Te Deum (also known as Ambrosian
Hymn or A Song of the Church) is
an early Christian hymn of praise. The title is taken from its opening
Te Deum laudamus, rendered as "Thee, O God, we praise".
The term can also refer to a short religious service, held to bless an
event or give thanks, which is based upon the hymn.
The hymn remains in regular use in the Roman Catholic Church, Anglican
Church and Methodist Church (mostly before the Homily) in the Office
of Readings found in the
Liturgy of the Hours, and in thanksgiving to
God for a special blessing such as the election of a pope, the
consecration of a bishop, the canonization of a saint, a religious
profession, the publication of a treaty of peace, a royal coronation,
etc. It is sung either after Mass or the Divine Office or as a
separate religious ceremony. The hymn also remains in use in the
Anglican Communion and some
Lutheran Churches in similar settings.
In the traditional office, the
Te Deum is sung at the end of
all days when the Gloria is said at Mass; those days are all Sundays
outside Advent, Septuagesima, Lent, and Passiontide; on all feasts
(except the Triduum) and on all ferias during Eastertide. Before the
1961 reforms of Pope John XXIII, neither the Gloria nor the Te Deum
were said on the feast of the Holy Innocents, unless it fell on
Sunday, as they were martyred before the death of Christ and therefore
could not immediately attain the beatific vision. A plenary
indulgence is granted, under the usual conditions, to those who recite
it in public on New Year's Eve.
Liturgy of the Hours
Liturgy of the Hours of Pope Paul VI, the
Te Deum is sung at
the end of the
Office of Readings on all Sundays except those of Lent,
on all solemnities, on the octaves of Easter and Christmas, and on all
feasts. It is also used together with the standard canticles in
Morning Prayer as prescribed in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, in
Matins for Lutherans, and is retained by many churches of the Reformed
Latin and English text
8 External links
Te Deum on a stained glass window in the Sorrowful Mother Shrine
Chapel (Bellevue, Ohio)
Authorship is traditionally ascribed to Saints
Ambrose and Augustine,
on the occasion of the latter's baptism by the former in AD 387. It
has also been ascribed to Saint Hilary, but The Historical Companion
to Hymns Ancient and Modern says "it is now accredited to Nicetas,
bishop of Remesiana; (4th century)".
The petitions at the end of the hymn (beginning Salvum fac populum
tuum) are a selection of verses from the book of Psalms, appended
subsequently to the original hymn.
The hymn follows the outline of the Apostles' Creed, mixing a poetic
vision of the heavenly liturgy with its declaration of faith. Calling
on the name of 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 credal formula,
naming Christ and recalling his birth, suffering and death, his
resurrection and glorification. At this point the hymn turns to the
subjects declaiming the praise, both the universal Church and the
singer in particular, asking for mercy on past sins, protection from
future sin, and the hoped-for reunification with the elect.
The hymn was chanted jubilantly by the people of
Orléans after the
successful Siege of Orléans, during the Hundred Years' War, when St.
Joan of Arc and the French army entered the town.
Tonus Solemnis - Gregorian Chant
Te Deum Charpentier
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The text has been set to music by many composers, with settings by
Haydn, Mozart, Berlioz, Verdi, Bruckner, Furtwängler, Dvořák,
Britten, Kodály, and Pärt among the better known. Jean-Baptiste
Lully wrote a setting of
Te Deum for the court of Louis XIV of France,
and received a fatal injury while conducting it. The prelude to
Marc-Antoine Charpentier's setting (H.146) is well known in Europe on
account of its being used as the theme music for some broadcasts of
the European Broadcasting Union, most notably the Eurovision Song
Contest. Earlier it had been used as the theme music for Bud
Greenspan's documentary series, The Olympiad. Sir William Walton's
Te Deum was written for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth
II in 1953. Other English settings include those by Thomas Tallis,
William Byrd, Henry Purcell, Edward Elgar, and Herbert Howells, as
well as three settings each by
George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel and Charles
Tosca features a dramatic performance of the initial
part of the
Te Deum at the end of Act I.
