Communions in Modes 2 & 4

Communion antiphons draw on a greater variety of lyrics from Old and New Testaments than do the other kinds of Mass chants, and set them to music intensively crafted with attention to expressive melodic detail. 

Psalm verses for the Communion Antiphons were not provided in the Gregorian tradition after the Middle Ages; the Graduale triplex provided for a choice of appropriate verses, and accordingly a verse has  been recorded here, drawn from a St. Gall versarium in the splendid facsimile edited by Arlt and Rankin.

Abbreviated references here include the following: “John 10:14; V. Ps. 32:1” means that the words of the Antiphon are from verse 14 of John, Chapter 10.

“GT224” is the page reference to the Triplex. “M88” is the number of the Mass formulary in the Sextuplex. 

Click here to read the notes on Communions in Modes 2 & 4.

Click on each track below to listen to the chant.

Scroll down to view the original lyrics in Latin and their English translations.

Ego sum pastor bonus alleluia:
et cognosco oves meas et cognoscunt me meae alleluia alleluia.

V. Exultate iusti in Domino: rectos decet collaudatio.
Translation: I am the good shepherd, alleluia: and know my sheep and am known of mine, alleluia, alleluia. V. Rejoice in the Lord O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
John 10:14; V. Ps. 32:1 GT224
M88: Sunday 2 after Easter
Cantate Domino alleluia: cantate Domino benedicite nomen eius:
bene nuntiate de die in diem salutare eius alleluia alleluia.

V. Cantate Domino canticum novum: cantate Domino omnis terra.
Translation: Sing unto the Lord, alleluia: sing unto the Lord, bless his name: shew forth his salvation from day to day, alleluia, alleluia. V. Sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord all the earth.
Ps. 95:2; V. 1 G222
M91: Sunday 5 after Easter
Narrabo omnia mirabilia tua:
laetabor et exsultabo in te:
psallam nomini tuo altissime.

V. Confitebor tibi Domine in toto corde meo.
Translation: I will shew forth all thy marvelous works: I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most high. V. I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart.
Ps. 9: 2, 3; V. 2(=1) GT281
M48: feria iii in Week II of Lent
M 173: Sunday 1 after Pentecost
Cantabo Domino qui bona tribuit mihi:
et psallam nomini Domini altissimi.

V. Usquequo Domine oblivisceris me in finem: usquequo avertis faciem tuam a me.
Translation: I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me: and I will praise the name of the Lord most high. V. How long wilt thou forget me O Lord? forever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?
Ps. 12:6; V. 1 GT283
M174: Sunday 2 after Pentecost
Dominus firmamentum meum et refugium meum et liberator meus:
Deus meus adiutor meus.

V. Laudans invocabo Dominum: et ab inimicis meis salvus ero.
Translation: The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer: my God, my strength. V. Praising I will call upon the Lord: so shall I be saved from my enemies.
Ps. 17:3; V. 4 GT290
M68: feria ii in Week V of Lent
M176: Sunday 4 after Pentecost
Vovete et reddite Domino Deo vestro omnes qui in circuitu eius affertis munera:
terribili et ei qui aufert spiritum principum:
terribili apud omnes reges terrae.

V. Notus in Iudea Deus: in Israel magnum nomen eius.
Translation: Vow and pray unto the Lord your God all that round about him bring presents: he that ought to be feared shall cut off the spirit of princes: terrible to the kings of the earth. V. In Judah is God known: his name is great in Israel.
Ps. 75: 12, 13; V. 2(=1) GT335
M189: Sunday 17 after Pentecost
Cum invocarem te exaudisti me Deus iustitiae meae:
in tribulatione dilatasti me:
miserere mihi Domine et exaudi orationem meam.

V. Signatum est super nos lumen vultis tui Domine: dedisti laetitiam in corde meo.
Translation: Hear me when I call O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress: have mercy upon me and hear my prayer. V. Lift up the light of thy countenance upon us O Lord: thou hast put gladness in my heart.
Ps. 4: 2(=1); V. 7 GT80
M42: feria iii in Week 1 of Lent
Domine Deus meus in te speravi:
libera me ab omnibus persequentibus me et eripe me.

V. Nequando rapiat ut leo animam meam:
dum non est qui redimat neque qui salvum faciat.
Translation: O Lord my God in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me and deliver me. V. Lest he tear my soul like a lion: while there is none to deliver me.
Ps. 7: 2(=1); V. 3 GT87
M46: sabbato of Ember Week in Lent
Domine Dominus noster quam admirabile est nomen tuum in universa terra!

