Veni, Sancte Spiritus

for Children’s Choir, SSATB and Orchestra

Just before the Covid pandemic started in early 2020, I had been asked to write a piece for the Cathedral Cantata Choir and Orchestra that also involved my school choir. Then the pandemic hit and the project was shelved.

Fast forward to the Autumn of 2022, and I was asked if I would resurrect the piece for a concert in May 2023. When I looked at the date of the concert, it was the weekend between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost.

My original plan had been to write something based around what the children had been studying of key figures who had changed the world in their ‘Speak Truth to Power’ work. However, given the date of the performance, I decided to take inspiration from how the coming of the Holy Spirit changed the lives of the apostles – and through them, the world.

I worked with a group of children from the school choir to find out how they would like to make a difference in the world when they grow up. I then tried to match these to the ‘fruits of the Spirit’, as they are identified in St Paul’s letter to the Galatians.

The chorus is based on the traditional prayer ‘Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful’. The verses are intended as a modern ‘Prayer of St Francis’, looking in turn at how we can make a difference to those around us, to the world community and to our planet, reflecting the children’s response to Pope Francis’s ‘Laudato Sii’ message.

The final element is quotations from the Pentecost sequence. Veni, Sancte Spiritus, sung by soloists, sung over a Taizé-style accompaniment by the combined choirs.

The piece as a whole is a joyful celebration of the positive difference that we can make when we channel the Spirit through our lives.

It is dedicated to my son, Tenniel.

The first performance took place at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral on Saturday 20th May at 7.30pm.

Recording of the premiere on Saturday 20th May 2023
The end of verse three/start of the final chorus of ‘Veni, Sancte Spiritus’.

The piece is scored for:

  • 2 Flutes
  • 2 Oboes
  • 2 Clarinets in Bb
  • 2 Bassoons
  • 2 Horns in F
  • 2 Trumpets in Bb
  • Percussion (1 player)
  • Tambourine
  • Children’s Choir
  • SSATB Choir
  • Violin I
  • Violin II
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Double Bass

To contact Mike regarding purchasing, performing or commissioning music for any occasion, email him at:-


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