Gaudete – By Ken and Lisa Theriot

Gaudete-Ken-and-Lisa-TheriotGaudete is the 1st song on the Christmas album The Gifts of Midwinter by Ken and Lisa Theriot.  A lot of people ask “what does Gaudete mean?  Well, the word itself is Latin for “rejoice.”  The chorus, “Gaudete, gaudete! Christus est natus Ex Maria virgine, gaudete!” means “Rejoice, rejoice! Christ is born Of the Virgin Mary — rejoice!”  So you can see that it is actually a Christmas song (technically a sacred Christmas carol), even though it is often hear throughout the year, at least partially due to the fact that it was made popular again in THIS century by Steeleye Span.

The liner notes for The Gifts of Midwinter say this under the listing for Gaudete:

Words: Piae Cantiones, 1582
Music: Jistebnice Cantional, 1420

I once heard a fighter say that he had been really inspired before a battle because the army was singing together in Latin.  Horribly, they were singing this song, the chorus of which translates as “Rejoice, for Christ is born of the Virgin Mary!”  I’m a little alarmed that they headed off to shed metaphorical blood singing this song, but I suppose it’s quite the medieval attitude…

So the next time you hear someone ask “what does Gaudete mean?” you’ll be able to tell them.  Cool huh?

Here are all the words to Gaudete in Latin:

Chorus: Gaudete! Gaudete! Christus est natus
Ex Maria Virgine, Gaudete! (repeat)

Tempus adest gratia,
Hoc quod optabamus;
Carmina laticia
Devote reddamus.


Deus homo factus est,
Natura mirante;
Mundus renovatus est,
A Christo regnante.


Ezechielis porta
Clausa pertransitur;
Unde lux est orta,
Salus invenitur.


Ergo nostra concio
Psallat iam in lustro;
Benedicat Domino:
Salus Regi nostro.


Arranged by Ken and Lisa Theriot
©2010 Raven Boy Music

And here is the version by Ken and Lisa Theriot, which is a bit different, incorporating a bit of a middle eastern beat and syncopation. Below that is a music video of the song.

<– Studio Recording of Gaudete

If that player doesn’t work, try this SoundCloud player.

Or your can get physical CDs from CD Baby:

Ken and Lisa Theriot: The Gifts of Midwinter
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  1. […] Gaudete is a medieval Christmas carol that I first heard by the English folk rock group, Steeleye Span. As it turns out, this is true for a LOT of people in the last few decades. Well we (Ken and Lisa Theriot) decided to put the song on our Christmas Album – The Gifts of Midwinter, and do it a little differently. We added a middle-eastern beat with a tupan, dumbek, and riq (these are types of middle-eastern drums and percussion instruments) and add a bit of a hitch to the melody line, giving it a nice little syncopation. Now you can dance to it if you want to;). […]

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