Absterge Domine was one of Tallis' greatest hits. It's one of his 'devotional' Elizabethan Latin motets (i.e. its text is non-liturgical,) and despite the fact that it was intended for private use it appears in no less than four contrafacta as well as in the 1575 Cantiones Sacrae. It's deeply penitential with short sections some of which Tallis repeats to heighten the dramatic effect. In fact it's a very dramatic piece of music that rises and falls and uses the minor and major modes to increase the musical – and emotional, impact.