From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The first page of the original version

Gaudete (English: /ɡɔːˈdt/ gaw-DEE-tee or English: /ɡˈdt/ gow-DAY-tay, Ecclesiastical Latin[ɡau̯ˈdete]; "rejoice [ye]" in Latin)[a] is a sacred Christmas carol, thought to have been composed in the 16th century. It was published in Piae Cantiones, a collection of Finnish/Swedish sacred songs published in 1582. No music is given for the verses, but the standard tune comes from older liturgical books.

The Latin text is a typical medieval song of praise, which follows the standard pattern for the time – a uniform series of four-line stanzas, each preceded by a two-line refrain (in the early English carol this was known as the burden). Carols could be on any subject, but typically they were about the Virgin Mary, the Saints or Yuletide themes.


The complete text of "Gaudete", including the refrain:

Latin English
Gaudete, gaudete!
Christus est natus
Ex Maria virgine,
Rejoice, rejoice![a]
Christ is born
Of the Virgin Mary
Tempus adest gratiæ
Hoc quod optabamus,
Carmina lætitiæ
Devote reddamus.
The time of grace has come—
What we have wished for;
Songs of joy
Let us give back faithfully.
Deus homo factus est
Natura mirante,
Mundus renovatus est
A Christo regnante
God has become man,
With nature marvelling,
The world has been renewed
By the reigning Christ.
Ezechielis porta
Clausa pertransitur,
Unde lux est orta
Salus invenitur.
The closed gate of Ezekiel
Is passed through,
Whence the light is risen;
Salvation has been found.
Ergo nostra contio
Psallat iam in lustro;
Benedicat Domino:
Salus Regi nostro.
Therefore, let our assembly
Now sing in brightness
Let it bless the Lord:
Salvation to our King.




  • Pertti Neumann, a Finnish singer-songwriter and frontman of the 1980s pop-rock group Dingo recorded a version of "Gaudete" for his first solo album Albion, released in 1986. Boy soprano solo vocals were provided by Niko Haukkala of the choir Cantores Minores.


  • British vocal ensemble King's Singers recorded "Gaudete" for their 1990 A Little Christmas Music album.
  • The Boston Camerata, under the direction of Joel Cohen, recorded a version of "Gaudete" entitled "Gaudete, Gaudete" for the Dec 1985 album A Renaissance Christmas.
  • An arrangement featuring the Choir of Clare College Cambridge, accompanied by a cello ensemble, descant recorder and medieval tabor under the direction of Geoffrey Simon, was recorded in 1996 for a CD entitled A Cello Christmas on the Cala Records label.
  • Irish choral group Anúna performed "Gaudete" on their 1996 CD, Omnis with a solo by Eurovision Song Contest (1996) winner Eimear Quinn.
  • In 1997 it was recorded by the female vocal group Mediæval Bæbes as part of their No. 2 selling classical recording Salva Nos and also on their Christmas themed recording Mistletoe and Wine (2003).
  • In 1999, harpist Kim Robertson offered a rendition of the song on her disc The Spiral Gate.
  • In 1999, a version by El Duende was included on Projekt Records' compilation album Excelsis Vol. 2: a winter's song.


  • A group of Dominican friars based in Cracow, Poland, recorded a choral version of "Gaudete" for their 2004 album Jezu, Śliczny Kwiecie (Jesus, Oh Lovely Flower), released under the name Bracia dominikanie (Brothers Dominicans).
  • The British boy choir Libera recorded "Gaudete" on their 2001 album Luminous, and performed the song on Aled Jones' DVD Aled's Christmas Carols in 2008. Libera has also included this song on at least 3 Christmas albums, in 2011, 2013, and 2019.
  • A version using a male soloist was released on Anúna's CD and DVD Celtic Origins (2007) and was broadcast across the USA in 2007–2008 on PBS.
  • Tenebrae released a version arranged by Karl Jenkins, both with percussion and as a pure a cappella version in October 2004 on the album Gaudete.
  • German medieval rock band Schelmish performed "Gaudete" on their 2006 album Mente Capti.
  • Chris Squire and a choir recorded a rock version on the 2007 Christmas album Chris Squire's Swiss Choir.


  • Choral ensemble Anúna included the song in an arrangement by Michael McGlynn on the PBS Television special Anúna : Celtic Origins and the CD release of the same name (2007).
  • "Gaudete" was recorded a cappella by Pure Reason Revolution as a Christmas bonus track on their EP, "Valour" (2011).
  • British alternative rock band Cauda Pavonis included a recording of "Gaudete" on their 2012 Christmas EP entitled Saturnalia.
  • The Irish group Celtic Thunder recorded "Gaudete" on their 2013 album Christmas Voices.
  • On 28 October 2013, British synthpop group Erasure released their electronic version of "Gaudete" as the first single off their Christmas-themed album Snow Globe. Their version reached the Top 30 in UK indie singles chart and the Top 40 in Billboard dance chart.[1]
  • Serpentyne recorded an ambient/rock version on their 2014 CD Myth & Muses.
  • The St. Paul's Cathedral Choir included the song on their 2015 Christmas album "Carols with St. Paul's Cathedral Choir" under director Andrew Carwood.
  • The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist included a traditional choral version of "Gaudete" on their 2017 album, "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring: Christmas with the Dominican Sisters of Mary".
  • All-female acapella group Papagena sang a 'funky upbeat' version of Gaudete on The Darkest Midnight tour in December 2017, and released it on the eponymous album in early 2018.


  • In 2013 a parody arrangement of "Gaudete", called "Crudités",[2][3] was released by the British folk duet Blanche Rowen & Mike Gulston.
  • A parody of "Gaudete", replacing the original words of the verses by sex-related terms, was recorded by the German medieval metal band Potentia Animi on their 2004 album Das Erst Gebet.
  • In the TV comedy I'm Alan Partridge, Alan manages to take Jill from his production company on a date to an owl sanctuary. In the car on the way home, Alan promises Jill something that "will blow your socks off" before singing along in an over-the-top manner to the Steeleye Span version of Gaudete on the car stereo.


  1. ^ a b Considering that gaudete is the second-person plural present active imperative case of gaudeo ("I rejoice"), whilst gaude is the second-person singular present active imperative, it can thus be more accurately and poetically interpreted that the former is "rejoice ye", and the latter is "rejoice thou". However, most English translations of the carol merely translate the word as "rejoice!", with the plurality being implicit in its address to the audience.


  1. ^ "Erasure (Andy Bell & Vince Clarke) - Official Website – ERASURE RELEASE 'GAUDETE' ONE-TRACK SINGLE TODAY".
  2. ^ "Crudités – YouTube". YouTube. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  3. ^ "Blanche Rowen and Mike Gulston". Bandcamp. Retrieved 20 June 2015.

External links[edit]