The traditional chant melody was the basis for elaborate Te Deum
compositions by notable French organists
Charles Tournemire (1930),
Jean Langlais (1934), and
Jeanne Demessieux (1958), which are still
widely performed today.
A version by Father Michael Keating is popular in some Charismatic
circles. Mark Hayes wrote a setting of the text in 2005, with Latin
phrases interpolated amid primarily English lyrics. In 1978, British
hymnodist Christopher Idle wrote God We Praise You, a version of
the text in 126.96.36.199.D meter, set to the tune Rustington. British
John Rutter has composed two settings of this hymn, one
Te Deum and the other Winchester Te Deum.
Igor Stravinsky set
the first 12 lines of the text as part of The Flood in 1962. Antony
Pitts was commissioned by the London Festival of Contemporary Church
Music to write a setting for the 2011 10th Anniversary
Festival. The 18th-century German hymn Großer Gott, wir loben
dich is a free translation of the Te Deum, which was translated into
English in the 19th century as "Holy God, we praise thy name."
Latin and English text
Translation from the Book of Common Prayer
Te Deum laudámus: te Dominum confitémur.
Te ætérnum Patrem omnis terra venerátur.
Tibi omnes Angeli; tibi cæli et univérsae potestátes.
Tibi Chérubim et Séraphim incessábili voce proclámant:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dóminus Deus Sábaoth.
Pleni sunt cæli et terra majestátis glóriæ tuæ.
Te gloriósus Apostolórum chorus;
Te Prophetárum laudábilis númerus;
Te Mártyrum candidátus laudat exércitus.
Te per orbem terrárum sancta confitétur Ecclésia:
Patrem imménsæ majestátis;
Venerándum tuum verum et únicum Fílium;
Sanctum quoque Paráclitum Spíritum.
Tu Rex glóriæ, Christe.
Tu Patris sempitérnus es Fílius.
Tu ad liberándum susceptúrus hóminem, non horruísti Vírginis
Tu, devícto mortis acúleo,
aperuísti credéntibus regna cælórum.
Tu ad déxteram Dei sedes, in glória Patris.
Judex créderis esse ventúrus.
Te ergo quǽsumus, tuis fámulis súbveni,
quos pretióso sánguine redemísti.
Ætérna fac cum sanctis tuis in glória numerári.
[added later, mainly from Psalm verses:]
Salvum fac pópulum tuum, Dómine, et bénedic hæreditáti tuæ.
Et rege eos, et extólle illos usque in ætérnum.
Per síngulos dies benedícimus te.
Et laudámus nomen tuum in sǽculum, et in sǽculum sǽculi.
Dignáre, Dómine, die isto sine peccáto nos custodíre.
Miserére nostri, Dómine, miserére nostri.
Fiat misericórdia tua, Dómine, super nos, quemádmodum sperávimus
In te, Dómine, sperávi: non confúndar in ætérnum.
We praise thee, O God : we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee : the Father everlasting.
To thee all Angels cry aloud : the Heavens, and all the Powers
To thee Cherubim and Seraphim : continually do cry,
Holy, Holy, Holy : Lord God of Hosts;
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty : of thy glory.
The glorious company of the Apostles : praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the Prophets : praise thee.
The noble army of Martyrs : praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world : doth acknowledge thee;
The Father : of an infinite Majesty;
Thine honourable, true : and only Son;
Also the Holy Ghost : the Comforter.
Thou art the King of Glory : O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son : of the Father.
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man : thou didst not abhor
the Virgin's womb.
When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death :
thou didst open the Kingdom of Heaven to all
Thou sittest at the right hand of God : in the glory of the
We believe that thou shalt come : to be our Judge.
We therefore pray thee, help thy servants :
whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious
Make them to be numbered with thy Saints : in glory everlasting.
[added later, mainly from Psalm verses:]
O Lord, save thy people : and bless thine heritage.
Govern them : and lift them up for ever.
Day by day : we magnify thee;
And we worship thy Name : ever world without end.
Vouchsafe, O Lord : to keep us this day without sin.
O Lord, have mercy upon us : have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us : as our trust is in thee.
O Lord, in thee have I trusted : let me never be confounded.
