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Benedicamus Domino

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Title: Benedicamus Domino  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Mass (music), Ordinary (liturgy), Tract (liturgy), Preface (liturgy), Collect
Collection: Lutheran Liturgy and Worship, Structure of the Mass
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Benedicamus Domino

Benedicamus Domino (Latin: "Let us bless the Lord") is a closing salutation used in the Roman Mass instead of the Ite missa est in Masses which lack the Gloria (such as those during Lent). The response, said afterwards, is Deo gratias ("Thanks be to God"). It is also sung as a versicle at the end of all Offices.

History and liturgical use

Apparently the chant was unknown in Rome before about AD 1000, and may have originated in the Gallican liturgy. In modern chantbooks, the music given for the chant is exactly the same as for the Ite missa est, but it is not known how much that was true in the medieval period as well.[1]

The text was frequently troped, especially by adding text between the two words, or using the melody as the St. Martial and Notre Dame schools of polyphony, including a dozen settings in the Magnus Liber Organi.

During the liturgical reforms of Pope Pius XII (1938–1958) and Pope John XXIII (1958–1963) the use of the Benedicamus Domino was much restricted. By 1963, it was only recited or chanted when a exposition immediately follows the Mass (Eucharisticum Mysterium, 120). It is rarely heard in Anglo-Saxon countries, processions being rarities there. It is still however, used in the Divine Office.

Lutherans continue to use it in the Divine Office and at the end of their Divine Service.


  1. ^ Hoppin, Richard. Medieval Music. New York: Norton, 1977. Page 142.


Mario Giuseppe Genesi, "Un Benedicamus Domino congetturalmente bivocale dei secc. XII-XIII nei Codici Bobbiesi: considerazioni a latere e comparazioni repertoriali";sta in "Archivum Bobiense",Rivista degli Archivi Storici della Città di Bobbio, 2007/2008, pp. 201–394.

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