Magnificat


Magnificat
The Visitation in the Book of Hours of the Duc de Berry; the Magnificat in Latin

The Magnificat (Latin: [My soul] magnifies) — also known as the Song of Mary or the Canticle of Mary — is a canticle frequently sung (or spoken) liturgically in Christian church services. It is one of the eight most ancient Christian hymns and perhaps the earliest Marian hymn.[1][2] Its name comes from the first word of the Latin version of the canticle's text.

The text of the canticle is taken directly from the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:46-55) where it is spoken by the Virgin Mary upon the occasion of her Visitation to her cousin Elizabeth.[1] In the narrative, after Mary greets Elizabeth, who is pregnant with the future John the Baptist, the child moves within Elizabeth's womb. When Elizabeth praises Mary for her faith, Mary sings what is now known as the Magnificat in response.

The canticle echoes several Old Testament biblical passages, but the most pronounced allusions are to the Song of Hannah, from the Books of Samuel (1Samuel 2:1-10). Along with the Benedictus, as well as several Old Testament canticles, the Magnificat is included in the Book of Odes, an ancient liturgical collection found in some manuscripts of the Septuagint.

Within Christianity, the Magnificat is most frequently recited within the Liturgy of the Hours. In Western Christianity, the Magnificat is most often sung or recited during the main evening prayer service: Vespers within Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism, and Evening Prayer (or Evensong) within Anglicanism. In Eastern Christianity, the Magnificat is usually sung at Sunday Matins. Among Protestant groups, the Magnificat may also be sung during worship services.

Contents

Text

Virgin and Angels by Bouguereau, an example of Marian art
Statue of the Visitation at the Ein Karem Church of the Visitation
Translations of the Magnificat into various languages at the Ein Karem Church of the Visitation

The original language of the Magnificat is Koine Greek, the language of the New Testament. However, in the liturgical and devotional use of the Western Church, it is most often found in Latin or the vernacular.

Greek
Μεγαλύνει ἡ ψυχή μου τὸν Κύριον
καὶ ἠγαλλίασεν τὸ πνεῦμά μου ἐπὶ τῷ Θεῷ τῷ σωτῆρί μου,
ὅτι ἐπέβλεψεν ἐπὶ τὴν ταπείνωσιν τῆς δούλης αυτοῦ.
ἰδού γὰρ ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν μακαριοῦσίν με πᾶσαι αἱ γενεαί,
ὅτι ἐποίησέν μοι μεγάλα ὁ δυνατός,
καὶ ἅγιον τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ,
καὶ τὸ ἔλεος αὐτοῦ εἰς γενεὰς καὶ γενεὰς
τοῖς φοβουμένοις αυτόν.
Ἐποίησεν κράτος ἐν βραχίονι αὐτοῦ,
διεσκόρπισεν ὑπερηφάνους διανοίᾳ καρδίας αὐτῶν·
καθεῖλεν δυνάστας ἀπὸ θρόνων
καὶ ὕψωσεν ταπεινούς,
πεινῶντας ἐνέπλησεν ἀγαθῶν
καὶ πλουτοῦντας ἐξαπέστειλεν κενούς.
ἀντελάβετο Ἰσραὴλ παιδὸς αὐτοῦ,
μνησθῆναι ἐλέους,
καθὼς ἐλάλησεν πρὸς τοὺς πατέρας ἡμῶν
τῷ Αβραὰμ καὶ τῷ σπέρματι αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα.[3]

Latin[4] (present official form):

Magnificat anima mea Dominum,
et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salvatore meo,
quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae.
Ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes,
quia fecit mihi magna,
qui potens est,
et sanctum nomen eius,
et misericordia eius in progenies et progenies
timentibus eum.
Fecit potentiam in brachio suo,
dispersit superbos mente cordis sui;
deposuit potentes de sede
et exaltavit humiles;
esurientes implevit bonis
et divites dimisit inanes.
Suscepit Israel puerum suum,
recordatus misericordiae,
sicut locutus est ad patres nostros,
Abraham et semini eius in saecula.[5]

Latin (older form):

Magnificat: anima mea Dominum.
Et exultavit spiritus meus: in Deo salutari meo.
Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae:
ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes.
Quia fecit mihi magna, qui potens est:
et sanctum nomen eius.
Et misericordia eius, a progenie et progenies:
timentibus eum.
Fecit potentiam in brachio suo:
dispersit superbos mente cordis sui.
Deposuit potentes de sede:
et exaltavit humiles.
Esurientes implevit bonis:
et divites dimisit inanes.
Suscepit Israel puerum suum:
recordatus misericordiae suae.
Sicut locutus est ad patres nostros:
Abraham, et semini eius in saecula.[6]

English (Douay-Rheims):

My soul doth magnify the Lord.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid;
for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Because he that is mighty,
hath done great things to me;
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is from generation unto generations,
to them that fear him.
He hath shewed might in his arm:
he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat,
and hath exalted the humble.
He hath filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath received Israel his servant,
being mindful of his mercy:
As he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his seed for ever.