In the Book of Common Prayer, verse is written in half-lines, at which
reading pauses, indicated by colons in the text.
Te Deum service is a short religious service, based upon the hymn,
held to give thanks. In Sweden, for example, it may be held in the
Royal Chapel in connection with the birth of a Prince or Princess,
christenings, milestone birthdays, jubilees and other important event
within the Royal Family of Sweden. In Luxembourg, a service is
held annually in the presence of the Grand-Ducal Family to celebrate
the Grand Duke's Official Birthday, which is also the nation's
national day, on either the 23rd or 24th June.
Main category: Te Deums
Te Deum by Hector Berlioz
Te Deum Laudamus, the second part of Symphony No. 1 in D minor
("Gothic") (1919–1927) by Havergal Brian
Two settings by Benjamin Britten:
Te Deum in C
Te Deum in C (1934) and Festival Te
Te Deum by Anton Bruckner
Festival Te Deum
Festival Te Deum by Gustav Holst
Te Deum by Andrew Carter
Te Deum by
Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1688–1698)
Te Deum by Antonín Dvořák
Utrecht Te Deum and Jubilate
Utrecht Te Deum and Jubilate (1713),
Dettingen Te Deum
Dettingen Te Deum (1743) by
George Frideric Handel
Te Deum by Joseph Haydn
Te Deum by Herbert Howells
Te Deum by Johann Hummel
Te Deum by Zoltán Kodály
Te Deum by
Jean-Baptiste Lully (1677)
Te Deum by James MacMillan
Te Deum by Piers Maxim
Te Deum by Felix Mendelssohn
Te Deum by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Te Deum by Arvo Pärt
Te Deum by Krzysztof Penderecki
Te Deum by Antoine Reicha
Festival Te Deum
Festival Te Deum and
Te Deum Laudamus by Arthur Sullivan
"Te Deum", the final part of
Quattro pezzi sacri
Quattro pezzi sacri by Giuseppe Verdi
Te Deum in Giacomo Puccini's Opera Tosca
Te Deum by Karl Jenkins
Te Deum Laudamus by Manuel Arenzana
^ a b William Henry Pinnock (1858), "Te Deum, a Separate Service", The
laws and usages of the Church and clergy, p. 1301
Te Deum (cont.)". Musical Musings: Prayers and Liturgical Texts
– The Te Deum. CanticaNOVA Publications. Retrieved 2007-07-07.
^ Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Holy Innocents". Catholic
Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved
^ "Te Deum". Retrieved 2011-12-31.
^ "General Instruction of the
Liturgy of the Hours". Retrieved
^  Archived December 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
^ Journal du siège d'Orléans
^ "Christopher Idle". Jubilate.co.uk. 1938-09-11. Archived from the
original on 2015-07-22. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
^ "The Worshiping Church". Hymnary.org. p. 42. Retrieved
^ "lfccm.com". lfccm.com. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
^ February 2011 from Jerusalem to Jericho Archived July 28, 2011, at
the Wayback Machine.
^ "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name". Cyberhymnal.org. Retrieved
^ "Te Deum". www.kungahuset.se. Swedish Royal Court. Retrieved 2 May
^ "National Day in Luxembourg". www.visitluxembourg.com. Retrieved
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Te deum.
Texts on Wikisource:
Te Deum (original Latin)
Te Deum (English translation)
Catholic Encyclopedia entry
Te Deum in Service, Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris on YouTube
Prayers of the Catholic Church
Prayers of the Mass
Gloria in excelsis Deo
Alma Redemptoris Mater
Ave Maris Stella
Ave Regina Caelorum
Maria Mater Gratiae
Sub Tuum Praesidium
Three Hail Marys
Act of Contrition
Adoro te devote
Ave Verum Corpus
Come, Holy Spirit
Litany of the Saints
O Salutaris Hostia
51: Miserere mei
130: De Profundis
Prayer before a Crucifix
Prayer of Saint Francis
Prayer to Saint Joseph
Prayer to Saint Michael
Thanksgiving after Communion
Veni Creator Spiritus
Veni Sancte Spiritus
Visit to the Blessed Sacrament
Way of the Cross
Note: For prayers listed in italics, indulgences are normally granted.