English Translation of the Latin Song "Benedictus"

"Benedictus" means "blessed" in Latin

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The Benedictus can refer to one of two liturgical prayer songs. It may be just two lines used in the Catholic Mass that are associated with the Sanctus and it also refers to the Canticle of Zechariah. In either instance, "Benedictus" is Latin for "blessed" and English translations have been completed for each song.

The Translation of the "Benedictus"

In the Catholic Church, the Benedictus refers to a couple of lines that are sung at the conclusion of the Sanctus during the Preface of the Mass. These two pieces are primarily separated in terms of the music and melody used for each.

Latin English
Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini. Blessed who comes in name of Lord.
Hosanna in excelsis. Hosanna in highest.

The "Benedictus" Canticle of Zechariah in Latin

The other reference to the "Benedictus" is also called the "Canticle of Zechariah." A canticle is a liturgical prayer song that comes from the Bible. 

The story for this canticle comes from Luke 1:68–79. It is sung by Zechariah (Zachary) in thanks to God for the birth of his son, John the Baptist. Today, it is used in the Lauds of the Divine Office of the Catholic Church to be sung during morning prayers. A number of other Christian churches also use this song, though it's mostly in English.

Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel;
quia visitavit et fecit redemptionem plebi suae
Et erexit cornu salutis nobis,
in domo David pueri sui,
Sicut locutus est per os sanctorum,
qui a saeculo sunt, prophetarum eius,
Salutem ex inimicis nostris,
et de manu omnium, qui oderunt nos;
Ad faciendam misericordiam cum patribus nostris,
et memorari testamenti sui sancti,
Iusiurandum, quod iuravit ad Abraham patrem nostrum,
daturum se nobis,
Ut sine timore, de manu inimicorum liberati,
serviamus illi
In sanctitate et iustitia coram ipso
omnibus diebus nostris.
Et tu, puer, propheta Altissimi vocaberis:
praeibis enim ante faciem Domini parare vias eius,
Ad dandam scientiam salutis plebi eius
n remissionem peccatorum eorum,
Per viscera misericordiae Dei nostri,
in quibus visitabit nos oriens ex alto,
Illuminare his, qui in tenebris et in umbra mortis sedent,
ad dirigendos pedes nostros in viam pacis.

The Canticle of Zechariah in English

The English version of the Benedictus varies slightly depending on the church or prayer book of different Christian denominations. The following version comes from the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) of the Roman Catholic Church.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.