English (Book of Common Prayer):

Roman Catholic Mariology
A series of articles on

Marian Prayers

Magnificatio.jpg

Alma Redemptoris Mater
Angelus
As a Child I Loved You
Ave Maris Stella
Ave Regina Caelorum
Fatima Prayers
Flos Carmeli
Hail Mary
Hail Mary of Gold
Immaculata prayer
Immaculate Mary
Magnificat
Mary Our Queen
Memorare
Regina Coeli
Rosary
Salve Regina
Stabat Mater
Sub tuum praesidium
Three Hail Marys

My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded : the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from henceforth : all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me : and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him : throughout all generations.
He hath shewed strength with his arm : he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat : and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things : and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel : as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.

English (The Divine Office):

My soul glorifies the Lord, *
my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour.
He looks on his servant in her lowliness; *
henceforth all ages will call me blessed.
The Almighty works marvels for me. *
Holy his name!
His mercy is from age to age, *
on those who fear him.
He puts forth his arm in strength *
and scatters the proud-hearted.
He casts the mighty from their thrones *
and raises the lowly.
He fills the starving with good things, *
sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel, his servant, *
remembering his mercy,
the mercy promised to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his sons for ever.

English (ICET translation used in The Liturgy of the Hours (ICEL)):

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

English (ELLC translation used in Common Worship):

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;
he has looked with favour on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed;
the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his name.
He has mercy on those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm
and has scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones
and lifting up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.
He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
to remember his promise of mercy,
The promise made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his children for ever.

English (Lutheran Divine Service):

My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
For he has regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden.
For behold, from this day all generations will call me blessed;
For the mighty one has done great things to me, and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts;
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has exalted the holy;
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his seed forever.

Liturgical use

Key articles on
Mariology
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General perspective
Mother of Jesus

Specific views
AnglicanEastern OrthodoxLutheran • Marian veneration • Muslim • Protestant
Roman Catholic

Prayers & devotions

Hymns to MaryHail MaryRosary

Ecumenical
Ecumenical views

This box: view · daily office in the Roman Catholic Vespers service, the Lutheran Vespers service, and the Anglican services of Evening Prayer, according to both the Book of Common Prayer and Common Worship (see Evening Prayer (Anglican)). In the Book of Common Prayer Evening Prayer service, it is usually paired with the Nunc dimittis. (The Book of Common Prayer allows for an alternative to the Magnificat — the Cantate Domino, Psalm 98 — and modern Anglican rubrics generally allow for a wider selection of canticles, but the Magnificat and Nunc dimittis remain the most popular.) In Anglican, Lutheran, and Roman Catholic services, the Magnificat is generally followed by the Gloria Patri. It is also commonly used (at least amongst Lutherans) at the Feast of the Visitation (July 2).

In Eastern Orthodox worship, the Magnificat is usually sung during the Matins service before the Irmos of the ninth ode of the canon. After each verse, the troparion is sung:

"More honourable than the Cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim, without corruption thou gavest birth to God the Word: true Theotokos, we magnify thee."

As a canticle, the Magnificat has frequently been set to music. Most compositions were originally intended for liturgical use, especially for Vesper services and celebrations of the Visitation, but some are also performed in concert.

Musical settings

As the Magnificat is part of the sung Vespers, many composers, starting with the Renaissance, set the words, for example Claudio Monteverdi in his Vespers for the Blessed Virgin, 1610. Vivaldi composed a setting of the Latin text for soloists, choir and orchestra, also Johann Sebastian Bach in his Magnificat, BWV 243, for the Christmas vespers of 1723. Bach set the German words in his cantata for Visitation of 1724, Meine Seel erhebt den Herren, BWV 10. Anton Bruckner composed a Magnificat for soloists, choir, orchestra and organ. Rachmaninoff, and more recently John Rutter also set extended versions of the text. Arvo Pärt composed a setting for choir a cappella.

Together with the Nunc dimittis, the Magnificat is a regular part of the Anglican Evensong. The "Mag and Nunc" was set by many composers of Anglican church music, often for choir a cappella or choir and organ, such as Thomas Tallis, Herbert Sumsion, Charles Wood and John Tavener. Since the canticles are sung every day at some cathedrals, Charles Villiers Stanford wrote a Magnificat in every major key, and Herbert Howells published twenty settings over his career.

