The Christian celebration of Pentecost is rooted in the Jewish feast celebrating God's gift of the law on Mount Sinai—an event viewed by some as the birth of the Jewish faith. In obedience to that tradition, the remnant of faithful disciples were gathered together. Little did they know they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and that Pentecost would one day also be known as the birthday of the Church. In the same vein, the song of the Church—Gregorian chant—grew up out of its roots in the synagogue, where the Psalms were chanted using similar tunes and some of the same melodic structures we sing today.
The texts for these Gregorian chants for the Feast of Pentecost provide a blend of perspective between the Old and the New Testament and the Holy Spirit’s role from the first days of creation to today. And by the use of different neumes and modes the writers of these chants have musically illuminated the texts, painting an aural picture for us of the Holy Spirit and all of his works.