SOLEMNITY OF PENTECOST
STATION AT ST. PETER’S
(Indulgence of 30 years and 30 quarantines)
Double of the First Class
Missa ‘Spiritus Domini’
The Glorious Feast of Pentecost
Taken from St. Andrew Daily Missal – 1945
Our Lord laid the foundations of His Church during His public life, and after His resurrection He gave it the powers necessary for its mission. It was by the Holy Ghost that the apostles were to be trained and endued with strength from on High (Gospel). At Pentecost we celebrate the first manifestation of the Holy Ghost among our Lord’s disciples and the foundation of the Church itself.
We read in the Gospel that our Lord foretold the coming of the Paraclete to His disciples and the Epistle shows us the realization of that promise. It was at the third hour of the day (Terce, nine o’clock a. m.) that the Spirit of God descended upon the Cenacle and a mighty wind which blew suddenly upon the house, together with the appearance of tongues of fire within, were the wonderful tokens of His coming. Taught by the “light of Thy Holy Ghost” (Collect), and filled by the gifts of the same Spirit poured out upon them (Sequence), the apostles become new men to go forth and renew the whole world (Introit). It is at High Mass, at the third hour, that we also receive the Holy Ghost whom our Lord “going up above all the heavens, on this day sent down…on the children of adoption” (Preface); for each of the mysteries of the cycle brings forth its fruits of grace in our souls on the day which the Church keeps as its anniversary.
Almighty God, in making known to us that His one divine Nature is possessed by three distinct Persons, reveals to us something of His own interior life. Let us, with the Church, say to the Holy Ghost, “Come, O Holy Ghost, and fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love” (Alleluia).
Commentary taken from the Liturgical year
By Ven. Abbot Dom Guéranger, O.S.B.
The Holy Sacrifice is now to be celebrated. Filled with the Holy Ghost, the Church is about to pay the solemn tribute of her gratitude, by offering the divine Victim, who, by his immolation, merited for us the great Gift, the Spirit. The Introit has been begun by the Choir, and with an unusual joy and enthusiasm. The Gregorian Chant has few finer pieces than this. As to the words, they give us a prophecy, which receives its fulfillment today: it is taken from the Book of Wisdom. The holy Spirit fills the whole earth with his presence; and as a pledge of his being with us, he gives to the Apostles the gift of tongues.
INTROITUS – Wisdom1: 7
Spiritus Domini replevit orbem terrarum, alleluia: et hoc quod continet omnia, scientiam habet vocis. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Ps. Exsurgat Deus, et dissipentur inimici ejus: et fugiant qui oderunt eum a facie ejus. V. Gloria Patri. Spiritus Domini.
The Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole world, alleluia; and that which containeth all things hath knowledge of the voice. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Ps. Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and let them that hate Him flee from before His face. V. Glory be to the Father.
The Collect tells us what favours we should petition for from our Heavenly Father on such a day as this. It also tells us, that the Holy Ghost brings us two principal graces: a relish for the things of God, and consolation of heart. Let us pray that we may receive both the one and the other, that we may thus become perfect Christians.
Deus, qui hodiérna die corda fidélium Sancti Spíritus illustratióne docuísti: da nobis in eódem Spíritu recta sápere; et de ejus semper consolatióne gaudére. Per Dóminum.
O God, who, by the light of the Holy Ghost, didst this day instruct the hearts of the faithful: grant that, by the same Spirit, we may relish what is right, and ever rejoice in his consolation. Through our Lord.
EPISTLE – Acts of the Apostles 2: 1-11
Lesson from the Acts of the Apostles.
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 that 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 man 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 Lybia about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews also, and Proselytes, Cretes and Arabians; we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.
