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Asperges Me

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Asperges Me is a Latin antiphon said or sung at a Roman Catholic Solemn Mass in all seasons except the Easter (Paschal) season and Palm Sunday. It traditionally accompanies the Asperges, the ritual sprinkling of the congregation by the celebrant with holy water, as part of an entrance ritual, symbolising the cleansing of the people. Its words are taken from Psalm 51 (50):

Text Translation
Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo et mundabor,
Lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.
Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.

You will sprinkle me, O Lord, with hyssop and I shall be cleansed
You will wash me, and I shall be whitewashed more than snow is.
Pity me, O God, according to Your great mercy.

It is followed by the conventional doxology (except on the first Sunday of Passiontide):

Text Translation
Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto</br>Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit
As it was in the beginning, is now, and always shall be in ages of ages. Amen.

The antiphon is then recited a second time.

From Easter until Pentecost, Asperges me is replaced by the more lengthy and florid antiphon, Vidi aquam.

Although usually sung to plainchant, Asperges Me has been set to music; a well-known example is that by Tomás Luis de Victoria.

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