And they were all amazed, and wondered, saying: “Behold, are not all these that speak Galileans? And how have we heard every one our own tongue wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews also, and Proselytes, Cretans, and Arabians: we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”

Alleluia           Alleluia, alleluia. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created, and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth. Alleluia. (Here all genuflect.) Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful: and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.

Sequence Come, Holy Spirit! and send from Heaven a ray of Thy light. * Come, Father of the poor! Come, giver of gifts! Come, light of our hearts! * Best of Comforters! The soul’s sweet guest and refreshment! * Her rest in toil; her shelter in heat; her solace in woe! * O most blesséd Light! fill the inmost soul of Thy faithful. * Without your assistance, there is nought in man, there is nought but evil. * Cleanse our defilements; water our dryness; heal our wounds. * Bend our stubborn will; warm up our cold hearts; guide our straying steps. * Give to Thy faithful, who hope in Thee, Thy holy seven gifts. * Give them the merit of virtue; give them the happy issue of salvation; give them endless joy. * Amen. Alleluia.

The Gospel (John 14 :23–31) At that time Jesus said to His disciples: If any one loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and will make Our abode in him: he that loves Me not, keeps not My words. The word which you have heard is not Mine; but the Father’s who sent Me. These things have I spoken to you, abiding with you. But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My Name, will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, which I have said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you: not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. You have heard that I said to you: I go away, and I come unto you. If you loved Me, you would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father: for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass: that when it shall come to pass you may believe. I will not now speak many things with you, for the prince of this world comes, and in Me he has not any thing. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father has given Me commandment, so do I.

Offertory        Confirm, O God, what Thou have wrought in us. From Your temple in Jerusalem kings shall offer presents to You, alleluia

The Secret      Sanctify, O Lord, we beseech You, the gifts we offer You; and cleanse our hearts by the light of the Holy Spirit. Through our Lord…

Communion  Suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming where they were sitting, alleluia: and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking the wonderful works of God, alleluia, alleluia.

Postcommunion        May the infusion of the Holy Spirit, O Lord, cleanse our hearts, and render them fruitful by the inward sprinkling of His dew. Through our Lord …


“The Golden Sequence”, Veni, Sancte Spiritus

This anonymous hymn is at least eight hundred years old. It is one of the four great “sequences” which were retained in the Latin liturgy, when most of the sequences were omitted. There is an indulgence for all who recite it on Pentecost Sunday.

It is a most beautiful hymn, and repays careful and meditative reading. In particular, the lines where the Holy Ghost is invited to right all deviations and cure all ills, is full of consolation and hope. We may not see it in our days, in its fullness, but we see and touch the promise in Holy Communion and the Sacraments. The Holy Ghost is described – not in this sequence but elsewhere – as “the soul of the soul.” the innermost part of the immortal part of us, God lives inside us, in a manner which we can love, respect and revere, but not understand.

Let us relate the Holy Spirit to baptism: John the Baptist said: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on Him. And I myself did not know Him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me: “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.” I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.” (John 1:32b-35) Note the element of mutuality: the Spirit came down from heaven (showing that He is divine) and rested upon the Lord, and He (the Lord) will baptise with the Spirit. They are two different persons, but their work is united. Later, Our Lord states:

… No one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying: “You must be born again.” The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3:5b-8)

This is further confirmation that the Holy Ghost is associated with baptism and the regeneration which baptism brings. Our Lord commanded that baptism be observed as the first of the sacraments, the gateway to all the others, and it is the Holy Ghost who operates in the sacrament.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *