Saturday, November 2, 2013

Nunc Dimittis




Nunc Dimittis is a canticle from a text in the second chapter of Luke named after its first words in Latin, meaning 'Now you dismiss'. According to the book of Luke, Simeon was a devout Jew who had been promised by the Holy Ghost that he would not die until he had seen the Saviour. When Mary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem for the ceremony of consecration of the firstborn son (not the circumcision, but rather after the time of Mary's purification: at least 40 days after the birth), Simeon was there, and he took Jesus into his arms and uttered words rendered variously as follows.

'Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace
According to thy word,
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation
Which thou hast prepared before the face
Of thy people Israel,
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles
And to be the glory of thy people Israel.'

Glory be to the Father
And to the Son and to the Holy Ghost,
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be,
World without end, Amen.


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