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The Canticles

A canticle (from the Latin canticulum, a diminutive of canticum, song) is a hymn (strictly excluding the Psalms) taken from the Bible. The term is often expanded to include ancient non-biblical hymns such as the Te Deum and certain psalms used liturgically. (Wikipedia)


1 A Song of Creation Benedicite, omnia opera Domini
Song of the Three Young Men, 35-65

This Canticle may be shortened by omitting section II or III.
I Invocation
O all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord; *
 praise him and magnify him for ever.

O ye angels of the Lord, bless ye the Lord; *
 praise him and magnify him for ever.

II The Cosmic Order
O ye heavens, bless ye the Lord; *
 O ye waters that be above the firmament, bless ye the Lord;

O all ye powers of the Lord, bless ye the Lord; *
 praise him and magnify him for ever.

O ye sun and moon, bless ye the Lord; *
 O ye stars of heaven, bless ye the Lord;

O ye showers and dew, bless ye the Lord; *
 praise him and magnify him for ever.

O ye winds of God, bless ye the Lord; *
 O ye fire and heat, bless ye the Lord;

O ye winter and summer, bless ye the Lord; *
 praise him and magnify him for ever.

O ye dews and frosts, bless ye the Lord; *
 O ye frost and cold, bless ye the Lord;

O ye ice and snow, bless ye the Lord; *
 praise him and magnify him for ever.

O ye nights and days, bless ye the Lord; *
 O ye light and darkness, bless ye the Lord;

O ye lightnings and clouds, bless ye the Lord; *
 praise him and magnify him for ever.

III The Earth and its Creatures
O let the earth bless the Lord; *
 O ye mountains and hills, bless ye the Lord;

O all ye green things upon the earth, bless ye the Lord; *
 praise him and magnify him for ever.

O all ye fowls of the air, bless ye the Lord; *
 O all ye beasts and cattle, bless ye the Lord;

O ye children of men, bless ye the Lord; *
 praise him and magnify him for ever.

IV  The People of God
O ye people of God, bless ye the Lord; *
 O ye priests of the Lord, bless ye the Lord;

O ye servants of the Lord, bless ye the Lord; *
 praise him and magnify him for ever.

O ye spirits and souls of the righteous, bless ye the Lord; *
 O ye holy and humble men of heart, bless ye the Lord.

Let us bless the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; *
 praise him and magnify him for ever.
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2 A Song of Praise Benedictus es, Domine
Song of the Three Young Men, 29-34

Blessed art thou, O Lord God of our fathers; *
 praised and exalted above all for ever.

Blessed art thou for the name of thy Majesty; *
 praised and exalted above all for ever.

Blessed art thou in the temple of thy holiness; *
 praised and exalted above all for ever.

Blessed art thou that beholdest the depths,
and dwellest between the Cherubim; *
 praised and exalted above all for ever.

Blessed art thou on the glorious throne of thy kingdom; *
 praised and exalted above all for ever.

Blessed art thou in the firmament of heaven; *
 praised and exalted above all for ever.

Blessed art thou, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
 praised and exalted above all for ever.
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3 The Song of Mary Magnificat
Luke 1:46-55

My soul doth magnify the Lord, *
 and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.

For he hath regarded *
 the lowliness of his handmaiden.

For behold from henceforth *
 all generations shall call me blessed.

For he that is mighty hath magnified me, *
 and holy is his Name.

And his mercy is on them that fear him *
 throughout all generations.

He hath showed strength with his arm; *
 he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their heart
He hath filled the hungry with good things,*
 and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel, *
 as he promised to our forefathers,
 Abraham and his seed for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
   world without end.  Amen.
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4 The Song of Zechariah Benedictus Dominus Deus
Luke 1:68-79

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, *
 for he hath visited and redeemed his people;

And hath raised up a mighty salvation for us *
 in the house of his servant David,

As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, *
 which have been since the world began:

That we should be saved from our enemies, *
 and from the hand of all that hate us;

To perform the mercy promised to our forefathers, *
 and to remember his holy covenant;

To perform the oath which he sware to our forefather Abraham, *
 that he would give us,

That we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies *
 might serve him without fear,

In holiness and righteousness before him, *
 all the days of our life.

