06 June 2011

Sancti Spiritus adsit nobis gratia

Here is my translation of the alternate Sequence for Holy Whitsunday, “Sancti Spiritus adsit nobis gratia,” according to the version found in Lossius’ Psalmodia (1579). Note all the musical lines repeat except 1, 13, and 14.

* For comparison, here is a metrical couplet paraphrase of the original.

MAY THE GRACE of the Holy
Ghost be with us now.

2a. May He our hearts re-fashion
as His own holy dwelling-place.
2b. Expelling from them every
spiritu’l vice and wickedness.

3a. Nourishing Spirit,
all mankind’s Enlightener!
3b. Purge from our senses
all shades of obscurity,

4a. O holy Lover of the prudent,
ever keep us in Thy care;
4b. Pour out Thy gracious unction on us,
with it fill our heart and mind.

5a. Thou Cleanser, who makest pure every
shameful and gross impurity,
5b. O Spirit, now cleanse and purify
of blindess man’s interior eye.

6a. Let our Lord and Creator
Show Himself to us evermore,
6b. Who is visible only
Unto the eye of the pure in heart.

7a. Thou didst inspire the true Prophets
To proclaim the Messiah,
And His Gospel all-glorious.
7b. Thou didst inspire the Apostles
Christ’s own banner to carry
To the earth’s farthest boundaries.

8a. When by His Word of pow'r God created
Heaven, earth, and sea in wondrous symmetry,
8b. Thou o’er the waters, O Spirit, hov’ring,
Scatteredst abroad Thy breath of godliness.

9a. Thou by enriching waters dost quicken
souls of men again.
9b. Thou by Thine exhalation dost render
mankind spiritu’l.

10a. Thou, Lord, hast reunited
men once divided
In their rites and languages.
10b. Calling, O Best of Masters,
Back the idolater
To Thy worship orthodox.

11a. Wherefore, O Holy Spirit,
be Thou propitious ,
and hear us, Thy humble supplicants,
11b. For without Thee our every
prayer is empty
and odious in the ears of God.

12a. Thou, O Spirit, who by th’ embracing impulse
Of Thy breath hast filled with wisdom
The saints of every age in history,
12b. Who this day didst endow Christ’s own Apostles
With a gift unknown and unheard of,
For which the past could find no precedent:

13. Thus didst Thou
Make this day so glorious.

14. May the grace of the Holy 
Ghost be with us now.

Translation © Matthew Carver, 2011

1. Sancti Spiritus adsit
nobis gratia:

2. Qui [< Quae…] corda nostra sibi
faciat habitaculum.
Expulsis inde cunctis
vitiis spiritabilis,

3. Spiritus alme
Illustrator hominum,
Horridas nostrae
mentis purga tenebras,

4. Amator sancte sensatorum,
semper cogitatuum.
Infunde unctionem tuam
clemens nostris sensibus.

5. Tu purificator omnium
flagitiorum Spiritus.
Purifica nostri oculum
interioris hominis.

6. Ut videri supremus
Genitor possit a nobis.
Mundi cordis quem soli
cernere possunt oculi.

7. Prophetas tu inspirasti,
ut praeconia Christi
praecinuissent inclyta.
Apostolos confortasti,
uti trophaeum Christi
per totum mundum veherent.

8. Quando machinam per verbum suum
fecit Deus coeli, terrae, marium.
Tu super aquas foturus eas,
numen tuum expandisti Spiritus.

9. Tu animabus vivificandis
aquas foecundas.
Tu aspirando das spiritales
esse homines.

10. Tu divisum per linguas
mundum et ritus
adunisti [= adunasti…] , Domine.
Idolatras ad cultum
Dei revocas
Magistrorum optime.

11. Ergo nos supplicantes
tibi exaudi propitius sancte Spiritus.
Sine quo preces omnes
cassae creduntur
et indignae Dei auribus.

12. Tu qui omnium saeculorum sanctos,
Tui numinis, docuisti
instinctu amplectendo, Spiritus.
Ipse hodie Apostolos Christi
donans munere insolito
et cunctis inaudito seculis.

13. Hunc diem
gloriosum fecisti.

14. Sancti Spiritus adsit
nobis gratia.


Rev. Joshua Hayes said...


I'm thrilled that you're doing more Latin translations now AND providing the music as well. Keep up the good work!

Walter said...

Thanks for tackling this Matt.
Julian has an 'entry' on this (p.993?) but no hymnal (except the obscure high church Hymnary 1872 #332)would carry it. there is a lot of 'doctrine' & typology that would make a person's head spin. Too bad. I'll be studying your translation more deeply. Walter