Sunday, November 11, 2012

Extraordinary community news

"I will go in unto the Altar of God
To God, Who giveth joy to my youth"

Tridentine Community News (November 11, 2012):
The Te Deum: The Church’s Prayer of Thanksgiving

One of the most important prayers in the Church’s treasury is the Ambrosian Hymn of thanksgiving to the Holy Trinity: The Te Deum. “Hymn” in this sense does not mean that the piece must be sung, but rather refers to its principal role in the Divine Office, where it would be sung in solemn settings. It is prayed in the Extraordinary Form Breviary at the end of Matins on all days on which the Glória is specified at Mass. Numerous composers have written polyphonic settings of the Te Deum, however the Gregorian Chant setting is the best known. A reader of this column rightfully believes that Catholics should be as familiar with the text and Gregorian melody of the Te Deum as with other prayers that are often sung, such as the Salve Regína, since every prayer of thanksgiving should look to the Te Deum for inspiration.

The public recitation or singing of the Te Deum on the last day of the calendar year is enriched with a Plenary Indulgence under the usual conditions of Confession within 20 days, reception of Holy Communion, prayer for the Holy Father’s intentions, and freedom from attachment to sin. The Te Deum is also enriched with a Partial Indulgence if it is privately prayed at the beginning and end of the day, in starting and completing work, or before and after meals.

Space limitations prevent us from printing the original Latin. Instead, we provide for your edification and comparison two approved English versions. The first is taken from The Blessed Sacrament Prayerbook, published in 1913 with an Imprimátur. The second is taken from the [now out of date] 1991 Handbook of Indulgences. The currently-in-force 2006 Manual of Indulgences no longer provides an English translation of the Te Deum.

The Te Deum is sung at Windsor’s Assumption Church on major occasions of thanksgiving, such as at Anniversary Masses, and on December 31 or the closest Sunday prior. In liturgical settings it is often followed by an optional set of responses and a prayer; these are, strictly speaking, not a formal part of the Te Deum and not required to be prayed.

Te Deum [1913 Blessed Sacrament Prayerbook translation]
We praise Thee, O God; we acknowledge Thee to be our Lord.
All the earth worships Thee, the Father everlasting.
To Thee all the angels cry aloud; the heavens, and all the heavenly powers.
To Thee the cherubim and seraphim continually do cry:
Holy, holy, holy Lord God of Sabaoth.
Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of Thy glory.
The glorious choir of the apostles praises Thee.
The admirable company of the prophets praises Thee.
The noble army of the martyrs praises Thee.
The holy Church throughout the world acknowledges Thee.
The Father of infinite majesty;
Thy adorable, true, and only Son;
Also, the Holy Ghost, the Comforter.
Thou, O Christ, art the King of glory.
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When Thou didst take upon Thee to deliver man,
Thou didst not disdain the Virgin’s womb.
Having overcome the sting 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 to help Thy servants,
whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy precious blood.
Make them to be numbered with Thy saints in glory everlasting.
Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thy inheritance.
Govern them and raise them up forever.
Every day we bless Thee.
And we praise Thy name forever; yea, forever and ever.
Vouchsafe, O Lord, this day, to keep us from sin.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.
Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, as we have hoped in Thee.
In Thee, O Lord, I have hoped; let me never be confounded.
Te Deum [1991 Handbook of Indulgences translation]
You are God: we praise you;
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father:
All creation worships you.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.
When you became man to set us free
you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.
You overcame the sting of death,
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.
Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.

V. Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
R. Govern and uphold them now and always.
V. Day by day we bless you.
R. We praise your name for ever.
V. Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
R. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
V. Lord, show us your love and mercy;
R. for we put our trust in you.
V. In you, Lord, is our hope:
R. and we shall never hope in vain.

Tridentine Masses This Coming Week
  • Mon. 11/12 7:00 PM: Low Mass at St. Josaphat (St. Martin I, Pope & Martyr)
  • Tue. 11/13 7:00 PM: Low Mass at Assumption-Windsor (St. Didacus, Confessor)
  • Sun. 11/18 Noon: High Mass at St. Albertus (Sixth Resumed Sunday After Epiphany)
Related: The Te Deum sung to a Gregorian Chant setting by Giovanni Vianini, organist and director of the Schola Gregoriana Mediolanensis in Milan, Italy

[Comments? Please e-mail Previous columns are available at This edition of Tridentine Community News, with minor editions, is from the St. Albertus, St. Hyacinth (Detroit) and Assumption (Windsor) bulletin inserts for November 11, 2012. Hat tip to A.B., author of the column.]

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