Whitsunday or the Solemnity of Pentecost is a Double of the First Class Feast with a Privileged Octave of the First Order and the Station at St. Peter. Our Lord Jesus Christ, being seated on the right hand of the Father, sent, as He had promised, the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, who, after His Ascension, continued in prayer at Jerusalem, in company with the Blessed Virgin, awaiting the performance of His promise. Let us pray in like manner with the Church: “Come,O Holy Sprit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.” Peter Is the leader around whom gathers the little flock of Sion on this first Christian Pentecost, and he inaugurates today his pontifical primacy when he announces for the first time the Gospel message to the representatives of the various nations, without distinction of race or nationality, of country or State. On this day Christ, risen from the grave and seated at the right hand of the Father, communicates His own divine life to the members of His Mystical Body through the outpouring of the Holy Ghost. So the Church having attained its full development, now first appears before the world. To appreciate the Introit it should be heard with the majestic and joyful melody which the ancient Gregorian music has allotted to it. The Sequence, Veni, Sancte Spiritus, attributed to Innocent III, replaced under St. Pius V an older one of great beauty. This Sequence is repeated daily throughout the Octave.
The Holy Ghost descends in power to vindicate the innocence of Jesus by filling the Church with such surpassing sanctity that it becomes, as it were, a fire prefiguring the final judgment on the enemies of God. The faithful kneel at the Invocation of the Holy Spirit, Who at the last day requires the restoration of the Christian soul to the body which has been His mystical temple.
St Luke, in the Acts, shows us how the promise of Our Lord Jesus Christ is fulfilled: “But if I go I will send Him to you … the Spirit of truth.” St. John tells us that Jesus had foretold to His disciples the coming of the Holy Ghost it was left for the Paraclete to complete the training of the Apostles and to endow them with strength and divine light.
INTROIT Wisdom 1: 7
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. 67: 1) 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 and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Repeat The Spirit of the Lord…
O God, Who on this day didst 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 Our Lord…
LESSON Acts 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 one of our own tongues 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.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. (Ps. 103: 30) Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created, and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth. Alleluia. Here all kneel. V. Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful: and kindle in them the fire of Thy love…
SEQUENCE “Veni Sancte Spiritus”
Come Thou Holy Spirit, come,
And from Thy celestial home Shed a ray of light divine.
Come, Thou Father of the poor,
Come, Thou source of all our store,
Come, within our bosoms shrine,
Thou of Comforters the best,
Thou the soul’s delightful guest,
Sweet refreshment here below.
In our labor rest most sweet,
Pleasant coolness in the heat,
Solace in the midst of woe.
O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of Thine,
And our inmost being fill.
Where Thou art not, man hath nought,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew,
On our dryness pour Thy dew,
Wash the stains of guilt away.
Bend the stubborn heart and will,
Melt the frozen, warm the chill,
Guide the steps that go astray.
On Thy faithful who adore,
And confess Thee evermore,
In Thy sevenfold gifts descend.
Give them virtue’s sure reward,
Give them Thy salvation, Lord,
Give them joys that never end. Amen. Alleluia.
GOSPEL St. John 14: 23-31
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 in 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 unto 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 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 yon’ before it come to pass: that when i 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.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON 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.
Sanctify, O Lord, we beseech Thee, the gifts offered up to Thee and cleanse our hearts by the light of the Holy Spirit. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever.
PREFACE of Pentecost
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: through Christ our Lord. Who, ascending above all the heavens and sitting at Thy right hand, poured out on (this day) the promised Holy Spirit upon the children of adoption. Wherefore the whole world doth rejoice with overflowing joy and the heavenly hosts also and the angelic Powers sing together the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:
Communicating with, and keeping the most holy day of Pentecost, whereon the Holy Ghost appeared to the Apostles in countless tongues and also reverencing the memory, first, of the glorious Mary, ever Virgin, Mother of the same our God and Lord Jesus Christ: as also of the blessed Apostles and Martyrs Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon and Thaddeus: Linus, Cletus, Clement, Xystus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian, and of all Thy Saints, through whose merits and prayers, grant that we may in all things be defended by the help of Thy protection. (He joins his hands.) Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen
We therefore beseech Thee, O Lord, graciously to accept this oblation of our service, as also of Thy whole family, 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, granting them remission of all their sins: and to dispose our days in Thy peace, preserve us from eternal damnation and rank us in the number of Thine Elect. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
COMMUNION ANTIPHON 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.
May the infusion of the Holy Spirit, O Lord, cleanse our hearts, and render them fruitful by the inward sprinkling of His dew. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever.