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Ubi Caritas et Amor

Where charity and love are, there God is.
The love of Christ has gathered us into one flock.
Let us exult, and in Him be joyful.
Let us fear and let us love the living God.
And from a sincere heart let us love each other (and Him).

Where charity and love are, there God is.
Therefore, whensoever we are gathered as one:
Lest we in mind be divided, let us beware.
Let cease malicious quarrels, let strife give way.
And in the midst of us be Christ our God.

Where charity and love are, there God is.
Together also with the blessed may we see,
Gloriously, Thy countenance, O Christ our God:
A joy which is immense, and also approved:
Through infinite ages of ages.

Click here for the Latin lyrics.

This is the antiphon traditionally sung during the washing of the feet on Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday). The Church puts before our eyes a visible reminder of how condescending is Our Lord's love for us. On the eve of His Passion, as the Scriptures tell us, he took water in a basin and washed the feet of his twelve Apostles, including Judas. This is a very ancient ceremony, and a very moving one. It is still performed to this day in many monasteries and seminaries. Dom Marmion, the famous benedictine writer, recalled in his youth being highly moved by watching the bishop wash the feet of the 12 youngest monks, which included himself. He pictured Christ doing so, and it touched him deeply.

Fittingly, the antiphon speaks of Christ's deep love for us, and how we should love one another as He has loved us. Where Christ is, there is Charity - because God is Love. Not the sentimental view that many take, "God wouldn't send anyone to Hell, He is too nice!". God is also perfect Justice. God is not a "sucker" or a "pushover", but He loves us deeply; enough to shed His blood for each one of us. Those who scorn His infinite mercy, dying unrepentant, will face His equally infinite Justice. We all receive so many graces from Him every day, only by our fault can we be lost. All the damned will admit that it is by their fault they lost their souls.

As the Apostle says: anyone who says they love God, but hates their neighbor, does not belong to God. If you are in union with Christ, you will have the mind of Christ, Who loves all men and wants them to be saved.

This is found on the following CD(s): Chant Compendium 1.

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