And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest, *
 for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord
		to prepare his ways;

To give knowledge of salvation unto his people *
 for the remission of their sins,

Through the tender mercy of our God, *
 whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us;

To give light to them that sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death, *
 and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.
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5 The Song of Simeon Nunc dimittis
Luke 2:29-32

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, *
 according to thy word;

For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, *
 which thou hast prepared before the face of all people,

To be a light to lighten the Gentiles, *
 and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
   world without end.  Amen.
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6 Glory be to God Gloria in Excelsis

Glory be to God on high,
 and on earth peace, good will towards men.

We praise thee, we bless thee,
 we worship thee,
 we glorify thee,
 we give thanks to thee for thy great glory,
O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.

O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ;
O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
 that takest away the sins of the world,
 have mercy upon us.
Thou that takest away the sins of the world,
 receive our prayer.
Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father,
 have mercy upon us.

For thou only art holy,
thou only art the Lord,
thou only, O Christ,
 with the Holy Ghost,
 art most high in the glory of God the Father.  Amen.
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7 We Praise Thee Te Deum laudamus

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.
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8 The Song of Moses Cantemus Domino
Exodus 15:1-6, 11-13, 17-18

Especially suitable for use in Easter Season
I will sing to the Lord, for he is lofty and uplifted; *
 the horse and its rider has he hurled into the sea. 

The Lord is my strength and my refuge; *
 the Lord has become my Savior. 

This is my God and I will praise him, *
 the God of my people and I will exalt him. 

The Lord is a mighty warrior; *
 Yahweh is his Name. 

The chariots of Pharoah and his army has he hurled into the sea; *
 the finest of those who bear armor have been 
	drowned in the Red Sea. 

The fathomless deep has overwhelmed them; *
 they sank into the depths like a stone. 

Your right hand, O Lord, is glorious in might; *
 your right hand, O Lord, has overthrown the enemy. 

Who can be compared with you, O Lord, among the gods? *
 who is like you, glorious in holiness,
 awesome in renown, and worker of wonders? 

You stretched forth your right hand; *
 the earth swallowed them up. 

With your constant love you led the people you redeemed; *
 with your might you brought them in safety to 
	your holy dwelling. 

You will bring them in and plant them *
 on the mount of your possession, 

The resting-place you have made for yourself, O Lord, *
 the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hand has established. 

The Lord shall reign *
 for ever and for ever. 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen. 
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9 The First Song of Isaiah Ecce, Deus
Isaiah 12:2-6

Surely, it is God who saves me; *
 I will trust in him and not be afraid. 

For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, *
 and he will be my Savior. 

Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing *
 from the springs of salvation. 

And on that day you shall say, *
 Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name; 

Make his deeds known among the peoples; *
 see that they remember that his Name is exalted. 

Sing praises of the Lord, for he has done great things, *
 and this is known in all the world. 

Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, *
 for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel. 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.
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10 The Second Song of Isaiah Quaerite Dominum
Isaiah 55:6-11

Seek the Lord while he wills to be found; *
 call upon him when he draws near. 

Let the wicked forsake their ways *
 and the evil ones their thoughts; 

And let them turn to the Lord, and he will have compassion, *
 and to our God, for he will richly pardon.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,*
 nor your ways my ways, says the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth,*
 so are my ways higher than your ways,
 and my thoughts than your thoughts. 

For as rain and snow fall from the heavens *
 and return not again, but water the earth, 

Bringing forth life and giving growth, *
 seed for sowing and bread for eating, 

So is my word that goes forth from my mouth; *
 it will not return to me empty; 

But it will accomplish that which I have purposed, *
 and prosper in that for which I sent it. 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.. 
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11 The Third Song of Isaiah Surge, illuminare
Isaiah 60:1-3, 11a, 14c, 18-19

Arise, shine, for your light has come, *
 and the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you. 

For behold, darkness covers the land; *
 deep gloom enshrouds the peoples. 

