Giving Praise to God through song and poetry.
Search through the scriptures or attach music to his being, we find our praise is surrounded by expressions of the deepest thoughts man can find to adore our God. The most significant type of praise can be found in hymns.
It is in the one hymn we use in the breviary on Sundays and special Solemnities. It is the “Te Deum laudamus” (Latin: “God, we Praise You” ).
Throughout the devotions of liturgical worship we find myriads of music dedicated to the praise of God. There is no other term found in prayer that completely offers our thanks to God than praising him so eloquently. Search the scriptures and find the many words of reaching God through praise. Psalm 42: “Wait for God, whom I shall praise again, my savior and my God.” Hebrews 13: 15 - 16: “Through him let us continually offer God a sacrifice of of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.”
When reaching out to God in all his Majesty, all his Omnipotence, and all the wonderment of his eternal kingdom, we must become enthralled with the continuous praise that goes on forever by the angels and saints who worship God in heaven. “For this reason they stand before God’s throne and worship him day and night in his temple.” (Rv 7: 15).
Look at the Te Deum with the first section; “You are God: we praise you; You are the Lord: we acclaim you; You are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. The very opening of this hymn completely puts our attention on the one who created us, redeemed us, and accepted each one to his side in heaven. On this alone our future will be a presence with Almighty God.
“To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. The angels before man was created were present before God and sang the hymn that never becomes boring. It is the praise that God deserves.
“The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you”. For those who believe that this will be our task, listen up? We will join this entourage and be happy because the one we worship is the very one who forgave our failings through his Son Jesus Christ on the Cross, through the shedding of his blood.
“Throughout the whole world the Holy Church acclaims you: Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.”
“You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father.”
“When you became man to set us free you did not spurn the virgin’s womb.”
“You overcame the sting of death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.”
“You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.”
“We believe that you will come, and be our judge.”
“Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.”
Whenever we consider the best manner to pray it would be good to read this hymn and at least try to emulate its very essence. For meditation, this hymn (Te Deum) puts the very essence of our God into perspective. This alone can at times relax our mind and give each of us a good way to contemplate our creator.
Ralph B. Hathaway