Text and Translation of Bach's B Minor Mass

The Text of the Mass



Kyrie eleison. Lord, have mercy.
Christe eleison. Christ, have mercy.
Kyrie eleison. Lord, have mercy.

Gloria in excelsis Deo,

Glory to God in the highest,

et in terra pax

and on earth peace

hominibus bonae voluntatis.

to men of good will.

Laudamus te, benedicimus te,

We praise You, we bless You,

adoramus te, glorificamus te,

we worship You, we glorify You,

gratias agimus tibi

we thank You

propter magnam gloriam tuam:

for Your great glory:

Domine Deus, Rex coelestis,

O Lord God, King of Heaven,

Deus Pater omnipotens.

God the Father Almighty.

Domine Fili unigenite, Jesu Christe

O Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten

[Bach adds the word altissime];

Son [high above all];

Domine Deus,

O Lord God

Agnus Dei, Filius Patris:

Lamb of God, Son of the Father:

qui tollis peccata mundi,

who takes away the sins of the world,

miserere nobis;

have mercy on us;

qui tollis peccata mundi,

who takes away the sins of the world,

suscipe deprecationem nostram;

give ear to our prayer;

qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,

who sits at the right hand of the Father,

Miserere nobis.

have mercy on us.

Quoniam to solus sanctus,

For You alone are holy,

tu solus Dominus,

You alone are the Lord,

tu solus altissimus:

You alone are high above all:

Jesu Christe,

Jesus Christ,

cum Sancto Spiritu

with the Holy Spirit

in gloria Dei Patris. Amen.

in the glory of God the Father. Amen.


Symbolum Nicenum (Credo)


Credo in umun Deum,

I believe in one God,

Patrem omnipotentem.

the Father almighty,

factorem coeli et terrae,

maker of heaven and earth,

visibilium omnium et invisibilium.

and of all things visible and invisible.

Et in unum Dominum Jesum Christum,

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,

Filium Dei unigenitum,

the only-begotten son of God,

et ex patre natum ante omnia saecula.

born of the Father before all ages.

Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine,

God of God, light of light,

Deum verum de Deo vero.

true God of true God.

Genitum, non factum,

Begotten, not made,

consubstantialem Patri,

being of one substance with the Father,

per quem omnia facta sunt.

by whom all things were made.

Qui propter nos homines

Who for us men

et propter nostram salutem

and for our salvation

descendit de coelis.

came down from heaven.

Et incarnates est

And was incarnate

de Spiritu Sancto

by the Holy Spirit

et Maria Virgine

of the Virgin Mary

et homo factus est.

and was made man.

Crucifixus etiam pro nobis:

He was crucified also for us:

sub Pontio Pilato

under Pontius Pilate

passus et sepultus est.

He suffered and was buried.

Et resurrexit tertia die,

And the third day He rose again,

secundum scripturas.

according to the scriptures.

Et ascendit in coelum: sedet

And He ascended into heaven:

ad dexteram [Bach adds the word Dei] Patris,

he sits at the right hand of [God] the Father.

Et iterum venturus est cum gloria

And He shall come again with glory

judicare vivos et mortuos:

to judge both the living and the dead:

cujus regni non erit finis.

of His kingdom there shall be no end.

Et in Spiritum Sanctum,

And in the Holy spirit,

Dominum et vivificantem,

the Lord and giver of life,

qui cum Patre Filioque procedit,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son,

qui cum Patre et Filio

who together with the Father and the Son

simul adoratur et conglorificatur:

is worshipped and glorified:

qui locutus est per prophetas.

who spoke by the prophets.

Et unam sanctam catholicam

And in one holy Catholic

et apostolicam ecclesiam.

and apostolic church.

Confiteor unum baptisma

I confess one baptism

in remissionem peccatorum

for the remission of sins

et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum

and I look for the resurrection of the dead

et vitam venturi saeculi.

and the life of the world to come.






Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus

Holy, holy, holy

Dominus Deus sabaoth:

Lord God of hosts:

pleni sunt coeli et terra

heaven and earth are full

gloria Ejus.

of Your glory.


Osanna Benedictus Osanna


Osanna in excelsis.

Hosanna in the highest!

Benedictus qui venit

Blessed is he who comes

in nomine Domini.

in the name of the Lord.

Osanna in excelsis.

Hosanna in the highest!


Agnus Dei Dona nobis pacem


Agnus Dei,

Lamb of God,

qui tollis peccata mundi,

who takes away the sins of the world,

miserere nobis.

have mercy on us.

Agnus Dei,

Lamb of God,

qui tollis peccata mundi,

who takes away the sins of the world,

miserere nobis.

have mercy on us.

[Bach omits the words Agnus Dei, qui tollis

[Lamb of God,

peccata mundi,]

who takes away the sins of the world,]

dona nobis pacem.

grant us peace.


(Translation adapted from The Cathedral Daily Missal [St. Paul: E.M. Lohmann], 1961)