But over you the Lord will rise, *
 and his glory will appear upon you. 

Nations will stream to your light, *
 and kings to the brightness of your dawning. 

Your gates will always be open; *
 by day or night they will never be shut. 

They will call you, The City of the Lord, *
 The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. 

Violence will no more be heard in your land, *
 ruin or destruction within your borders. 

You will call your walls, Salvation, *
 and all your portals, Praise. 

The sun will no more be your light by day; *
 by night you will not need the brightness of the moon. 

The Lord will be your everlasting light, *
 and your God will be your glory. 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen. 
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12 A Song of Creation Benedicite, omnia opera Domini
Song of the Three Young Men, 35-65

One or more sections of this Canticle may be used. Whatever the selection,
it begins with the Invocation and concludes with the Doxology.

Invocation
Glorify the Lord, all you works of the Lord, *
 praise him and highly exalt him for ever. 

In the firmament of his power, glorify the Lord, *
 praise him and highly exalt him for ever. 

I  The Cosmic Order
Glorify the Lord, you angels and all powers of the Lord, *
 O heavens and all waters above the heavens. 

Sun and moon and stars of the sky, glorify the Lord, *
 praise him and highly exalt him for ever. 

Glorify the Lord, every shower of rain and fall of dew, *
 all winds and fire and heat. 

Winter and Summer, glorify the Lord, *
 praise him and highly exalt him for ever. 

Glorify the Lord, O chill and cold, *
 drops of dew and flakes of snow. 

Frost and cold, ice and sleet, glorify the Lord, *
 praise him and highly exalt him for ever. 

Glorify the Lord, O nights and days, *
 O shining light and enfolding dark. 

Storm clouds and thunderbolts, glorify the Lord, *
 praise him and highly exalt him for ever. 

II  The Earth and its Creatures
Let the earth glorify the Lord, *
 praise him and highly exalt him for ever. 

Glorify the Lord, O mountains and hills,
and all that grows upon the earth, *
 praise him and highly exalt him for ever. 

Glorify the Lord, O springs of water, seas, and streams, *
 O whales and all that move in the waters. 

All birds of the air, glorify the Lord, *
 praise him and highly exalt him for ever. 

Glorify the Lord, O beasts of the wild, *
 and all you flocks and herds. 

O men and women everywhere, glorify the Lord, *
 praise him and highly exalt him for ever. 

III  The People of God
Let the people of God glorify the Lord, *
 praise him and highly exalt him for ever. 

Glorify the Lord, O priests and servants of the Lord, *
 praise him and highly exalt him for ever. 

Glorify the Lord, O spirits and souls of the righteous, *
 praise him and highly exalt him for ever. 

You that are holy and humble of heart, glorify the Lord, *
 praise him and highly exalt him for ever. 

Doxology
Let us glorify the Lord: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
 praise him and highly exalt him forever.
In the firmament of his power, glorify the Lord, *
 praise him and highly exalt him forever.
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13 A Song of Praise Benedictus es, Domine
Song of the Three Young Men, 29-34

Glory to you, Lord God of our fathers; *
 you are worthy of praise; glory to you. 

Glory to you for the radiance of your holy Name; *
 we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever. 

Glory to you in the splendor of your temple; *
 on the throne of your majesty, glory to you. 

Glory to you, seated between the Cherubim; *
 we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever. 

Glory to you, beholding the depths; *
 in the high vault of heaven, glory to you. 

Glory to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; *
 we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever. 
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14 A Song of Penitence Kyrie Pantokrator
Prayer of Manasseh 1-2, 4, 6-7, 11-15

Especially suitable in Lent, and on other penitential occasions
O Lord and Ruler of the hosts of heaven, *
 God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
 and of all their righteous offspring: 

You made the heavens and the earth, *
 with all their vast array. 

All things quake with fear at your presence; *
 they tremble because of your power. 

But your merciful promise is beyond all measure; *
 it surpasses all that our minds can fathom. 

O Lord, you are full of compassion, *
 long-suffering, and abounding in mercy. 

