Te Deum

\Te Deum is a hymn of praise of uncertain authorship. Some scholars have suggested that the hymn is the merger of two (or more) earlier hymns: one to the Christian God, another to God the Son in particular. Under this schema, the second begins with the phrase Tu rex gloriae, Christe. It is known that the petitions at the end of the hymn are of later composition.

The hymn remains in regular use by the Roman Catholic Church, in the Office of Readings found in the Liturgy of the Hours, and for special occasions such as the canonization of a saint. The popularity of its sentiment has given rise to its translation into languages other than the original Latin; an example in contemporary English usage would be Holy God, we praise Thy Name. Many Protestant churches have retained its use.

The hymn follows the outline of the Apostles' Creed, mixing a poetic vision of the heavenly liturgy with its declaration of faith. Naming God immediately, the hymn proceeds to name all those who praise and venerate God, from the hierarchy of heavenly creatures to those Christian faithful already in heaven to the Church spread throughout the world. The hymn then returns to its creedal formula, naming Christ and recalling his birth, suffering, and glorification. At this point the hymn turns to the subjects declaiming the praise, both the Church in general and the singer in particular, asking for mercy on past sins, protection from future sin, and the hoped-for reunification with the elect.

The text has been set to music by a number of classical composers, with those settings by Anton Bruckner, Hector Berlioz and Antonin Dvorak among the better known. The prelude to Marc-Antoine Charpentier's setting for five voices, chorus and orchestra is well known in Europe on account of it being used as the theme music for the Eurovision Song Contest.

Latin text and English translation

Te Deum laudamus:                         We praise you, God:
te Dominum confitemur.                    we acknowledge you as Lord.
Te aeternum patrem,                       All the earth venerates you
omnis terra veneratur.                    as the eternal father.

Tibi omnes angeli, To you all the angels, tibi caeli et universae potestates: and to you all the heavenly powers: tibi cherubim et seraphim, to you the cherubim and seraphim incessabili voce proclamant: sing with an unending voice: "Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus "Holy, Holy, Holy Dominus Deus Sabaoth. Lord God Sabaoth. Pleni sunt caeli et terra gloriae tuae." Heaven and earth are full of your glory."

Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus, The glorious chorus of Apostles praises you, te prophetarum laudabilis numerus, the praiseworthy number of prophets praises you, te martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus. the white-robed army of martyrs praises you.

Te per orbem terarrum The holy Church gives witness to you sancta confitetur Ecclesia, throughout the whole world Patrem immensae maestatis; as the Father of immense majesty; venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium; venerating your true and only Son; Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum. and also the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.

Tu rex gloriae, Christe. O Christ, you are the king of glory. Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius. You are the eternal son of the Father. Tu, ad liberandum suscepturus hominem, Undertaking to liberate humanity, non horruisti Virginis uterum. you did not dread the womb of the Virgin.

Tu, devicto mortis aculeo, By overcoming the sting of death, aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum. you opened the kingdom of heaven to believers. Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, You sit at the right hand of God, in gloria Patris. in the glory of the Father.

Iudex crederis esse venturus. We believe you will come as judge.

Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni, Therefore we ask you, assist your servants, quos pretioso sanguine redemisti. whom you have redeemed by your precious blood Aeterna fac to be numbered among the holy ones cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari. in eternal glory.

Salvum fac populum tuum, Domine, Save your people, Lord, et benedic hereditati tuae. and bless your inheritance. Et rege eos, And rule them, et extolle illos usque in aeternum. and lift them up even into eternity.

Per singulos dies benedicimus te; We bless you every day; et laudamus nomen tuum in saeculum, and we praise your name for ever, et in saeculum saeculi. and for ever and ever.

Dignare, Domine, die isto Deign to keep us, O Lord, sine peccato no custodire. without sin this day. Miserere nostri, Domine, Have mercy on us, O Lord, miserere nostri. have mercy on us.

Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos, May your mercy be upon us, O Lord, quemadmodum speravimus in te. for how we have hoped in you. In te, Domine, speravi: I have hoped in you, O Lord: non confundar in aeternum. may I not remain counfounded for ever.

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