For years, Catholics have thanked God for the blessings of the past year by singing the traditional hymn Te Deum on New Year’s Eve.
Catholics often sing the Te Deum hymn to thank God for His blessings. When a pope is elected or a particular event occurs in a country, this hymn is often sung in cathedrals and churches.
New Years Eve is no exception. This year Pope Francis will pray Vespers with a gathering of cardinals in St. Peter’s Basilica and they will sing the Te Deum in thanksgiving for the past year.
The Te Deum has been sung by Christians for centuries. A tradition claims that the hymn was written by Sts. Ambrose and Augustine on the occasion of Saint Augustine’s baptism at Easter in 387. Modern historians date the hymn to the Latin West, suggesting that it was composed around the beginning of the fifth century.
The name comes from the first words of the hymn in the original Latin: Te Deum laudamus (You are God, we praise you). Sung over various melodies, the hymn can be sung simply (as in the video below) or arranged for orchestras, like the versions composed by Mozart or Dvořák.
Ring in New Year’s Catholic style by chanting the Te Deum!
YOU are God: we praise you;
You are the Lord; we cheer you on;
You are the Eternal Father:
All creation revere you.
To all of you angels, all the powers of heaven,
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in infinite praise:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of might and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of the apostles praises you.
The noble community of prophets praises you.
The army of martyrs in white robes congratulate you.
All over the world, the holy Church acclaims you;
Father, of boundless majesty,
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 a man to set us free
you did not flee from the bosom of the Virgin.
You overcame the sting of death
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at the right hand of God in glory.
We believe you will come and be our judge.
Come therefore, Lord, and help your people,
bought at the cost of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to eternal glory.
V. Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
A. Rule and support them now and always.
V. Day after day we bless you.
A. We praise your name forever.
V. Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
A. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
V. Lord, show us your love and mercy,
A. Because we have put our trust in you.
V. In you, Lord, is our hope:
A. Let’s never be ashamed.