How You Do It
A solemn Te Deum can be placed at the end of a Mass or Office or may serve as a stand-alone liturgy in its own right. If the last, a procession may well be the way to do it in which case the solemn Te Deum occurs as you leave the station to which it went; the Te Deum is sung on the return to the altar where the versicles and responses are sung but the altar itself is not censed.
The text of the liturgy is fairly simple: it consists of the Te Deum itself sung to a solemn setting. Most traditional settings include the standard versicles with the canticle. The ’79 BCP, however, decided to hack them off and to make them Suffrages B of Morning Prayer. If you’re doing a procession, you may want to append them based on the distance or rate of speed traveled. What makes a solemn Te Deum an act of thanksgiving, though, is the presence of additional versicles which are a mash-up of the Benedictus Es and Ps 103:
V. Blessed art thou, O Lord God of our Fathers :
R. And to be praised and glorified forever.
V. Let us bless the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost :
R. Let us praise and exalt him above all forever.
V. Blessed art thou in the firmament of heaven :
R. And to be praised and glorified, and exalted above all forever.
V. Praise the Lord, O my soul :
R. And forget not all his benefits.
V. O Lord, hear our prayer :
R. And let our prayer come unto thee.
V. The Lord be with you :
R. And with thy spirit
Let us pray:
[Insert here the General Thanksgiving found at the end of the Office]
Needless to say, candles, banners, and at least one thurible are absolutely required.
Why You Do It
Any occasion of celebration and thanksgiving are suitable for a solemn Te Deum. Common historical examples occur at the ends of wars, the securing of lines of succession, etc. It need not be a huge national event, however; miraculous healings were also celebrated by such liturgies.
My reason today is because M has a job!! It’s at a parish fairly close to here where she’ll be the associate. We both get a great feeling from the rector, staff, and parish and this rector seems amazing and is interested in all sorts of interesting things. Best yet, M and the Rector seem to have a great rapport already and both are very excited to see what happens. She starts on Sunday.
Wonderful! I am absolutely thrilled for you!
Now where did I put that thurible?
That’s great news — congrats!
Here’s the music! (An .ogg file that you can find here, if you can’t open it.)
(And here’s another, an mp3 this time….)
Yes, Postulant, but a Solemn Te Deum requires TWO thuribles in wild 360 degree swings!
Anyone who wants a nice plainchant setting, let me know.