We praise Thee, O God
Author: Probably by St. Nicetas (335-415).
Meter: Sapphic and Adonic.
Translation a cento from The
Hymner, in the meter of the original.
The translation has been altered to adapt
it to the Roman Breviary Text.
There are about twenty translations.
Liturgical Use: In general, the Te Deum is said in the Office at the end
of Matins whenever the Gloria in excelsis is said at Mass.
This rule is sufficiently accurate for those who use the
Roman Breviary. In addition to its liturgical use, the Te
Deum is used in many extra-liturgical functions as a hymn
of thanksgiving on occasions of great solemnity, such as the
election of a pope, the consecration of a bishop, the benediction
of an abbot, canonization of a saint, religious professions,
- Te Deum laudámus: * te Dominum confitémur.
- Te &ælig;ternum Patrem * omnis terra veneratur.
- Tibi omnes Angeli; * tibi cœi et universae potestates.
- Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim * incessabili voce proclamant:
- Sanctus, * Sanctus, * Sanctus, * Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
- Pleni sunt cœli et terra * majestatis gloriæ tuæ.
- Te gloriosus * Apostolorum chorus;
- Te Prophetarum * laudabilis numerus;
- Te Martyrum candidatus * laudat exercitus.
- Te per orbem terrarum * sancta confitetur Ecclesia:
- Patrem * immensæ majestatis;
- Venerandum tuum verum * et unicum Fílium,
- Sanctum quoque * Paraclitum Spiritum.
- Tu Rex gloriæ, * Christe.
- Tu Patris * sempiternus es Filius.
- Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem, * non horruisti Vírginis uterum.
- Tu, devicto mortis aculeo: * aperuisti credentibus regna c&oalig;lorum.
- Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, * in gloria Patris.
- Judex crederis * esse venturus.
- Te ergo quæsumus, tuis famulis subveni: * quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.
- Æterna fac cum sanctis tuis * in gloria numerari.
- Salvum fac pópulum tuum, Dómine, et bénedic hæreditáti tuæ.
- Et rege eos, * et extolle illos usque in æternum.
- Per singulos dies * benedicimus te.
- Et laudamus nomen tuum in sæculum, * et in sæculum sæculi.
- Dignare Domine die isto * sine peccato nos custodire.
- Miserere nostri Domine: * miserere nostri.
- Fiat misericordia tua Domine super nos, * quemadmodum speravimus in te.
- In te Domine, speravi: * non confundar in æternum.
- We praise thee, O God : we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
- Thee, the Eternal Father, all the earth doth worship.
- To Thee all the Angels, to Thee the Heavens, and all the Powers therein:
- To Thee Cherubim and Seraphim with unceasing voice cry aloud:
- Holy, Holy, Holy : Lord God of Sabaoth.
- The heavens and earth are full of the majesty of Thy glory.
- Thee, the glorious choir of the Apostles,
- Thee, the admirable company of the Prophets,
- Thee, the white-robed army of Martyrs doth praise.
- Thee, the Holy Church throughout the world doth confess,
- The Father of infinite majesty,
- Thine 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.
- Thou didst not abhor the Virgin’s womb, when Thou tookest upon Thee human nature to deliver man.
- When Thou hadst overcome the sting of death, Thou didst open to believers the kingdom of heaven.
- Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father.
- Thou, we believe, art the Judge to come.
- We beseech Thee, therefore, 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 Thine inheritance.
- And rule them, and exalt them forever.
- Day by day, we bless Thee.
- And we praise Thy Name forever; yea, forever and ever.
- Vouchsafe, O Lord, this day, to keep us without sin.
- Have mercy upon us, O Lord; have mercy on us.
- Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us; even as we have hoped in Thee.
- In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped: let me never be confounded forever.
The Te Deum is written in rhythmical prose. There are
about twenty-five metrical translations and several prose
versions in English. The vigorous and justly popular translation
by Father Walworth is given below.
The Cath. Encycl. contains a scholarly article on the Te
Deum. Read also the articles on St. Nicetas, Sanctus, Sabaoth,
and many others which the text readily suggests.
The Te Deum consists of three distinct parts:
Part I (verses 1-13) contains a hymn of praise to the
blessed Trinity; the praise of Earth and of the Angelic
choirs; the praise of the Church Triumphant and of the
Part II (verses 14-21) is a hymn in praise of Christ, the
Redeemer. It proclaims the glory of Christ, the Eternal
Son of the Father—His incarnation, victory over death,
exaltation, future coming, and terminates with a prayer of
supplication for those redeemed by the Precious Blood, that
they may be numbered among the Saints.
