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Pope Francis led the faithful in St. Peter’s this evening in a final, majestic thanksgiving to God for the graces of the year that is ending.
In his homily for the Vespers service with the singing of the traditional Te Deum, the pope spoke about how the Church inherits from Mary an “inner perception of fullness, which nourishes a sense of gratitude, as the only human response worthy of the immense gift of God.”
“An overflowing gratitude, which, starting from the contemplation of that Child wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger, extends to everything and everyone, throughout the whole world,” he said. “It is a ‘thank you’ that reflects Grace; it comes not from us but from Him; it comes not from the self, but from God, and involves both the self and the community.”
The pope continued: “In this atmosphere created by the Holy Spirit, we lift up to God our thanksgiving for the year that draws to a close, recognizing that all good is God’s gift. Even the year 2017, which God gave us whole and healthy, we human beings have in many ways wasted and wounded it with works of death, with lies and injustices. Wars are the flagrant sign of this backsliding and absurd pride. But so are all the small and great offenses against life, truth, and solidarity, which cause multiple forms of human, social and environmental degradation. We desire to and must assume fully, before God, our brothers and Creation, our own responsibility.
“But tonight the Grace of Jesus prevails and his reflection in Mary. Therefore, gratitude prevails, which, as Bishop of Rome, I feel in my soul …”
Public praying of the Te Deum on the last day of the year carries a plenary indulgence, with the other customary requisites.
Here is the text of the Te Deum:
O God, we praise Thee, and acknowledge Thee to be the supreme Lord. Everlasting Father, all the earth worships Thee. All the Angels, the heavens and all angelic powers, All the Cherubim and Seraphim, continuously cry to Thee: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts! Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy glory. The glorious choir of the Apostles, The wonderful company of Prophets, The white-robed army of Martyrs, praise Thee. Holy Church throughout the world acknowledges Thee: The Father of infinite Majesty; Thy adorable, true and only Son; Also the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. O Christ, Thou art the King of glory! Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father. When Thou tookest it upon Thyself to deliver man, Thou didst not disdain the Virgin’s womb. Having overcome the sting of death, Thou opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers. Thou sitest at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father. We believe that Thou willst come to be our Judge. We, therefore, beg Thee to help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood. Let them be numbered with Thy Saints in everlasting glory. V. Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thy inheritance! R. Govern them, and raise them up forever. V. Every day we thank Thee. R. And we praise Thy Name forever, yes, forever and ever. V. O Lord, deign to keep us from sin this day. R. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us. V. Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, for we have hoped in Thee. R. O Lord, in Thee I have hoped; let me never be put to shame.