Te Deum

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Te Deum

1. an ancient Latin hymn in rhythmic prose, sung or recited at matins in the Roman Catholic Church and in English translation at morning prayer in the Church of England and used by both Churches as an expression of thanksgiving on special occasions
2. a musical setting of this hymn
3. a service of thanksgiving in which the recital of this hymn forms a central part
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Te Deum

 

(Te Deum laudamus), a Roman Catholic hymn composed in the fourth century and sung at services on holy days and solemn occasions and during processions. Composers wrote polyphonic elaborations of the liturgical melody of the Te Deum beginning in the 13th century, and Te Deums written for concert performance at secular festivals appeared in the 18th century. The latter were usually written for choir, or choirs, and symphony orchestra, often with vocal soloists and organ. Handel’s Te Deum is a noteworthy example. Te Deums were composed in the 19th century by Berlioz, Liszt, Verdi, Bruckner, and Dvořák.

A corresponding work in the Orthodox Church is the Khvalebnaia pesn’ (Song of Praise), or Tebe boga khvalim (God, we praise thee), an anonymous znamennyi chant with later versions by various composers. There are settings for one or two choirs by D. S. Bortnianskii, S. I. Davydov, and N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
The following Sunday, then, the Parisians arose with joy; at that period a Te Deum was a grand affair; this kind of ceremony had not then been abused and it produced a great effect.
As the last momentous words of the angel died away a jubilant 'Te Deum' burst from, organ and choir, and every member of the congregation exulted, often with sobs, in the great triumph which brought salvation to every Christian soul.
His dangers being over, she sang Te Deum. He was her Europe: her emperor: her allied monarchs and august prince regent.
Every one knew that the Bell people had whipped the West- ern Union, and hastened to join in the grand Te Deum of applause.
Thus the Te Deum was sung with equal joy and confidence in both camps.