The Veni Creator Spiritus, or "Come Creator Spirit" in English, is a Gregorian hymn composed in the ninth century. The structure in seven quatrains is probably a reference to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit which are wisdom, counsel, fortitude, fear of God, piety, knowledge and understanding. This liturgical chant of the latin rite was translated into English: there are many translations, but below is the one used in the USA for Vespers, among other ceremonies. It is chanted by Catholics as well as by most of the other Christian churches and has been taken up again by many composers. It is probably the most famous prayer to the Holy Spirit.
“Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest,
And in our souls take up Thy rest;
Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid,
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made
O Comforter to Thee we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O Fount of life and Fire of Love,
And sweet anointing from above.
Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;
Thou, finger of God’s hand we own;
Thou, promise of the Father,
Thou Who dost the tongue with power imbue.
Kindle our sense from above,
And make our hearts overflow with love;
With patience firm and virtue high
The weakness of our flesh supply.
Far from us drive the foe we dread,
And grant us Thy peace instead;
So shall we not, with Thee for guide,
Turn from the path of life aside.
Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
The Father and the Son to know;
And Thee, through endless times confessed,
Of both the eternal Spirit blest.
Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
With thou, O Holy Comforter,
Henceforth by all in earth and heaven. Amen.
“Veni, creator Spiritus,
Mentes tuorum visita,
Imple superna gratia
Quae tu creasti pectora.
Qui diceris Paraclitus,
Altissimi donum Dei,
Fons vivus, ignis, caritas
Et spiritalis unctio.
Tu septiformis munere,
Digitus paternae dexterae,
Tu rite promissum Patris,
Sermone ditans guttura.
Accende lumen sensibus,
Infunde amorem cordibus,
Infirma nostri corporis
Virtute firmans perpeti.
Hostem repellas longius
Pacemque dones protinus;
Ductore sic te praevio
Vitemus omne noxium.
Per te sciamus da Patrem,
Noscamus atque Filium;
Teque utriusque Spiritum
Credamus omni tempore.
Deo Patri sit gloria,
Et Filio, qui a mortuis
Surrexit, ac Paraclito
In saeculorum saecula.
In order to live from the Presence of God and to manifest His action, it is fundamental to welcome the Holy Spirit. Indeed, just before his Ascension, Jesus promised to his disciples that they will receive “the power of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:8). We too, need the Holy Spirit and He is not only sent on the day of our baptism, but his Presence in our hearts can be renewed each day if we take the time to invoke Him.
There is no rule about prayer to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is alive, spontaneous, surprising, he is the living water, the ardent fire, the light breeze… Let us not hesitate to call on Him spontaneously and even to offer him an impulse of our loving heart without any particular words. However, if it helps us, we can also address Him with a recited prayer: The Veni Creator Spiritus, or also the Veni Sancte Spiritus, the prayers of the Cardinals Verdier or Mercier or that of John Paul II.