The ancient prayer and hymn Te Deum dates back to around the 4th century, and is thought to have been written by either Saint Ambrose (died 397) or Saint Augustine (died 430).


The term 'Te Deum' can also signify a short religious service, of thanks or blessing, that draws upon the hymn.

What does 'Te Deum' mean?

'Te Deum' is actually the condensed form of the Latin phrase 'Te Deum laudamus', which means 'We praise Thee, o God'.

What is the text of the Te Deum about?

The hymn essentially follows the Apostles' Creed, a Christian statement of belief that encapsulates such key aspects as the Holy Trinity. The Te Deum names all those who praise God, including prophets, apostles and martyrs. This list includes both Christians now in heaven, and those still practising around the world.

After that, the hymn references Christ directly, describing his birth, Passion and death, and Resurrection. Finally, the Te Deum diverts its attention to the congregation who are declaiming the hymn. It asks for mercy for past sins, for protection from sin in the future, and finally to be reunited with the saints in heaven.

Which composers have set the Te Deum to music?

The roll call of composers who have set the text of Te Deum of music is a fairly long and distinguished one. Among the better known Te Deums are those by Bruckner, Haydn, Mozart, Berlioz, and Verdi. Other composers including Handel, Dvořák, Britten, Kodály, and Pärt have also produced musical interpretations of the hymn.

What are the words to 'Te Deum'?

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 honorable, 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.

O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine heritage.

Govern them and lift them up forever.

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 be upon us as our trust is in Thee.


O Lord, in Thee have I trusted; let me never be confounded.