The Magnificat

The Song of Mary, the Precious Mother of God, Luke 1:46–55.

Luther’s Preface

In the first place, she sings with joyful heart of the grace and benefits that the merciful God has shown to her in her own person, for which she thanks and praises Him.

In the second place, she sings of the benefits and great wonders that God without ceasing constantly performs for all men in the whole world, namely, that He shows mercy to the fearful and wretched. The lowly He lifts up, and the poor He makes rich.

Again, that He brings to naught the wisdom of the proud and haughty, puts down from their seats the great Hanses, who rely on their own power and might, and makes the rich into beggars.

In the third place, she sings of the particular and highest work, namely, that God hath visited and redeemed Israel through His only Son, Jesus Christ, etc.


 

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   In the Lutheran tradition, the Magnificat, when used in the vernacular, is sung to the Tonus Peregrinus, the ninth selection in the Psalm Player, in which case it may be sung under the following Antiphon:

Ant. Christ the Lord, our Savior, everlasting God and Mary’s Son, we praise Thee evermore.

View Pointing:
 

46My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47and my spirit hath rejoiced in God, my Savior.
48For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden:
for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49For He that is mighty hath done to me great things,
and holy is His name.
50And His mercy is on them that fear Him
from generation to generation.
51He hath showed strength with His arm;
He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52He hath put down the mighty from their seats,
and exalted them of low degree.
53He hath filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich He hath sent empty away.
54He hath holpen His servant Israel,
in remembrance of His mercy,
55as He spake to our fathers,
to Abraham, and to his seed forever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, both now and ever,
and unto ages of ages. Amen.

46My soul doth | mag- ( nify ) the Lord,*
47and my spirit hath rejoicèd in | God, my ( Sav- ) ior.
48For He hath regarded the low estate | of ( His hand- ) maiden:*
for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall | call me ( bless- ) èd.
49For He that is mighty hath | done ( to me ) great things,*
and | holy ( is His ) name.
50And His mercy is on | them ( that ) fear Him*
from generation to | gener- ( a- ) tion.
51He hath showed | strength ( with ) His arm;*
He hath scatterèd the proud in the imagi- | nation ( of their ) hearts.
52He hath put down the | might- ( y from ) their seats,*
and exalted | them of ( low de- ) gree.
53He hath filled the | hun- ( gry with ) good things,*
and the rich He hath sent | empty ( a- ) way.
54He hath holpen His | ser- ( vant Is- ) raèl,*
in remembrance | of His ( mer- ) cy,
55as He spake | to ( our ) fathers,*
to Abraham, and to his | seed for- ( ev- ) er.

Glory be to the Father, | and ( to ) the Son,*
and to the | Holy ( Spir- ) it;
as it was in the beginning, both | now ( and ) ever,*
and unto ages of | ages. ( A- ) men.

 
Antiphon:

Christ the Lord, our Savior, everlasting God and Mary’s Son, we praise Thee evermore. Amen.


The Magnificat is sung daily as the Evangelical Canticle at Vespers.

Luther’s German version of the Magnificat is available in scans of Josef Klug’s Geistliche Lieder, both 1535 and 1545 (p. 179v).