Gaudete 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;
Deus homo factus est,
Mundus renovatus est,
A Christo regnante.
Unde lux est orta,
Ergo nostra concio
Psallat iam in lustro;
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.