You hold back your hand; *
 you do not punish as we deserve. 

In your great goodness, Lord,
you have promised forgiveness to sinners, *
 that they may repent of their sin and be saved. 

And now, O Lord, I bend the knee of my heart, *
 and make my appeal, sure of your gracious goodness. 

I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, *
 and I know my wickedness only too well. 

Therefore I make this prayer to you: *
 Forgive me, Lord, forgive me. 

Do not let me perish in my sin, *
 nor condemn me to the depths of the earth. 

For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent, *
 and in me you will show forth your goodness. 

Unworthy as I am, you will save me,
in accordance with your great mercy, *
 and I will praise you without ceasing all the days of my life. 

For all the powers of heaven sing your praises, *
 and yours is the glory to ages of ages.  Amen. 
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15 The Song of Mary Magnificat
Luke 1:46-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; *
 for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. 

From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
 the Almighty has done great things for me,
 and holy is his Name. 

He has mercy on those who fear him *
 in every generation. 

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
 he has scattered the proud in their conceit. 

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
 and has lifted up the lowly. 

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
 and the rich he has sent away empty. 

He has come to the help of his servant Israel, *
 for he has remembered his promise of mercy, 

The promise he made to our fathers, *
 to Abraham and his children for ever. 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.

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16 The Song of Zechariah Benedictus Dominus Deus
Luke 1: 68-79

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; *
 he has come to his people and set them free. 

He has raised up for us a mighty savior, *
 born of the house of his servant David. 

Through his holy prophets he promised of old,
that he would save us from our enemies, *
 from the hands of all who hate us. 

He promised to show mercy to our fathers *
 and to remember his holy covenant. 

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham, *
 to set us free from the hands of our enemies, 

Free to worship him without fear, *
 holy and righteous in his sight
 all the days of our life. 

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, *
 for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
To give his people knowledge of salvation *
 by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God *
 the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
	and to guide our feet into the way of peace. 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.
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17 The Song of Simeon Nunc Dimittis
Luke 2:29-32

Lord, you now have set your servant free *
 to go in peace as you have promised; 

For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *
 whom you have prepared for all the world to see: 

A Light to enlighten the nations, *
 and the glory of your people Israel. 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.
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18 A Song to the Lamb Dignus es
Revelation 4:11, 5:9-10, 13

Splendor and honor and kingly power *
 are yours by right, O Lord our God, 

For you created everything that is, *
 and by your will they were created and have their being; 

And yours by right, O Lamb that was slain, *
 for with your blood you have redeemed for God, 

From every family, language, people, and nation, *
 a kingdom of priests to serve our God. 

And so, to him who sits upon the throne, *
 and to Christ the Lamb, 

Be worship and praise, dominion and splendor, *
 for ever and for evermore. 
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19 The Song of the Redeemed Magna et mirabilia
Revelation 15:3-4

O ruler of the universe, Lord God,
great deeds are they that you have done, *
 surpassing human understanding. 

Your ways are ways of righteousness and truth, *
 O King of all the ages. 

Who can fail to do you homage, Lord,
and sing the praises of your Name? *
 for you only are the Holy One. 

All nations will draw near and fall down before you, *
 because your just and holy works have been revealed. 

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.  Amen.
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20 Glory to God Gloria in excelsis

Glory to God in the highest,
 and peace to his people on earth. 

Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
 we worship you, we give you thanks,
 we praise you for your glory. 

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
 have mercy on us; 
 you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
 receive our prayer. 

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
 Jesus Christ,
 with the Holy Spirit,
 in the glory of God the Father.  Amen. 
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21 You are God Te Deum laudamus

You are God:  we praise you;
You are the Lord; we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father:
All creation worships you.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
 Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
 heaven and earth are full of your glory. 

The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you;
 Father, of majesty unbounded,
 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 man to set us free
you did not shun the Virgin's womb.
You overcame the sting of death
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God's right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come and be our judge.
 Come then, Lord, and help your people,
 bought with the price of your own blood,
 and bring us with your saints
 to glory everlasting.
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