Dear People of God of the Southwest California Synod,

“Come, Holy Spirit” is one of the church’s many ancient prayers, prayed originally in Latin, Veni, Sancte Spiritus, Come Holy Spirit. A hymn of ten verses from the thirteenth century begins with the words “Come, Holy Spirit, send forth the heavenly ray of your light.” In that hymn, still sung today on the Festival of Pentecost in some faith communities, the Holy Spirit is given many attributes, such as “father of the poor, giver of gifts, light of hearts, greatest of comforters, guest of the soul, sweet consolation, rest in our labors, shadow from the heat, comfort in adversity, blessed light.” In 1768, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart crafted that hymn into his classical composition with the same Latin title, Veni, Sancte Spiritus, helping the church to pray to the Spirit with mixed choral voices and orchestration with oboes, horns, trumpets, timpani, strings, and organ. More recently, the monastic Taizé Community in France gave us this ancient hymn in a newer and now well-known form that invites us to pray again and again for the Holy Spirit to be with us, Veni, Sancte Spiritus.

Martin Luther offered the explanation to the Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed. I believe in the Holy Spirit… What does this mean? I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way the Spirit calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus. Come Holy Spirit as you gather the Southwest California Synod just two weeks after Pentecost in its Assembly. Come Holy Spirit as you and the SWCA Synod call its next pastor as their Bishop two weeks from today. Come Holy Spirit as this Synod also elects more than 30 people that you are calling to serve in a variety of leadership capacities within this Synod. Come Holy Spirit, enlighten us as we assemble in your holy name that we may cast our votes, elect our leaders, adopt budgets, and conduct the business of your church with faithfulness and with your leading. Come Holy Spirit, sanctify (set us apart for a sacred purpose) your whole Church and this part of it, the SWCA Synod, to be your beloved people offering your grace and love and peace as our witness one to another and to the world around us.
Veni, Sancte Spiritus.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus (Taizé)
Come Holy Spirit, from heaven shine forth with your glorious light.
 Veni, Sancte Spiritus.
Come, Father of the poor, come generous Spirit, come light of our hearts.
Veni Sancte Spiritus.
Come from the four winds, O Spirit; come breath of God;
Disperse the shadows over us, renew and strengthen your people.
Veni, Sancte Spiritus.
Father of the poor, come to our poverty.
Shower upon us the seven gifts of your grace. Be the light of our lives.
Veni, Sancte Spiritus.
You are our only comforter, peace of the soul.
 In the heat you shade us; In our labor you refresh us, and in trouble you are our strength.
Veni, Sancte Spiritus.
Kindle in our hearts the flame of your love,
that in the darkness of the world it may glow and reach to all forever.
Veni, Sancte Spiritus.
Veni Sancte Spiritus: Text: Pentecost sequence; Taizé Community Music
TAIZĒ VENI SANCTE, Janques Berthier, 1923-1994.
Text and music © 1978, 1980, 1981 Les Presses de Taizé,
GIA Publications, Inc., agent, 7404 S. Mason Ave., Chicago, IL 60638 All rights reserved. Use by permission.

Bishop Murray D. Finck (Interim)
Southwest California Synod of the ELCA | (818) 507-9591 | |