Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor V. Exsultemus, et in ipso jucundemur V. Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum. Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.
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Today, Holy Thursday, is the day for singing the ancient chant Ubi Caritas! Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor. Exultemus, et in ipso iucundemur. Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum. Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero. Which I translate freely, Where charity and love are, there is God. The love of Christ has gathered us into one. Let us exult, and let us take delight in Him. Let us fear and let us love the living God. Let us love out of a sincere heart. This of course is only the first verse.
But it is beautiful! Apparently this chant was composed sometime between the fourth century and the twelfth century. Now how is that for historical precision? The actual origin of the chant is unknown and ambiguous, although musicologists and researchers believe it was written between and CE I am not sure what Mr. In Sacrosanctum Concilium we read, He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the centuries until He should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of His death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity , a paschal banquet in which Christ is eaten, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us .
I find Ubi Caritas, on page , as the last antiphon offered to be sung during the washing of the feet ritual. Now it seems ambiguous to me are we really supposed to sing them all? I have always admired the choir that can sing all nine antiphons before the priest washes twelve feet.
Perhaps this is an indication of how much time the priest should spend washing each foot. Or, speaking as a choirmaster with nine antiphons and psalm versicles to sing, maybe there should be mandatory policy that requires washing both feet!
With twenty-four feet to be washed, I think we could squeeze in all those antiphons and maybe even repeat a couple. Who composed the prayer? Who composed the music? When precisely was it composed? Although Ubi Caritas is certainly among the most beautiful hymns in the chant repertoire, this side of heaven we will never know the answers. UBI caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Simul ergo cum in unum congregamur: Ne nos mente dividamur, caveamus. Cessent iurgia maligna, cessent lites. Et in medio nostri sit Christus Deus. Simul quoque cum beatis videamus, Glorianter vultum tuum, Christe Deus: Gaudium quod est immensum, atque probum, Saecula per infinita saeculorum.
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor. Exultemus, et in ipso iucundemur. Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum. Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero. Simul ergo cum in unum congregamur: Ne nos mente dividamur, caveamus.
"Ubi Caritas" Lyrics and Translation