Sunday, August 27, 2006

Te Deum

Check out Sean's post on the Te Deum as the quintessential hymn of the Church.

I spent Lent this year chanting this hymn every day to memorize it, only to find out that Lent is the only time when the church doesn't use this hymn.

One of the reasons that I wanted to memorize this hymn is that I want it to be so ingrained in my brain that when whatever neurological disease catches up with me and I loose my mental abilities, I will automatically (and continually) chant the Te Deum and annoy the nurses at the 'facility'.  I've seen people fixated on the post office or some snippet of their work 40 years ago. I want my fixation and obsession to be this hymn. My God grant me this favor.

Hear what I'm saying...I don't want to be stuck in 'vain repetition' for the credit it will bring me with God (because it won't), nor do I particularly like the idea of not being able to reason and discuss Christ consciously with others. But, If my brain goes and all I can retain is one thing, let it be this terse summary of what Christ has done for us.


Blogger Sean said...

The Te Deum rocks hardcore, and there's no 2 ways about it :D

There are many variations with the tune. The most "definitive" is probably from the Liber Usualis, the Tridentine Roman Catholic mass book from the early 20th century: that beautiful and wonderful fat black book that was thrown out by the thousands at Vatican II. I'm fortunate to own an original copy, all in Latin. There are two versions- a "simple" one and then the fully complex one (solemn). here are links to them respectively:

Neither of these are the latin equivalent of the tune as the BPB has it... I am used to hearing (in latin) the BPB tune or the simple setting, and I've never heard it sung as the solemn score shows. The important part is the "Te Deum Laudamus" introduction, as far as the "tune" goes. That's the memorable part that is always the same. Jean Langlais (20th century blind French organist) has a fantastic setting of the Te Deum for organ (a rip-roaring piece that uses material from the Te Deum chant). Also, I have a really cool recording of Pierre Cochereau (the greatest improviser of the 20th century- former organist at Notre Dame, Paris) playing in alternation with the choir, using the simple setting. When the full organ comes in for "te Dominum confitemur", it is nothing short of hair-raising! I'll send recordings of those to you as well if you drop me another email. Keep annoying your co-workers and sing the Te Deum lots! I do it at work too :)

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kletos... Could you provide a nice link to someone chanting this in English?

8:23 AM  
Blogger Kletos Sumboulos said...

Check here for the Brotherhood Prayer Book adaptation of the Te Deum in english. Or check here for my feeble attempt at the same.

8:09 AM  

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