Four great events mark the sojourn of man on earth; and each of them is a proof of God’s infinite goodness towards us. The first is the Creation of man and his Vocation to a supernatural state, which gives him, as his last end, the eternal vision and possession of God. The second is the Incarnation of the Divine Word, who, by uniting the Human to the Divine Nature, raises a created being to a participation of the Divinity, and, at the same time, provides the Victim needed for redeeming Adam and his race from the state of perdition into which they fell by sin. The third event is that which we celebrate today, the Descent of the Holy Ghost. The fourth is the Second Coming of the Son of God, when he will free his spouse, the Church, from the shackles of mortality, and lead her to heaven, there to celebrate his eternal nuptials with her. In these four divine acts, the last of which has not yet been accomplished, is included the whole history of mankind; all other events bear, more or less, upon them. Of course, the animal man perceiveth not these things; he never gives them a thought. The light shineth in darkness, and darkness doth not comprehend it.
Blessed, then, be the God of mercy, who hath called us out of darkness, into his marvellous light, the light of Faith! He has made us children of that generation, which is not of flesh, nor of blood, nor of the will of man, but of God. It is by this grace, that we are now all attention to the third of God’s great works, the Descent of the Holy Ghost. We have been listening to the thrilling account given us of his coming. That mysterious storm, that fire, those tongues, that sacred enthusiasm of the Disciples, have told us so much of God’s plans upon this our world! We could not but say within ourselves: “Has God loved the world so much as this? When our Redeemer was living with us on the earth, he said to one of his disciples: God hath so loved the world, as to give it his Only Begotten Son. The mystery achieved to-day forces us to complete these words, and say: “The Father and the Son have so loved the world, as to give it their own Divine Spirit!” Let us gratefully accept the Gift, and learn what Man is. Rationalism and Naturalism will have it that man’s true happiness consists in his following their principles, which are principles of pride and sensuality: Faith, on the contrary, teaches us humility and mortification, and these bring us to union with our Infinite Good.
The first Alleluia- Versicle is formed from the words of one of the Psalms, where David shows us the Holy Ghost as the Author of a new creation; as the renewer of the earth. The second is the fervent prayer, whereby the Church invokes the Spirit of Love upon her Children: it is always said kneeling.
FIRST ALLELUIA – Psalm 103: 30
Alleluia, alleluia. V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created, and Thou shalt renew the face of earth.
Alleluia. V. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful: and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.
Then is immediately added the Sequence. It was composed about the end of the 12th Century; its authorship has been ascribed, and not without reasonable probability, to the great Pope Innocent the Third. It is a hymn of exquisite beauty, and is replete with tenderest love for Him who is co-equal God with the Father and the Son, and is now about to establish his empire in our hearts.
Veni Sancte Spiritus
Come, O Holy Spirit! And send from heaven a ray of thy Light. Come, Father of the poor! Come, Giver of gifts! Come, thou Light of our hearts! Thou best of Comforters! The soul’s sweet Guest and Refreshment! Her rest in toil: her shelter in heat; her solace in her woe! O most blessed Light! fill the inmost soul of thy faithful. Without thy divine 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 of Gifts. Give them the merit of virtue; give them the happy issue of salvation; give them endless joy. Amen. Alleluia.
GOSPEL – John 14: 23-31
Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. John.
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him: he that loveth me not, keepeth not my words. And 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, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. You have heard that I have said to you: I go away, and I come again to you. If you loved me, you would indeed be glad, because I go 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 cometh, and in me he hath not any thing. But that the world may know that I love the Father: and as the Father hath given me commandment, so do I.
The coming of the Holy Ghost is not only an event, which concerns mankind at large: each individual of the human race is invited to receive this same visit, which today renews the face of the earth. The merciful design of the sovereign Lord of all things is to contract a close alliance with each one of us. Jesus asks but one thing of us: that we love him and keep his word. If we do this, he promises us, that the Father will love us, and will take up his abode in our soul. He tells us that the Holy Ghost is to come; and he is coming that he may, by his presence, complete the habitation of God within us. The sacred Trinity will turn this poor dwelling into a new heaven, until such time as we shall be taken, after this life, to the abode where we shall see our infinitely dear Guest, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, whose love of us is so incomprehensibly great.
