Where Charity and Love, God is There

This morning’s blessing from the Divine Office:

Ubi caritas et amor Deus ibi est
(Where charity and love, God is there)

We feel your presence here
Your love and comfort near
As you welcome us.
Fill our every need
Hurry gracious host
To those we meet

(Chorus)

And so we come to you
We need to be renewed
Take our gifts O Lord
Use us for your good
Help us love each other as we should

(Chorus)

Help us your people Lord
That we may serve the world
Wash away our sins
Cleanse us from within
Send us forth to do your will

(Chorus)

So as we live each day
Lord help us that we may
Keep our hearts and minds
Open to your love
That charity and love in us abound.

(Chorus x 2).

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2 comments on “Where Charity and Love, God is There

  1. I was hesitant to comment here, as reading these lyrics sends me in a different direction than what was intended. Yes, this is a beautiful hymn in its own way. The melody and sentiment are lovely. But I have problems with the nonvernacular parts of the language.
    For years I had no clue what that Latin part meant. I studied Spanish, not Latin, and could only make out one word correctly: Deus means God. Caritas, I thought it might mean “little heart” based on my (shaky) Spanish foundation.
    It reminded me of reading classic lit, and running into French words that I could not understand, and which offered no translation. It was assumed that people of a Certain Class would have studied French, and well, if you have to ask, then it’s not for you. It smacked of elitism to me. Then and now.
    No, I don’t speak Latin, and for years and years as they sang this song in church, wondered what it meant. My sons, having studied Spanish also, came to the same conclusions about the same words that I did, and snickered in their teenage way that the song meant: God’s on CBS.
    I am glad that you included the translation. Our missalettes did not, nor did anyone that I am personally acquainted with have a clue what they were saying.

    • I share your gripe, re: Latin, Kat. I just copied and pasted the phrase into google translate, which is what I will continue to do when I find a Latin phrase I want to understand. I’m a bit of an oddball, at Mass, when they sing parts of the liturgy in Latin, since I don’t know the words in Latin, but still want to participate, I sing them quietly in English, the ones I know, lol. The other times, I just pray “God, you know the words, hear my heart”.

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