Te Deum

The name of an early Christian hymn written in Latin which comes from its first two words or, when its longer title is used, its first three words, Te Deum Laudamus (“We praise thee, O God”). There have been various traditions about its composition, the best known being that which ascribed it to Ambrose* and Augustine* at the latter's baptism. Nowadays it is generally accepted that the author was Niceta,* bishop of Remesiana about a.d. 400. The first nine verses are an ascription of praise, and the next twelve a confession of faith ending with prayer. The last eight verses are suffrages which became attached to it at an early date. The Te Deum has a central place in the morning worship of the Western Church.