Daily Gleaning - "Te Deum Laudamus"
The "Te Deum Laudamus" is a Canticle in Morning Prayer, and as such it is made to be sung. Its origin is sometimes linked to the baptism of St. Augustine, but we know with surety that singing it is one of the oldest traditions in Christendom, and we know for a fact that it was esteemed by the earliest Reformed Anglicans. English soldiers would sing it before going into battle and English kings such as Henry VIII were taught it as children. In medieval times, the Te Deum Laudamus became primarily associated with the Mass, but the English Reformation brought it back to its original purpose as a prayer that belongs in regular daily devotion.
The text of the Te Deum Laudamus that we find in the Book of Common Prayer is suitable for chant, but it is certainly not the only way it may be recited or sung. One of the more popular ways that Anglicans have experienced the prayer is in Common Meter because it could be easily learned by untrained musicians and sung to any Common Meter tune of which there are hundreds. "Amazing Grace" for example is a Common Meter tune.
In the Online Daily Prayer by Reformed Anglican Fellowship, there is an optional version of the Te Deum Laudamus written in Common Meter. For an informal family, group or church gathering without instrumental accompaniment, singing this version can be an appropriate and excellent feature in Morning Prayer; both fun and edifying.
Te Deum Laudamus (in common meter)
O God, we praise thee, and confess
that thou the only Lord
and everlasting Father art,
by all the earth adored.
To thee all angels cry aloud;
to thee the powers on high,
both cherubim and seraphim,
continually do cry:
O holy, holy, holy Lord,
whom heavenly hosts obey,
the world is with the glory filled
of thy majestic sway!
The apostles' glorious company,
and prophets crowned with light,
with all the martyrs' noble host,
thy constant praise recite.
The holy Church throughout the world,
O Lord, confesses thee,
that thou eternal Father art,
of boundless majesty.
Thine only Son, adored and true
He who for us died,
also the Holy Comforter,
our advocate and guide.
Thou art the King of glory, Christ,
the everlasting Son;
humbly thou cam'st to set us free,
nor Virgin womb didst shun.
When thou hadst overcome death's sting
and opened heaven's door,
thou didst ascend to God's right hand
in glory evermore.
When thou shalt come to be our judge,
bring us whom thou hadst brought,
to dwell on high with all thy saints
in joy surpassing thought.