Te Deum

Te Deum

The Te Deum is a hymn directed to God.  It’s an ancient hymn in Catholic tradition that remains part of the official prayer of the Church, the Divine Office.  Below you’ll find a little more about its history, and some suggestions for how you might incorporate it into your own prayer life and spirituality, as well as the words in both Latin and English, and a video of this hymn sung in English.

This audio version is sung by Harpa Dei—a brother and three sisters.  You can find more of their music here. Below you’ll find a video of the same hymn but in English.


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 úterum.
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.

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.
In te, Dómine, sperávi: non confúndar in ætérnum.


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.

Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
Govern and uphold them now and always.
Day by day we bless you.
We praise your name for ever.
Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
Lord, show us your love and mercy; for we put our trust in you.

In you, Lord, is our hope:
and we shall never hope in vain.

History and Meaning

The Te Deum is attributed to St. Ambrose, but it’s authorship has never been truly nailed down. It’s ancient him in Catholic tradition.  It may be unknown to many Catholics, but those who pray the Divine Office are familiar with it, as it is a permanent part of the Office of Readings said on Sundays and Holy Days.

It’s a beautiful hymn, both in its melody and especially its words.  It’s a hymn of praise directed to God (Te Deum means “To God”), in the form of various phases of praise and glory.  It’s for this reason that we’re offering it here.  You’ll find it an interesting addition to your prayer life if you choose to pray, or sing it, or you may simply enjoy listening to it.

This audio version is sung by Harpa Dei—a brother and three sisters.  You can find more of their music here. Below you’ll find a video of the hymn but in English. The words are listed toward the end of this page in both Latin and English.

When to Pray It

You can sing or recite the Te Deum any time of day.  If you want to sing it you will find the video version (in English) is easier to follow and learn.

The Te Deum is traditionally said after the Office of Readings on Sundays and Holy Days. But you don’t have to say the Office of Readings in order to follow that tradition. Since the office of readings is said first thing in the morning, you might sing or recite the Te Deum in the morning on Sundays and Holy Days.

The words of the Te Deum also serve as a powerful prayer of thanksgiving after receiving Holy Communion.  This can be done after returning to your pew following reception of the Eucharist, or after mass has ended.  It’s a long prayer, but don’t worry, you don’t have to memorize it. Using a cheat sheet (on paper, or on your smartphone!) is perfectly acceptable. You’ll start to memorize it the more you pray it.

The Te Deum is a particularly powerful prayer tool for meditation.  Take it line by line, or phrase by phrase, mediating on the words and expressions of the prayer.  If something especially stands out for you, then just focus on that for as long as you want.  When meditating on the Te Deum, it isn’t necessary to get through the entire prayer. You may only meditate on a few lines or phrases, or different sections.  You may find yourself meditating on single words in the prayer.

About the Art

“The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities”

1675-82 by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

This painting illustrates the two natures of Christ—human and divine: the embodiment of the ‘Two Trinities’. At the centre of the composition the Christ Child forms part of the Heavenly Trinity with the dove of the Holy Ghost and God the Father above, and part of the Earthly Trinity with his human parents, Mary and Joseph.

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