The Relevance of Singing the Te Deum Laudamus in the Postmodern Era

Phemelo Olifile Marumo


This paper investigates the relevance of singing and performing the Te Deum Laudamus in the postmodern Christian era, especially in view of changing enactments and perceptions of the purpose of the hymn. The Te Deum has been used in various ways in church history, sung as a confession of praise and regularly used since the time of St Benedict during Matins (morning service). While the Reformers were critical of the late medieval worship, they did not query incorporating the Te Deum into their liturgies, because it brought meaning to the glorification of a benevolent God. This explains its use also by most Christian churches in their liturgies in the postmodern era. However, the pertinent question remains: Is the Te Deum still applicable to the postmodern church, which is characterised by secularism, charismatic sermons, and commercialised worship. The question is instigated by events and conceptions of the universe from the era of Gregorianism to Darwinism. In answering this question, the paper highlights the history of the Te Deum and its application within the church, and seeks to find out whether the hymn addresses the present needs of Christians, which have been affected by postmodernism. The paper contends that the Te Deum is still relevant and contributes to the glorification of God’s mission (missio Dei).


missio Dei; church; salvation; redemption; postmodern; Te Deum Laudamus

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