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Be this our firm unchanging creed
Posted By Eric Sammons On June 4, 2009 @ 7:34 am In Eastern Christianity,Ecumenism | Comments Disabled
Yesterday, the Holy Father honored St. Rabanus Maurus , a monk who lived in the eighth and ninth centuries, calling him “an exegete, philosopher, poet, pastor and man of God.”
St. Rabanus is perhaps best known for writing the hymn “Veni creator Spiritus,” which my parish sang this past Sunday for the Feast of Pentecost. One of the verses of this hymn always amuses me:
O Holy Ghost,
Through thee alone,
Know we the Father and the Son;
Be this our firm unchanging creed,
That thou dost from them both proceed,
That thou dost from them both proceed.
For those familiar with the filioque controversy , this verse is a clear defense of the Western doctrine of the dual procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son (instead of the Eastern doctrine that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father). I tried to do some research as to the origin of this verse, but I could find nothing. In fact, most places I found that had the lyrics to “Veni creator Spiritus” did not include this verse (perhaps it has been scrubbed due to ecumenical sensitivities?). St. Rabanus did live during the time when this controversy was developing, but I’m unsure if this verse was actually written by him, and if so, was it simply to ingrain the recently added filioque in the minds of the faithful, or was it in response to Eastern attacks against the new creed? If anyone out there knows, drop me a line via email or in the comments.
To be honest, although I’m sensitive to the Eastern view in this matter, I have to admit I just enjoy seeing meaty doctrine in a hymn, instead of all-too-typical lyrics praising “How Great We Art”.
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URL to article: http://ericsammons.com/blog/2009/06/04/be-this-our-firm-unchanging-creed/
URLs in this post:
 Holy Father honored St. Rabanus Maurus: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=16181
 filioque controversy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filioque
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