V. Quoniam elevata est magnificentia tua super caelos.
Translation: O Lord our Lord how excellent is thy name in all the earth! V. How high is thy glory above the heavens!
Ps. 8: 2(=1); V. ibid. GT357
M47: feria ii in Week 2 of Lent
Laetabimur in salutari tuo:
et in nomine Domini Dei nostri magnificabimur.

V. Exaudiat te Dominus in die tribulationis: protegat te nomen Dei Iacob.
Translation: We will rejoice in thy salvation: and in the name of the Lord our God we will glorify. V. The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble: the name of the God of Jacob defend thee.
Ps. 19:6; V. 2(=1) GT359
M62: feria iii in Week 4 of Lent
Dominus regit me et nihil mihi deerit:
in loco pascuae ibi me collocavit:
super aquam refectionis educavit me.

V. Deduxit me super semitas iustitiae: propter nomen suum.
Translation: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want: he maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me besides still waters. V. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Ps. 22: 1,2; V. 3 GT365
M66: sabbato in Week 4 of Lent
Dominus Iesus postquam cenavit cum discipulis suis lavit pedes eorum et ait illis:
Scitis quid fecerim vobis ego Dominus et magister?
Exemplum dedi vobis ut et vos ita faciatis.

V. Beati immaculati in via: qui ambulant in lege Domini.
Translation: The Lord Jesus, after he had eaten with his disciples, washed their feet and said unto them: know ye what I have done unto you, your Lord and Master? I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. V. Blessed are those that are undefiled in the way: that walk in the law of the Lord.
John 13: 12, 13, 15; V. Ps. 118:1 GT165
M77: feria v in Holy Week
Potum meum cum fletu temperabam:
quia elevans allisisti me:
et ego sicut fenum arui:
tu autem Domine in aeternum permanes:
tu exsurgens misereberis Sion quia venit tempus miserendi eius.

V. Domine exaudi orationem meam: et clamor meus ad te veniat.
Translation: I have mingled my drink with weeping: thou hast lifted me up and cast me down: and I am withered like grass: but thou O Lord shall endure forever: thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favor her is come. V. Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto thee.
Ps. 101: 10, 13, 14; V. 2(=1) GT157
M76: feria iv in Holy Week
Omnes qui in Christo baptizati estis Christum induistis alleluia.

V. Confitemini Domino et invocate nomen eius: adnuntiati inter gentes opera eius.
Translation: For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ, alleluia V. Give thanks unto the Lord: call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.
Galatians 3:27; V. Ps. 104:1 GT61
M86: sabbato in Pascha
Aufer a me opprobrium et contemptum quia mandata tua exquisivi Domine:
nam et testimonia tua meditatio mea est.

V. Beati immaculati in via: qui ambulant in lege Domini.
Translation: Remove from me reproach and contempt: for I have kept thy testimonies, O Lord. V. Blessed are those that are undefiled in the way: that walk in the law of the Lord.
Ps. 118: 22, 24; V. 1 GT353
M191: feria vi in Ember Week in September
Exiit sermo inter fratres quod discipulus ille non moritur:
et non dixit Iesus:
Non moritur:
Sed sic eum volo manere donec veniam.

V. Bonum est confiteri Domino: et psallere nomini tuo altissime.
Translation: Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that this disciple should not die: Yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die: but if that I will that he tarry till I come. V. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord: and to sing praises unto thy name, O most highest.
John 21:23; V. Ps. 91: 2(=1) GT637
M14: John Ev. II (27 December)
Multitudo languentium et qui vexabantur a spiritibus immundis veniebant ad eum:
quia virtus de illo exiebat et sanabat omnes.

V. Deus venerunt gentes in hereditatem tuam: polluerunt templum sanctum tuum.
Translation: A multitude of them that languished and were vexed with unclean spirits came to him: for there went strength out of him and healed them all. V. O God the heathen are come into thy inheritance: thy holy temple have they defiled.
Luke 6: 17, 18, 19; V. Ps. 78:1 GT471
M24: Fabianus & Sebastianus (January 20)
M144: Hermes (28 August)
Tu puer propheta altissimi vocaberis:
praeibis enim ante faciem Domini parare vias eius.

V. Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel: quia visitavit et fecit redemptionem plebis suae.
Translation: Thou child shall be called the prophet of the highest: for thou shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways. V. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel: for he hath visited and redeemed his people.
Luke 1:76; V. 68 GT572
M119: John Bapt. II (24 June)
Vos qui secuti estis me sedebitis super sedes
iudicantes duodecim tribus Israel dicit Dominus.

V. Domine probasti me et cognovisti me: tu cognovisti sessionem meam.
Translation: Ye which have followed me shall sit on the thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel, saith the Lord. V. Lord thou hast searched me and known me: thou knowest my downsitting.
Matthew 19:28; V. Ps. 138: 2(=1) GT438
M160: Simon & Jude (28 October)
Vidimus stellam eius in Oriente et venimus cum muneribus adorare Dominum

V. Deus in iudicium tuum regi da: et iustitiam tuam filio regis.
Translation: We have seen his star in the east and have come with gifts to worship the Lord. V. Give the king thy judgments O God: and thy righteousness to the king's son.
Cf. Matthew 2:2; V. Ps.71: 2(=1) GT59
M18: Epiphany
Exsulta filia Sion lauda filia Ierusalem:
ecce rex tuus venit sanctus et salvator mundi.

V. Dominus regnavit decore indutus est:
indutus est Dominus fortitudine et precinxit se virtute.
Translation: Rejoice O daughter of Sion, sing praises ye daughter of Jerusalem: behold thy king cometh holy and savior of the world. V. The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty: clothed with might is the Lord and he has girded himself with strength.
Zacharias 9:9; V. Ps. 92:1 GT47
M10: Nativity (Mass II)
Ierusalem quae aedificatur ut civitas cuius participatio eius in idipsum:
illuc enim ascenderunt tribus, tribus Domini ad confitendum nomini tuo Domine.

V. Laetatus in his quae dicta sunt mihi: in domum Domini ibimus.
Translation: Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together: whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord to give thanks unto thy name O Lord. V. I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.
Ps. 121: 3, 4; V. 1 GT370
M60: Sunday 4 in Lent
Pater cum essem cum eis ego servabam eos quos dedisti mihi alleluia:
nunc autem ad te venio:
non rogo ut tollas eos de mundo sed ut serves eos a malo alleluia alleluia.

V. Dominus illuminatio mea: et salus mea quem timebo?
Translation: Father, when I was with them, those that thou gavest me I kept, alleluia: and now I come to thee: I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil, alleluia, alleluia. V. The Lord is my light and my salvation: whom should I fear?
John 17: 12, 13, 15; V. Ps. 26: 1 GT243
M101bis: Vigil of the Ascension
M103: Sunday after Ascension.
Inclina aurem tuam accelera ut eruas me.

V. In te Domine speravi non confundar in eternum: in iustitia tua libera me.
Translation: Bow down thine ear to me: deliver me speedily. V. In thee O Lord do I put my trust: let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.
Ps. 30: 3ab; V. 2(=1) GT300
M179: Sunday 7 after Pentecost
Acceptabis sacrificium iustitiae oblationes et holocausta super altare tuum Domine.

V. Miserere mei Deus: secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Translation: Thou shalt accept the sacrifice of righteousness with burnt offering and whole burnt offering upon thine altar O Lord. V. Have mercy upon me O God according to thy great mercy.
Ps. 50:21; V. 3(=1) GT309
M38: feria v after Quinquagesima
M182: Sunday 10 after Pentecost
Tollite hostias et introite in atria eius:
adorate Dominum in aula sancta eius.

V. Cantate Domino canticum novum: cantate Domino omnis terra.
Translation: Bring offerings and come into his courts: worship the Lord in his holy temple. V. Sing unto the Lord a new song: let the whole earth sing unto the Lord.
Ps. 95: 8, 9; V. 1 GT338
M193: Sunday 18 after Pentecost
Memento verbi tui servo tuo Domino in quo mihi spem dedisti:
haec me consolata est in humilitate mea.

V. Beati immaculati in via: qui ambulant in lege Domini.
Translation: Remember thy word unto thy servant O Lord upon which thou hast caused me to hope: this is my comfort in my affliction. V. Blessed are they that walk in the law of the Lord.
Ps. 118: 49, 50; V. 1 GT346
M71: feria v in Week 5 of Lent
M195: Sunday 20 after Pentecost
Erubescant et conturbentur omnes inimici mei:
avertantur retrorsum et erubescant valde velociter.

