April marks the 100th year celebration of the Azusa Street Revival. The Azusa Street Centennial is currently underway in Los Angeles commemorating the revival movement that has grown from a few hundred people to nearly 600 million. Azusa marks the beginning of the Pentecostal movement which has produced countless denominations, movements, mission organizations, churches, ministries and interchurch networks. It is truly the greatest spiritual movement in the modern church.
To celebrate the 100th year anniversary of Azusa our church is going through “21 Days of the Spirit”—a three week spiritual growth campaign where we focus on who the Spirit is, what he does and how we can walk in relationship with him. In preparation for this three-week journey I have been meditating on the Veni Creator Spiritus, a ninth century Latin hymn that is a part of Catholic and protestant worship. It is a prayer written to the Holy Spirit that is sung in Catholic worship on Pentecost Sunday and on other occasions. It is a great biblical description of the Holy Spirit. Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa has written a wonderful book (Come, Creator Spirit) about the Holy Spirit which uses the Veni Creator as a guide to explore the person and work of the Holy Spirit. (Click here to listen to a group of Benedictine monks chanting Veni Creator Spiritus in Latin.) Here is Fr. Cantalamessa’s translation of the hymn…let it guide you in your own journey of experiencing the depths of the Holy Spirit.
Come Creator Spirit
Translated by Denis and Marlene Barrett
Come, Creator Spirit
visit the minds of those who are yours
fill with heavenly grace
the hearts that you have made.
You who are named the Paraclete
gift of God most high
living fountain, fire, love
and anointing for the soul.
You are sevenfold in your gifts,
you are finger of God’s right hand,
you, the Father’s solemn promise
putting words upon our lips.
Kindle a light in our senses,
pour love into our hearts,
infirmities of this body of ours
overcoming with strength secure.
The enemy drive from us away,
peace then give without delay;
with you as guide to lead the way
we avoid all cause of harm.
Grant we may know the Father through you,
and come to know the Son as well,
and may we always cling in faith
to you, the Spirit of them both.