Society and politics

In Nicaragua, the Magnificat is a favourite prayer among many peasants and is often carried as an amulet. During the Somoza years, campesinos were required to carry proof of having voted for Somoza; this document was mockingly referred to as the Magnificat.[7]

The Magnificat has also been covered in a more contemporary style by Richard Wu in the album "Let Morning Shine". The album was aimed to ameliorate the lives of North Koreans.[8]

See also

  • Incipit
  • Visitation (Christianity)

References

  1. ^ a b The History and Use of Hymns and Hymn-Tunes by David R Breed 2009 ISBN 1110471866 page 17
  2. ^ Favourite Hymns by Marjorie Reeves 2006 ISBN 0826480977 page 3-5
  3. ^ The Resurgence Greek Project
  4. ^ Since 1979 the official Latin text of the Bible for the Catholic Church is the revised Vulgate, and this text is "to be used especially in the sacred Liturgy but also as suitable for other things", as laid down by Pope John Paul II in his apostolic constitution Scripturarum thesaurus of 25 April of that year. However, the use of the text given in earlier editions of liturgical books is permitted as an extraordinary (exceptional) form. In addition to other differences in spelling and punctuation, the earlier form has, in place of "et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salvatore meo" (second line), "Et exultavit spiritus meus: in Deo salutari meo".
  5. ^ Revised Vulgate text
  6. ^ Officium pro defunctis, following the unrevised Vulgate text
  7. ^ 'The Gospel in Solentiname', Ernesto Cardenal (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 1978) p.25.
  8. ^ http://www.globalshift.org/tag/let-morning-shine/

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • MAGNIFICAT — MAGNIFICA Le magnificat est un cantique liturgique chanté quotidiennement à l’office des vêpres, sur le texte latin Magnificat anima mea Dominum ... (Mon âme exalte le Seigneur ...) d’après l’évangile de saint Luc (I, 46 à 55). Il s’agit du… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Magnificat — • The title commonly given to the Latin text and vernacular translation of the Canticle (or Song) of Mary Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Magnificat     Magnificat      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Magnificat —   [lateinisch] das, (s)/ s, Magnifikat, neutestamentlicher Lobgesang (Canticum), den Maria, die Mutter Jesu, nach Lukas 1, 46 55 anlässlich ihres Besuches bei Elisabeth gesprochen hat; benannt nach dem ersten Wort der lateinischen Übersetzung des …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Magníficat — puede hacer referencia a: Magníficat, oración de la Iglesia católica, basada en palabras de María, madre de Jesús, citadas en el Evangelio; Magníficat, composiciones musicales que ponen música a esas palabras. Esta página de desambiguación… …   Wikipedia Español

  • MAGNIFICAT — secundum est ex tribus Euangelicis Canticis, quae in Ecclesia Romana in psalmodia recitantur. Cum enim Canticorum horum X. sint, septem eorum ex antiquo Testam. deprompta et per 7. hebdomadis dies ad Laudes distributa sunt: reliqua tria ex… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • magníficat — (Del lat. magnifĭcat, magnifica, alaba, primera palabra de este canto). m. Cántico que, según el Evangelio de San Lucas, dirigió al Señor la Virgen María en la visitación a su prima Santa Isabel, y que se reza o canta al final de las vísperas.… …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Magnificat — Magnificat, Anfang und Benennung eines Lobliedes der Maria (Luk. 1,46.). Das Magnificat von Durante hat sich einen bleibenden Ruhm erworben und ein neueres von B. Klein verdient ihn. –k …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Magnificat — Magnificat, der Lobgesang Marias, Lucas 1, 46–55 (Magnificat anima mea, Dominum, den Herrn preist meine Seele); von vielen Meistern componirt …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • magnificat — MAGNIFICÁT s. n. compoziţie muzicală polifonică, de forma unei cantate; cântec de slavă, punctul culminant într o misă. (< gern. Magnifikat, fr. magnificat) Trimis de raduborza, 15.09.2007. Sursa: MDN …   Dicționar Român

  • Magnificat — c.1200, from Latin third person singular of magnificare (see MAGNIFICENCE (Cf. magnificence)), from first words of the Virgin s hymn (Luke i:46, in Vulgate Magnificat anima mea dominum My soul doth magnify the Lord ) used as a canticle …   Etymology dictionary

  • magníficat — sustantivo masculino 1. Área: religión Según la Biblia, himno de acción de gracias a Dios que entonó la Virgen María en su visita a su prima Santa Isabel: El coro de niños de la abadía cerró la misa mariana con el magníficat …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española