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Hymn of the week: “Ad te levavi”

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Gregorian chant for the first week of Advent.

This is the traditional Latin Introit for the First Sunday in Advent, and is thus the incipit of the whole Graduale Romanum, the collection of liturgical proper chants of the Mass. The author of this ancient hymn is anonymous, but it is derived from Psalm 25:

To you have I lifted up my soul.
My God, in you I trust, let me not be put to shame
and let not my enemies laugh over me,
because all those who wait for you
shall not be put to shame.

O Lord, make me know your ways
and teach me your paths.

To you have I lifted up . . .

Gregorian chant was one of the earliest forms of written music, and was primarily an effort of the Roman Catholic Church. While there is no date connected to this hymn, Gregorian chant was developed in Europe in the 9th and 10th centuries. This means that “Ad te levavi” could be up to 1,200 years old.

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