31 Dec 2013

Te Deum - In thanksgiving for the blessing received in 2013

 
I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year
'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.'
And he replied, 'Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way!'
So I went forth and finding the Hand of God
Trod gladly into the night
He led me towards the hills
And the breaking of day in the lone east.....

The evening draws in on the last day of the year and we celebrate vespers for the Solemnity of the Mother of God on January 1st. Tradition also has the singing of the Te Deum.  The Te Deum is a hymn of praise that dates from early Christian times. In Latin, the hymn’s words: “Te Deum laudamus” can be translated "Thee, O God, we praise".


 
A more traditional version in latin
 


 
The 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 Latin words, Te Deum laudamus, rendered literally as "Thee, O God, we praise".

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 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 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.

[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.
 
From Vatican Radio:
In Rome, Pope Francis will preside the traditional year-end Vespers and the singing of the Te Deum hymn later Tuesday in thanksgiving for gifts received over the past year. The solemn celebration is to take place in St. Peter’s Basilica beginning at 5:00 p.m. Rome time. The ceremony will be Pope Francis’ last official event of the year 2013 and his first celebration as Pontiff of Vespers for the Solemnity of the Mother of God, to whom the New Year is dedicated. The event will be webcast live on Vatican Radio. After the evening Vespers, the Pope will make a brief visit to the life-sized Nativity scene below the obelisk in the center of St. Peter’s Square. This year’s scene, entitled “Francis 1223- Francis 2013” recalls the very first Nativity scene created 790 years ago by St. Francis of Assisi, Pope Francis’ namesake. The scene in St. Peter’s square this year was crafted by artisans from the southern Italian city of Naples, famous for its traditional Christmas displays. On Wednesday January 1st in St. Peter’s Basilica, the Holy Father will preside a morning liturgy marking the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God. Following the mass, at noon, Pope Francis will greet the faithful in St. Peter’s Square and together with them pray the Angelus
 
Update:

CNS: Everything you need to ring out 2013, usher in 2014 with Pope Francis

You can watch the on-demand feed of vespers here (sadly no English commentary). (H/t to Blue Eyed Ennis)


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