Part III (verses 22-29) is composed principally of verses
from the Psalms. It contains a prayer of petition for the
divine assistance and guidance; a declaration of our
fidelity; a prayer for deliverance from sin during the day
(about to begin); it closes with a prayer for mercy for
those who have hoped in the Lord.
In the following Notes, the numbers refer to the verses
of the Te Deum:
- Sanctus: The “Tersanctus” is found in both the Old
Testament (Is. 6, 3) and in the New (Apoc. 4, 8). Supply
es, art Thou.
- Apostolorum: Note the climax: the small number of
Apostles, the greater number of Prophets, the white-robed
army of Martyrs, the Church throughout the world.
- Martyrum: Only Martyrs were venerated in the early
Church. The first non-Martyrs venerated in the West were
Pope St. Sylvester (d. 335) and St. Martin of Tours (d.
397). Candidatus, white-robed. The Blessed in general are
represented as clothed with white robes (cf. Apoc. 7, 9-14).
- Rex gloryæ: David in prophecy referring to the ascension
of the Messias styles Him “the King of Glory” (Ps.
23, 7-10). The whole Psalm is very beautiful.
- Hominem = naturam humanam. This verse does not
lend itself readily to translation. The difficulty is with the
proper rendering of suscepturus hominem: (some texts
have suscepisti, but this is immaterial). Since the Primer
of 1546, translations like the following have found their
way into most of our books of devotion:—“Thou, having
taken upon Thee to deliver man”; “When Thou tookest
upon Thee to deliver man.” It is needless to say that such
renderings mean something quite different from the following:
“Thou, when about to take upon Thee man (i.e,
human nature) to liberate the human race, didst not abhor
the Virgin’s womb.” After liberandum some supply
mundum, others hominem, men, the human race. Horruisti,
variously rendered—fear, abhor, disdain, shrink from, etc.
- Mortis aculeo: (cf. I Cor. 15, 55-56).
- Dexteram Dei: a figurative expression signifying the
place of highest honor, power, and glory in heaven (Ps. 109,
1; Mark 16,19). Sedes: sittest, i.e., abidest, remainest. This
implies no particular posture of body.
- Crederis, passive, Thou art believed.
- Redemisti: (cf. I Peter 1, 18-19) Verses 22-23 are
taken verbatim from Psalm 27, 9.
- Hæreditati tuæ: Thine own; those whom Thou hast redeemed.
- Per singulos dies: every day; from Psalm 144, 2.
- Miserere: verbatim from Psalm 122, 3.
- Fiat: verbatim from Psalm 32, 22.
- In te: verbatim from Psalm 30, 2.
The following translation preserves much of the spirit
and force of the original. The seventh stanza is a rendering
of verses 20-21 by Monsignor Henry. The remaining
stanzas are by Father Walworth, whose translation does
not contain a rendering of verses 20-21. The numbers preceding
a stanza refer to the verses of the Te Deum rendered
in that stanza.
Holy God, we praise Thy Name,
Lord of all, we bow before Thee;
All on earth Thy scepter claim,
All in heaven above adore Thee;
Infinite Thy vast domain,
Everlasting is Thy reign.
Hark, the loud celestial hymn
Angel choirs above are raising;
Cherubim and Seraphim
In unceasing chorus praising,
Fill the heavens with sweet accord;
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord!
Lo, the Apostolic train
Join, Thy sacred Name to hallow:
Prophets swell the loud refrain,
And the white-robed Martyrs follow;
And, from morn till set of sun,
Through the Church the song goes on.
Holy Father, Holy Son,
Holy Spirit, Three we name Thee,
While in Essence only One,
Undivided God we claim Thee:
And, adoring, bend the knee
While we own the mystery.
Thou art King of glory, Christ;
Son of God, yet born of Mary;
For us sinners sacrificed,
And to death a tributary:
First to break the bars of death,
Thou hast opened heaven to faith.
From Thy high celestial home,
Judge of all, again returning,
We believe that Thou shalt come
In the dreadful Doomsday morning;
When Thy voice shall shake the earth,
And the startled dead come forth.
Therefore do we pray Thee, Lord:
Help Thy servants whom, redeeming
By Thy Precious Blood outpoured,
Thou hast saved from Satan’s scheming.
Give to them eternal rest
In the glory of the Blest.
- 22, 26, 29
Spare Thy people, Lord, we pray,
By a thousand snares surrounded:
Keep us without sin to-day,
Never let us be confounded.
Lo, I put my trust in Thee;
Never, Lord, abandon me.
Copyright Benziger Brothers, 1922. Online Edition Copyright David M. Cheney, 2019.