The roots of Te Deum are in the Greek hymn, Gloria patri, and in various hymns of praise. The Apostolic Constitutions (ca. 357) contains elements of the Te Deum. The Te Deum goes back to the Codex Alexandrinus of the Bible, a portion of the hymn being five lines incorporated from that text. The present form of the hymn probably dates back to the fourth century. It is sung regularly at matins in the Roman Catholic Church and, usually at Morning Prayer in the Anglican Church, as well as on special occasions as a service of thanksgiving. In its historical context, the Te Deum reflects the creedal faith very clearly. It is the church’s song of triumph in the face of heresy and unbelief; it echoes the battles against Gnosticism, Arianism, and the other heresies and celebrates the victory of orthodoxy and its joyful faith in the Triune God.
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 adorable, 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 humble thyself to be born of a Virgin.
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 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 be upon us: as our trust is in thee.
O Lord, in thee have I trusted: let me never be confounded.