Selected Latin Texts for Vocal Setting

logoOver the years, I’ve complied a number of sacred Latin texts that I felt were interesting in content, word-sound, or would otherwise be well-adapted to choral settings.  I share them with you here.

Ab occultis meis munda me, Domine:  et ab alienis parce servo tuo.

From my secret sins, cleanse me, O Lord:  and from those of others spare Thy servant.

Communion – Monday of the Fourth Week in Lent

Absolve, Domine, animas omnium fidelium defunctorum.  Et gratia tua illis succurrente mereantur evadere judicium ultionis.  Et lucis aeternae beatitudine perfrui.

Absolve, O Lord, the souls of all the faithful departed from every bond of sin.  And by the help of Thy grace, may they be enabled to escape the avenging judgment.  And enjoy the happiness of everlasting light.

Tract – The Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed, Mass for the Dead, the Daily Mass for the Departed

Ad Dominum cum tribularer clamavi, et exaudivit me.  Domine, libera animam meam a labiis iniquis, et a lingua dolosa.

In my trouble I cried to the Lord, and He heard me.  O Lord, deliver my soul from wicked lips, and a deceitful tongue.

Gradual – Friday of the Second Week in Lent, and Second Sunday after Pentecost

Amavit eum Dominus, et ornavit eum:  stolam gloriae induit eum.  Alleluia.

The just shall spring as the lily; and shall flourish forever before the Lord.  Alleluia.

Alleluia – Common of a Doctor

Amen dico vobis, quidquid orantes petitis, credite quia accipietis, et fiet vobis.

Amen I say to you, whatsoever you ask when you pray, believe that you shall receive and it shall be done to you.

Communion – Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost

Angelus Domini descenditde caelo, et dixit mulieribus:  Quem quaeritis, surrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.

An angel of the Lord descended from heaven and said to the women:  He whom you seek is risen as He said, alleluia.

Offertory – Easter Monday, Easter Tuesday, Low Sunday

Ave Rex noster, tu solus nostros es miseratus errores:  Patri obediens, ductus es ad crucifigendum, ut agnus mansuetus ad occisionem.  Alleluia.

Hail Thou our King:  Thou alone hast had compassion on our errors; obedient to the Father, Thou wert led to be crucified like a meek lamb to the slaughter.  Alleluia.

Alleluia – Votive Mass of the Passion of the Lord

Beati mundo corde, quoniam ipsi Deum videbunt:  beati pacifici, quoniam filii Dei vocabuntur:  beati qui persecutionem patiuntur propter justitiam, quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum.

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God:  blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God:  blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Communion – Feast of All Saints

Bonum est confiteri Domino et psallere nomini tuo, Altissime.

It is good to give praise to the Lord:  and to sing to Thy name, O Most High.

Offertory – Septuagesima Sunday

Brachia peccatorum conterentur, confirmat autem justos Dominus.

The arms of the wicked shall be broken in pieces, but the Lord strengtheneth the just.

Communion – St. John Damascene

Candor est lucis aeternae, speculum sine macula, et imago bonitatis illus.  Alleluia.

He is the brightness of eternal light, the unspotted mirror, and the image of His goodness.  Alleluia.

Alleluia – The Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Christo confixus sum cruci:  vivo ego, jam non ego, vivit vero in me Christus.  Alleluia.

With Christ I am nailed to the cross:  I live, now not I, but Christ liveth in me.  Alleluia.

Alleluia – St. Ignatius

Christus semel oblatus est ad multorum exhaurienda peccata:  secundo sine peccato apparebit expectantibus se in salutem.

Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of the many; the second time He shall appear without sin to them that expect Him, unto salvation.

Communion – Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Circumdederunt me gemitus mortis, Dolores inferni circumdederunt me:  et in tribulatione mea invocavi Dominum, et exaudivit de templo sancto suo vocem meam.  Diligam te, Domine, fortitude mea:  Dominus firmamentum meum, et refugium meum, et liberator meus.  Gloria Patri.

The sorrows of death surround me, the sorrows of hell encompassed me:  and in my affliction I called upon the Lord, and He heard my voice from His holy temple.  I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength:  the Lord is my firmament, my refuge, and my deliverer. Glory be to the Father.

Introit – Septuagesima Sunday

Ego sum pastor bonus:  et cognosco oves meas, et cognoscunt me meae.  Alleluia.

I am the good shepherd:  and I know My sheep, and Mine know me.  Alleluia.

Alleluia – Second Sunday after Easter

Cognovi, Domine, quia aequitas judicia tua, et in veritate tua humiliasti me:  confige timore tuo carnes meas, a mandatis tuis timui.  Beati immaculati in via:  qui ambulant in lege Domini.  Gloria Patri.

I know, O Lord, that Thy judgments are equity, and in Thy truth Thou hast humbled me:  pierce Thou my flesh with Thy fear, I am afraid of Thy judgments.  Blessed are the undefiled in the way:  who walk in the law of the Lord.  Glory be to the Father.

Introit – Common of a Holy Woman Not a Martyr

Commovisti, Domine, terram, et conturbasti eam.  Sana contritiones ejus, quia mota est.  Ut fugiant a facie arcus:  ut liberentur electi tui.

Thou hast moved the earth, O Lord, and hast troubled it.  Heal Thou the breaches thereof, for it has been moved.  That they may flee from the bow:  that Thine elect may be delivered.

Tract – Sexagesima Sunday

Communicantes Christi passionibus gaudete, ut in revelatione gloriae ejus gaudeatis exsultantes, alleluia.

If you partake of the sufferings of Christ, rejoice, that when His glory shall be revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy, alleluia.

Communion – St. Paul of the Cross

Confortamini, et jam nolite timere:  ecce enim Deus noster retribuet judicium:  ipse veniet et slavos nos faciet.

Take courage, and now fear not:  for behold our God will bring judgment:  He Himself will come and will save us.

Offertory – Wednesday in Ember Week of Advent

Crastina die delebitur iniquitas terrae:  et regnabit super nos Salvator mundi.  Alleluia.

Tomorrow shall the iniquity of the earth be abolished:  and the Savior of the world shall reign over us.  Alleluia.

Alleluia – Vigil of the Nativity of Our Lord

Custodi me, Domine, de manu peccatoris:  et ab hominibus iniquis eripe me.

Keep me, O Lord, from the hand of the wicked:  and from the unjust men deliver me.

Offertory – Tuesday in Holy Week

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