V. Domine ne in furore tuo arguas me: neque in furore tuo corripias me
Translation: Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly. V. O Lord rebuke me not in thine anger: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.
Ps. 6:11; V. 2(=1) GT85
M45: feria vi in Ember Week in Lent
Ab occultis meis munda me Domine:
et ab alienis parce servo tuo.

V. Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei: et opera manuum eius adnuntiat firmamentum.
Translation: Cleanse thou me from secret faults O Lord: keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins. V. The heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
Ps. 18: 13, 14; V. 2(=1) GT113
M61: feria ii in Week 4 of Lent
Magna est gloria eius in salutari tuo:
gloriam et magnum decorem impones super eum Domine.

V. Domine in virtute tua laetabitur rex: et super salutare tuum exaltabit vehementer.
Translation: His glory is great in thy salvation: honor and majesty hast thou laid upon him. V. The king shall joy in thy strength O Lord: and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!
Ps. 20:6; V. 2(=1) GT437
M13: John Ev. (Mass I, 27 December)
Feci iudicium et iustitiam Domine non calumnientur mihi superbi:
ad omnia mandata tu dirigebar omnem viam iniquitatis odio habui.

V. Beati immaculati in via: qui ambulant in lege Domini.
Translation: I have done judgment and justice O Lord: let not the proud oppress me: I esteem all thy precepts I hate every false way. V. Blessed are those that are undefiled in the way: who walk in the law of the Lord.
Ps. 118: 121, 122, 128; V. 1 GT529
M23: Prisca (18 January)
M165: Caecilia (22 November)
Dilexisti iustitiam et odisti iniquitatem:
propter ea unxit te Deus Deus tuus.

V. Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum: dico ego opera mea regi.
Translation: Thou hast loved justice and hated iniquity: therefore hath God, thy God, anointed thee. V. My heart is inditing of a good matter: I tell my work to the king.
Ps. 44:8; V. 2(=1) GT506
M33: Annunciation (25 March)
M140: Assumption (15 August)
Tanto tempore vobiscum sum et non cognovistis me?
Philippe qui videt me videt et Patrem alleluia:
non credis quia ego in Patre et pater in me est? alleluia alleluia.

V. Exultate iusti in Domino: rectos decet collaudatio.
Translation: Have I been so long with you and yet thou hast not known me Philip? Believest thou not that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, alleluia, alleluia. V. The just shall rejoice in the Lord: for it becometh well the righteous to give praise.
John 14:9; V. Ps. 32:1 GT560
M96: Philip & James (1 May)
Amen dico vobis quod uni ex minimis meis fecistis mihi fecistis:
venite benedicti Patris mei possidete praeparatum vobis regnum ab initio saeculi.

V. Noli aemulari in malignantibus: neque zelaveris facientes iniquitatem.
Translation: Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these ye have done it unto me. V. Fret not thyself because of evil doers: neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
Matthew 25: 40, 34; V. Ps. 36:1 GT79
M115: Marcus & Marcellianus (18 June)
M138: Hippolytus (15 August)
Semel iuravi in sancto meo:
semen eius in aeternum manebit:
et sedes eius sicut sol in conspectu meo et sicut luna perfecta in aeternum:
et testis in caelo fidelis.

V. Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo.
Translation: Once I have sworn by my holiness: his seed shall endure for ever: and his throne as the sun before me: it shall be established forever as the moon: and a faithful witness in heaven. V. I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever.
Ps. 88: 36, 37, 38; V. 2(=1) GT492
M128: Apollonaire (23 July)
Quod dico vobis in tenebris dicite in lumine dicit Dominus:
et quod in aure auditis praedicate super tecta.

V. Exultate iusti in Domino: rectos decet collaudatio.
Translation: What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light saith the Lord: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. V. Let the just rejoice in the Lord: for it becometh well the righteous to sing praises.
Matthew 10:27; V. Ps. 32:1 GT472
M146: Felix & Adauctus (30 August)
Benedicimus Deum caeli et coram omnibus viventibus confitebimur ei:
quia fecit nobiscum misericordiam suam.

V. Benedicite omnia opera Domini Domino: laudate et superexaltate eum in saecula.
Translation: We bless the God of heaven and extol him before all the living: for he hath shewed his mercy upon us. V. Bless the Lord, all ye works of the Lord: praise and magnify him forever.
M172bis: De Trinitate