Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Magnificat


The Song of Mary

Luke 1:39-45 recalls a vist that Mary takes to see her relative Elizabeth. Mary and Elizebeth both are pregnant. Elizabeth and her husband are old and have been unable to concieve. She is carrying Jesus cousin John, who will become the " Baptist".

When Mary arrives Elizabeth child leaps in her womb and in aloud voice she proclaims Mary blessed among woman and proclaims the fruit of her woman blessed as well.

Mary responds with a beautiful song of praise, often refered to as the Magnificat.

Luke 1:47-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,my spirit rejoices in God my Saviorfor 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 himin 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 Israelfor he remembered his promise of mercy,the promise he made to our fathers,to Abraham and his children for ever.

The Magnificat is often used at Advent in the Daily Office during Vespers or the evening office. Particularly in conjuntion with the O Antiphons from the 17th to the 23rd of Dec. The Antiphon is read than the Magnificat than the antipon repeated.

the painting / Mary's visit to Elizabeth by Giotto di Bardoni 1276-1336

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