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Exsurge, Domine

Antiphon for Maundy Thursday

Exsurge Domine (Arise, O Lord) is third antiphon of the second nocturn of Maundy Thursday.

Dom Guéranger explains:

“The sixth psalm is a reproach made to the enemies of the divine worship. The Jews used it for many ages against the Gentiles; the Christians now apply it to the Synagogue, which, after having crucified the Son of God, did its utmost to destroy His Church, by putting many of her children to death, and forbidding the apostles to preach the name of Christ." (1)

Exsurge Domine is here interpreted by the Brothers of the Little Oratory of San Diego, led by John Polhamus.

Listen to Exsurge Domine


Latin text

Ant. Exsurge, Domine,
Et judica causam meam.

Psalm 73

1. Ut quid, Deus, repulisti in finem:
Iratus est furor tuus
Super oves pascuae tuae?

2. Memor esto congregationis tuae,
Quam possedisti ab initio.

3. Redemisti virgam hereditatis tuae:
Mons Sion, in quo habitasti in eo.

4. Leva manus tuas
In superbias eorum in finem:
Quanta malignatus
Est inimicus in sancto.

5. Et gloriati sunt qui oderunt te:
In medio solemnitatis tuae.

6. Posuerunt signa sua, signa:
Et non cognoverunt
Sicut in exitu super summum.

7. Quasi in silva lignorum securibus
Exciderunt januas ejus in idipsum:
In securi et ascia dejecerunt eam.

8. Incenderunt igni sanctuarium tuum:
In terra polluerunt
Tabernaculum nominis tui.

9. Dixerunt in corde suo cognatio
Eorum simul:
Quiescere faciamus
Omnes dies festos Dei a terra.

10. Signa nostra non vidimus,
Jam non est propheta:
Et nos non cognoscet amplius.

11. Usquequo, Deus, improperabit inimicus?
Irritat adversarius nomen tuum in finem?

12. Ut quid avertis manum tuam,
Et dexteram tuam,
De medio sinu tuo in finem?

13. Deus autem rex noster ante saecula:
Operatus est salutem in medio terrae.

14. Tu confirmasti in virtute tua mare:
Capita draconum in aquis.

15. Tu confregisti capita draconis:
Dedisti eum escam populis Aethiopum.

16. Tu dirupisti fontes, et torrentes:
Tu siccasti fluvios Ethan.

17. Tuus est dies, et tua est nox:
Tu fabricatus es auroram et solem.

18. Tu fecisti omnes terminos terrae:
Aestatem et ver tu plasmasti ea.

19. Memor esto hujus,
Inimicus improperavit Domino:
Et populus insipiens incitavit nomen tuum.

20. Ne tradas bestiis
Animas confitentes tibi,
Et animas pauperum tuorum
Ne obliviscaris in finem.

21. Respice in testamentum tuum:
Quia repleti sunt,
Qui obscurati sunt terrae domibus iniquitatum.

22. Ne avertatur humilis factus confusus:
Pauper et inops laudabunt nomen tuum.

23. Exsurge, Deus, judica causam tuam:
Memor esto improperiorum tuorum,
Eorum quae ab insipiente sunt tota die.

24. Ne obliviscaris voces inimicorum tuorum:
Superbia eorum, qui te oderunt,
Ascendit semper.


English translation:

Ant. Arise, O Lord,
And judge my cause.

Psalm 73

1. O God, why hast thou forsaken us forever:
Why is thy wrath
Enkindled against the sheep of thy pasture?

2. Remember thy congregation,
Which thou hast possessed from the beginning.

3. The tribe of thy inheritance thou hast redeemed:
Mount Sion, in which thou hast dwelt.

4. Lift up thy hands
Against their pride unto the end:
How much wickedness
Has the enemy done in the sanctuary.

5. And they who hate thee have made their boasts:
In the midst of thy solemnity.

6. They have set up their banners as a trophy:
And they knew not,
Setting them on the highest top, as in the streets.

7. As in a wood of trees
With axes they have cut down together the gates
With axe and hatchet they have brought it down.

8. They have set fire to thy sanctuary:
On earth they profaned
The tabernacle of thy name.

9. They said in their heart,
The whole kindred of them together:
Let us abolish
All the festival days of God from the land.

10. Our signs we have not seen,
Now there is no prophet:
And he will know us not from here onward.

11. How long, o God, shall the enemy insult us?
Is the adversary to provoke thy name forever?

12. Why dost thou turn away thy hand,
And thy right hand,
Out of the midst of thy bosom to the end?

13. But God, our king before the ages:
Hath wrought salvation in the midst of the earth.

14. Thou by thy strength didst make the sea firm:
Thou didst crush
The heads of the dragons in the waters.

15. Thou hast broken the heads of the dragon:
Thou hast given him to be meat for Ethiopia.

16. Thou hast broken up the fountains, and torrents:
Thou hast dried up the Ethan rivers.

17. Thine is the day, and thine is the night:
Thou hast made the dawn and the sun.

18. Thou hast made all the borders of the earth:
The summer and the spring were formed by thee.

19. Remember this,
The enemy hath reproached the Lord:
And a foolish people hath provoked thy name.

20. Deliver not up to beasts
The souls that confess to thee,
And the souls of thy poor
Forget not to the end.

21. Turn your eyes to thy covenant:
For the obscure ones of the earth
Have been filled with the dwellings of iniquity.

22. Let not the humble be confused:
The poor and the needy shall praise thy name.

23. Arise, O God, judge thy own cause:
Remember the insults,
Which the foolish ones make against you all day.

24. Forget not the voices of thy enemies:
The pride of them that hate thee
Ascendeth continually.


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  1. Dom Guéranger, The Liturgical Year, St. Bonaventure Publications, 2000, vol. 6, p. 321-322.

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