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Exhortatus es

Antiphon for Maundy Thursday

Exhortatus es (Thou hast encouraged) is the fourth antiphon of Lauds on Maundy Thursday.

The is followed by the Canticle of Moses (Exodus 15).

Dom Guéranger explains:“The sublime Canticle of Moses, which was sung after the passage through the Red Sea, forms part of Thursday’s Lauds for penitential seasons. It is peculiarly appropriate now, when our catechumens are about to receive holy Baptism.

“The font will be their Red Sea, wherein all their sins will be drowned, as the Egyptians of old. The Israelites, after having offered the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb, passed safely between the waves: our catechumens will come to the laver of regeneration full of hope in the Sacrifice of the true Lamb, for His Blood has imparted to the element of water the power of purifying the soul.” (1)

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

Listen to Exhortatus es


Latin text

Ant. Exhortatus es in virtute tua,
Et in refectione sancta tua, Domine.

Canticle of Moses (Exodus 15)

1. Cantemus Domino:
Gloriose enim magnificatus est,
Equum et ascensorem defecit in mare.

2. Fortitudo mea, et laus mea Dominus,
Et factus est mihi in salutem.

3. Iste Deus meus, et glorificabo eum:
Deus patris mei, et exsaltabo eum.

4. Dominus quasi vir pugnator,
Omnipotens nomen ejus.
Currus Pharaonis et exercitum ejus
Projecit in mare.

5. Electi principes ejus
Submersi sunt in Mari Rubro:
Abyssi operuerunt eos,
Descenderunt in profundum quasi lapsis.

6. Dextera tua, Domine,
Magnificata est in fortitudine:
Dextera tua, Domine, percussit inimicum.
Et in multitudine gloriae tuae
Deposuisti adversarios tuos:

7. Misisti iram tuam,
Quae devoravit eos sicut stipulam.
Et in spiritu furoris tui
Congregatae sunt aquae:

8. Stetit unda fluens,
Congregatae sunt abyssi
In medio mari.

9. Dixit inimicus: Persequar et comprehendam,
Dividam spolia, implebitur anima mea:

10. Evaginabo gladium meum,
Interficiet eos manus mea:

11. Flavit spiritus tuus, et operuit eos mare:
Submersi sunt quasi plumbum
In aquis vehementibus.

12. Quis similis tui in fortibus, Domine?
Quis similis tui, magnificus in sanctitate,
Terribilis atque laudabilis, faciens mirabilia?

13. Extendisti manum tuam,
Et devoravit eos terra.
Dux fuisti in misericordia tua populo
Quem redemisti.

14. Et portasti eum in fortitudine tua,
Ad habitaculum sanctum tuum.

15. Ascenderunt populi, et irate sunt:
Dolores obtinuerunt habitatores Philistiim.

16. Tunc conturbati sunt principes Edom,
Robustos Moab obtinuit tremor:
Obriguerunt omnes habitatores Chanaan.

17. Irruat super eos formido et pavor,
In magnitudine brachii tui:

18. Fiant immobiles quasi lapsis,
Donec pertranseat populus tuus, Domine:
Donec pertranseat populus tuus iste,
Quem possedisti.

19. Introduces eos,
Et plantabis in monte hereditatis tuae,
Firmissimo habitaculo tuo,
Quod operatus es, Domine:

20. Sanctuarium tuum, Domine,
Quod firmaverunt manus tuae.
Dominus regnabit in aeternum et ultra.

21. Ingressus est enim eques Pharao
Cum curribus et equitibus ejus in mare:
Et reduxit super eos Dominus
Aquas maris:

22. Filii autem Israel ambulaverunt per siccum
In medio ejus.

English translation:

Ant. Thou hast encouraged us by thy power,
And by thy holy refreshment, O Lord.

Canticle of Moses (Exodus 15)

1. Let us sing to the Lord:
For he is gloriously magnified:
The horse and the rider he hath thrown into the sea.

2. The Lord is my strength and my praise:
And he is become salvation to me.

3. He is my God, and I will glorify him:
The God of my father, and I will exalt him.

4. The Lord is as a man of war,
Almighty is his name.
Pharaoh’s chariots and his army
He hath cast into the sea.

5. His chosen captains
Are drowned in the Red Sea.
The depths have covered them,
They are sunk to the bottom like a stone.

6. Thy right hand, O Lord,
Is magnified in strength:
Thy right hand, O Lord, hath slain the enemy.
And in the multitude of thy power
Thou has put down thy adversaries.

7. Thou hast sent thy wrath,
Which hath devoured them like stubble.
And with the blast of thy anger
The waters were gathered together.

8. The flowing waters stood,
The depths were gathered together
In the midst of the sea.

9. The enemy said: I will pursue and overtake,
I will divide the spoils, my soul shall have its fill.

10. I will draw my sword,
My hand shall slay them.

11. Thy wind blew, and the sea covered them:
They sank as lead
In the mighty waters.

12. Who is like to thee among the strong, O Lord?
Who is like to thee, glorious in holiness,
Terrible and praiseworthy, doing wonders?

13. Thou stretchest forth thy hand,
And the earth swallowed them.
In thy mercy thou hast been a leader to the people
Whom thou hast redeemed.

14. And in thy strength
Thou hast carried them to thy holy habitation.

15. Nations rose up and were angry:
Sorrows took hold of the inhabitants of Philisthiim.

16. Then were the princes of Edom troubled,
Trembling seized on the stout men of Moab:
All the inhabitants of Canaan became stiff.

17. Let fear and dread fall upon them
In the greatness of thy arm.

18. Let them become immovable as a stone,
Until thy people, O Lord, pass by:
Until this thy people pass by,
Which thou hast possessed.

19. Thou shalt bring them in
And plant them in the mountain of thy inheritance,
In thy most firm habitation,
Which thou hast made, O Lord:

20. Thy sanctuary, O Lord,
Which thy hands have established,
The Lord shall reign for ever and ever.

21. For Pharaoh went in on horseback
With his chariots and horsemen into the sea:
And the Lord brought back upon them
The waters of the sea.

22. But the children of Israel walked on dry ground
In the midst thereof.


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Exhortatus es chant

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  1. Dom Guéranger, The Liturgical Year, St. Bonaventure Publications, 2000, vol. 6, p. 342.

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