The actual origin of the text is unknown, but it has been dated to some point between 300 and 1100 AD. The text is typically sung during the Washing of the Feet at the Mass of the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday).
The word ‘caritas’ has many shades of meaning, and there are some nuances that seem to be lost in its translation. While the word ‘charity’ is mostly used about voluntarily giving, the word ‘caritas’ also means honesty, heartfeltness, dearness, and tolerance. In a world with a lot of tension and disunity, I wanted to write a piece that sings about the commandments to love one another.