Ubi caritas (Where charity is) is the final canticle sung during the Washing of the Feet ceremony on Maundy Thursday.
The Gregorian melody is said to have been composed sometime between the fourth and tenth centuries.
Dom Guéranger explains the chant:
"After [the eight preceding] antiphons, the choir sings the following canticle. It is a fervent exhortation to fraternal charity, of which the washing of the feet is a symbol."(1)
The canticle is perhaps one of the most well-known Gregorian chants. It has inspired many arrangements, including those of French composer Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986), whose version is considered a standard in the contemporary choral repertoire. See below for a recording of this version.
The original Ubi Caritas chant is here interpreted by the monks of the Monastery of San Domingo de Silos; Duruflé's version is performed by
Kölner Domchor (the Cologne Cathedral Choir of boys).
Listen to Ubi caritas (the original Gregorian chant)
Listen to Duruflé's version
Ant. Ubi caritas et amor,
Deus ibi est.
V. Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor
V. Exsultemus, et in ipso jucundemur
V. Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
V. Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.
V. Simul ergo cum in unum congregamur:
V. Ne nos mente dividamur caveamus.
V. Cessent jurgia maligna, cessent lites.
V. Et in medio nostri sit Christus Deus.
V. Simul quoque cum beatis videamus,
V. Glorianter vultum tuum, Christe Deus:
V. Gaudium quod est immensum, atque probum
V. Saecula per infinita saeculorum.
Ant. Where charity and love are,
There is God.
V. The love of Christ hath joined us together.
V. Let us rejoice in him, and be glad.
V. Let us fear and love the living God.
V. And let us love one another with a sincere heart.
V. When therefore, we are gathered together:
V. Let us take heed we be not divided in mind.
V. Let wicked quarrels and contentions end.
V. And let Christ our God dwell among us.
V. Let us also, with the blessed see
V. Thy face in glory, O Christ our God.
V. There to possess an immense and happy joy,
V. For endless ages.