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Justificeris, Domine

Antiphon for Maundy Thursday

Justificeris, Domine (Be thou justified, O Lord) is the first antiphon of Lauds on Maundy Thursday.

Dom Guéranger explains:“The first psalm is the one written by David after his sin, in which he so feelingly and so humbly breathes forth his repentance. The Church invariably makes use of this psalm, when she sues to God for mercy; and of all the canticles of the royal prophet there is not one so familiar to the faithful as this.” (1)

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

Listen to Justificeris, Domine


Latin text

Ant. Justificeris, Domine, in sermonibus tuis,
Et vincas cum judicaris.

Psalm 50

1. Miserere mei, Deus,
Secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.

2. Et secundum multitudinem
Miserationum tuarum,
Dele iniquitatem meam.

3. Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea:
Et a peccato meo munda me.

4. Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco:
Et peccatum meum contra me est semper.

5. Tibi soli peccavi,
Et malum coram te feci:
Ut justificeris
In sermonibus tuis,
Et vincas cum judicaris.

6. Ecce enim in iniquitatibus conceptus sum:
Et in peccatis concepit me mater mea.

7. Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti:
Incerta et occulta
Sapientiae tuae manifestasti mihi.

8. Asperges me hyssopo,
Et mundabor:
Lavabis me,
Et super nivem dealbabor.

9. Auditui meo dabis gaudium et laetitiam:
Et exsultabunt ossa humiliata.

10. Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis:
Et omnes iniquitates meas dele.

11. Cor mundum crea in me, Deus:
Et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis.

12. Ne projicias me a facie tua:
Et spiritum sanctum tuum ne auferas a me.

13. Redde mihi laetitiam salutaris tui:
Et spiritu principali confirma me.

14. Docebo iniquos vias tuas:
Et impii ad te convertentur.

15. Libera me de sanguinibus, Deus,
Deus salutis meae:
Et exsultabit lingua mea justitiam tuam.

16. Domine, labia mea aperies:
Et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam.

17. Quoniam si voluisses sacrificium,
Dedissem utique:
Holocaustis non delectaberis.

18. Sacrificium Deo
Spiritus contribulatus:
Cor contritum, et humiliatum, Deus,
Non despicies.

19. Benigne fac, Domine,
In bona voluntate tua Sion:
Ut aedificentur muri Jerusalem.

20. Tunc acceptabis sacrificium justitiae,
Oblationes, et holocausta:
Tunc imponent super altare tuum vitulos.


English translation:

Ant. Be thou justified, O Lord, in thy words,
And overcome when thou art judged.

Psalm 50

1. Have mercy on me, O God,
According to thy great mercy.

2. And according to the multitude
Of thy mercies,
Blot out my iniquities.

3. Wash me yet more from my iniquity:
And cleanse me from my sin.

4. For I know my iniquity:
And my sin is always before me.

5. To thee only have I sinned,
And have done evil before thee:
So that thou (by forgiving me) mayst be justified
In thy words,
And mayst overcome when thou art judged.

6. For behold I was conceived in iniquities:
And in sin did my mother conceive me.

7. For behold thou hast loved truth:
The uncertain and hidden things
Of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.

8. Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop,
And I shall be cleansed:
Thou shalt wash me,
And I shall be made whiter than snow.

9. Thou shalt give joy and gladness:
And my humbled bones shall rejoice.

10. Turn away thy face from my sins:
And blot out all my iniquities.

11. Create a clean heart in me, O God:
And renew a right spirit within my innards.

12. Cast me not away from thy face:
And take not thy holy Spirit from me.

13. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation:
And strengthen me with a perfect spirit.

14. I will teach the unjust thy ways:
And the wicked shall be converted to thee.

15. Deliver me from blood, O God,
The God of my salvation:
And my tongue shall extol thy justice.

16. O Lord, thou wilt open my lips:
And my mouth shall declare thy praise.

17. For if thou hadst desired sacrifice,
I would indeed have given it:
With burnt-offerings thou wilt not be delighted.

18. The sacrifice (most worthy) of God
Is a repentant spirit:
A contrite and humble heart, O God,
Thou wilt not despise.

19. Deal favorably, O Lord,
In thy good-will with Sion:
That the walls of Jerusalem may be built up.

20. Then shalt thou accept the sacrifice of justice,
Oblations and whole-burnt offerings:
Then shall they lay calves upon thine altar.


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Justificeris, Domine chant

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  1. Dom Guéranger, The Liturgical Year, St. Bonaventure Publications, 2000, vol. 6, p. 336.

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