Theology in Music – Te Deum Laudamus

Te Deum Laudamus

 

Latin Gregorian Chant:

 

Anglican Translation:

 

‘Te Deum laudamus’, ( Latin: “God, We Praise You”, ) also called Te Deum, is a Latin hymn to God the Father and Christ the Son, traditionally sung on occasions of public rejoicing. According to legend, it was improvised antiphonally by St. Ambrose and St. Augustine at Augustine’s baptism. It has more plausibly been attributed to Nicetas, bishop of Remesiana in the early 5th century, and its present form—equal sections devoted to the Father and Son, a half-clause to the Holy Spirit, followed by a litany—fit in historically with part of the Arian controversy (over the nature of Christ) of the 4th century. Much of the text is composed of traditional statements of belief; and unlike most hymns, it is prose. The melody derives from various pre-Gregorian and Gregorian melodic styles. It has been set polyphonically by the British composers Henry Purcell, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Benjamin Britten, as well as by George Frideric Handel, Hector Berlioz, Zoltán Kodály, Anton Bruckner, and Antonín Dvořák.

 

The following is the Latin text and an English translation of the Te Deum.

 

Latin text:

Liturgia de la dedicación de la Iglesia.

Himno a 2 voces.

Modo IV

 

“A ti, Dios, te alabamos. A ti, Señor, te ensalzamos.

A ti, Padre eterno, toda la tierra venera.

A ti, todos los ángeles, a ti los cielos y todas las potencias:

a ti los querubines y los sefarines, con voz incesante proclaman:

“Santo, Santo, Santo es el Señor Dios de los Ejércitos del cielo.

Llenos están los cielos y la tierra de la grandeza de tu gloria.”

A ti el glorioso coro de los Apóstoles

a ti el laudable número de los profetas,

a ti la blanca cohorte de los mártires te alaba.

A ti por la tierra la santa Iglesia te ensalza,

Padre de infinita majestad;

a tu venerable, verdadero y único Hijo,

y también al Paráclito Espíritu Santo.

Tú, Cristo, rey de gloria.

Tú eres Hijo eterno del Padre.

Tú, que habiendo de adoptar la naturaleza humana para liberar

al hombre, no rechazaste el seno de la Virgen.

Tú, que tras vencer por completo la tortura de la muerte,

abriste a los creyentes el reino de los cielos.

Tú te sientas a la derecha de Dios,

en la gloria del Padre.

Se cree que has de venir como juez.

Así pues, te rogamos, acude en ayuda de tus siervos,

a quienes redimiste con el precio de tu sangre.

Haz que sean contados en la gloria eterna junto con tus santos.

Salva a tu pueblo, Señor, y bendice tu heredad.

Condúcelos y levántalos por siempre.

Todos los días te bendecimos;

y alabamos tu nombre por siempre jamás.

Dígnate, Señor, a guardarnos sin pecado en este día.

Ten piedad de nosotros, Señor,

ten piedad de nosotros.

Hágase tu misericordia, Señor, sobre nosotros,

del mismo modo que hemos esperado en ti.

En ti, Señor, he esperado:

Que nunca sea yo confundido. Amén.”

 

English translation:

“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 therein.

To thee Cherubin and Seraphin : continually do cry,

Holy, Holy, Holy : Lord God of Sabaoth;

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 believers.

Thou sittest at the right hand of God : in the glory of the Father.

We believe that thou shalt come : to be our Judge.

We therefore pray thee, help thy servants : whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.

Make them to be numbered with thy Saints : in glory everlasting.

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. Amen.”


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