In this same passage of the Gospel, which is taken from his Sermon at the Last Supper, Jesus teaches us, that the Holy Spirit, who this day descends upon us, is sent, indeed, by the Father, but sent in the name of the Son. A little further on, in the same Sermon, Jesus says that it is he himself who sends the Paraclete. These modes of expression show us the relations which exist, in the Trinity, between the first two Persons and the Holy Ghost. This divine Spirit is the Spirit of the Father, but he is also the Spirit of the Son; it is the Father who sends him, but the Son also sends him; for he proceeds from the Two as from one principle. On this great day of Pentecost, our gratitude should, therefore, be the same to the Son who is Wisdom, as to the Father who is Power; for the Gift that is sent to us from heaven, comes from both. From all eternity, the Father has begotten his Son; and, when the fullness of time came, he gave him to men, that he might assume our human nature, and be our Mediator and Saviour. From all eternity, the Father and Son have produced the Holy Ghost; and, when the time marked in the divine decree came, they sent him here upon our earth, that he might be to us, as he is between the Father and the Son, the principle of Love. Jesus teaches us, that the mission of the Holy Ghost followed his own, because men required to be initiated into truth by Him who is Wisdom; for, how could they love what they did not know? But, no sooner had Jesus consummated his work, and exalted his Human Nature to the throne of God his Father, than he, together with the Father, sends the Holy Ghost, in order that he may maintain within us that word which is spirit and life, and leads us on to Love.
The Offertory is taken from the 67th Psalm, where David foretells the coming of the Divine Spirit, whose mission it is to confirm what Jesus has wrought. The Cenacle is grander than the Temple of Jerusalem. Henceforth, the Church is to take the place of the Synagogue, and Kings and people will become her submissive children.
OFFERTORY – Psalm 67: 29-30
Confirm, O God, what Thou hast wrought in us; from Thy temple, which is in Jerusalem, kings shall offer presents to Thee. Alleluia.
Having before her, on the Altar, the sacred gifts which have been presented to the Divine Majesty, the Church prays, in the Secret, that the coming of the Holy Ghost may be to the Faithful a Fire which may consume all their dross, and a Light which may give them a more perfect understanding of the teachings of the Son of God.
Sanctify, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gifts which we offer Thee, and cleanse our hearts by the light of the Holy Ghost. Through our Lord.
PREFACE OF PENTECOST
It is truly meet and just, right and available to salvation, that we should always and in all places give thanks to thee, O holy Lord, Father Al mighty, eternal God, through Christ our Lord: who ascending above all the heavens, and sitting at thy right hand, sent down the promised Holy Spirit, this day, upon the children of adoption. Where fore the whole world displays its exceeding great joy. The heavenly Virtues, also, and the angelic Powers, sing in concert a hymn to thy glory, saying unceasingly:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus…
In communion with, and keeping the most holy day of Pentecost, whereon the Holy Ghost appeared to the Apostles in countless tongues; venerating also in the first place the memory of the glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, our Lord and God.
This oblation, therefore, of our bounden duty and that of Thy whole family we beseech Thee, O Lord, graciously to accept, which we make unto Thee on behalf of these whom Thou hast vouchsafed to bring to a new birth by water and the Holy Ghost, giving them remission of all their sins; and to order our days.
The words of the Communion-Anthem are from the Epistle; they celebrate the solemn moment of the Descent of the Holy Ghost. Jesus has given himself to the Faithful in the Blessed Sacrament: but it was the Holy Spirit who prepared them for such a favour; who changed the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of the Divine Victim; and who will assist the Faithful to co-operate with the grace of this holy Communion, which nourishes and strengthens their souls unto life everlasting.
COMMUNION – Acts 2: 2, 4
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.
Put, by the sacred mysteries, in possession of her Spouse, the Church prays, in the Post-Communion, that the Holy Ghost may abide for ever in our souls. She also speaks of that prerogative of the Divine Spirit, whereby he turns our hearts, from being dry and barren of good, into very Edens of fruitfulness. How consoling the thought, that our hearts are to be sprinkled with the dew of the Paraclete!
May the outpouring of the Holy Ghost purify our hearts, O Lord, and by the inward sprinkling of His heavenly dew may they be made fruitful. Through our Lord.