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Posts Tagged ‘Canticle of Simeon’


Thursday, July 23, 2020

Luke 2:29-32

Compline

My eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of every people: a light to reveal you to the nations.

In the tradition of The Liturgy of the Hours the Canticle of Simeon is sung as part of Compline or Night Prayer.  For the entire prayer, go to the Bible Gateway site linked in the citation above and explore the various interpretations of these verses.  For the story of Simeon, read Luke 2:22-35.

God says: Simeon is a faithful servant who waited patiently for the fulfillment of my promise that he would see the messiah before death came to him.  Just as Mary and Joseph were presenting the child, Jesus, in the Temple, this loyal servant saw in this family what I see, a trinity of hope, love and faith, promise, mercy and constancy.  Simeon also saw that the lives of these three people would be full of deep sorrow and great joy.  Simeon spoke words that I hear in waves from the faithful as they prepare to retire for the night.  Join yourself with them as you prepare for bed.  It is such a short prayer that it will not tax you.  Turn away from the cares of the world for a brief time and pray these verses.  You sleep ever so much better for having joined Simeon to visit with me.

Another faithful servant waited patiently for the appearance of God Among Us.  Tomorrow, the story of Anna . . .


Image from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aert_de_Gelder_-_Het_loflied_van_Simeon.jpg

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Joseph, Mary and Simeon with Jesus

Joseph, Mary and Simeon with Jesus

Luke 2:21-40

A Pierced Heart

This is a verse which is my consolation as a parent . . . and particularly as a mother: A sword shall pierce your own heart, so that the thoughts of many may be revealed.  When one of my children is suffering through an injustice brought on by no fault of their own, I ask them to remember that there are times when we suffer so that evil and corruption will surface.  This does not make the pain any less; it does, however, give us a place to put the pain.

I also love Simeon’s canticle, the prayer we pray as part of the Night Office in the Liturgy of the Hours.  It is a lovely way to be thinking as we put ourselves to bed at night.  When I am restless during midnight hours, I re-pray this oration because it reminds me why we are here on earth: To know, love and to serve God.

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;

Your word has been fulfilled:

My own eyes have seen the salvation

Which you have prepared in the sight of your people:

A light to reveal you to the nations

And the glory of your people Israel. 

The image of drifting into sleep having surrendered ourselves to God’s beneficent will is a calming one.

The image of God performing all deeds openly and honestly is a strengthening one.

The image of God keeping true to his agreement with us is a reassuring one.

The image of the Blessed Mother handing her child in confidence to the wise and holy Simeon is a moving one.

The image of Simeon rejoicing at the gift of holding in his arms the world’s salvation is a joyful one.

The image of God’s love for us being so intense, so enduring and so true that it pierces our hearts so that our very thoughts are revealed to us and to others . . . is at once challenging . . . and heartening . . . and generous beyond our expectations.  For we each hold the Christ child in our own arms.

What a generous and trusting mother is Mary that she allows her heart to be pierced for us.  What an awesome and piercing love is Christ’s that he remains with us . . . and that he persists in taking us with him back to the Father.  Knowing this, we might surely walk in peace, even though our hearts be pierced.

This reflection was first written on November 5, 2009.

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Nunc Dimittis


Thursday, December 19, 2013

12_30_presentation[1]Luke 2:29-35

Nunc Dimittis

Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen tour salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for the revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.

Nunc Dimittis, also called the Song of Simeon, in the New Testament, a brief hymn of praise sung by the aged Simeon, who had been promised by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah. Simeon was at the Temple in Jerusalem when Mary and Joseph came to present the infant Jesus for the rite of purification according to Jewish law and custom. Simeon recognized the baby as the promised Saviour, took him in his arms, and raised his hymn of praise. Found in Luke 2:29–32, it is called the Nunc Dimittis for its first words in the Latin of the Vulgate Bible: Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine, secundum verbum tuum, in pace, “Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace, just as you promised.” Because of its implications of fulfillment, peace, and rest, the early church viewed it as appropriate for the ending of the day. Since the 4th century it has been used in such evening worship services as Compline, Vespers, and Evensong”.  (“Nunc Dimittis”)

“A third Lucan theme is offered by old Simeon in his inspired benediction, the Nunc Dimittis . . . Simeon, a pious man longing for “the consolation of Israel” (the messianic age), is assured by the Holy Spirit that he will live to see it.  The Holy Spirit leads him to the Temple at the time of Jesus’ presentation and inspires him to know the child is God’s Messiah.  In his inspired song, he declares Jesus to be the means of salvation for all people, Jew and Gentile.  On that conviction rests Jesus’ ministry and the mission of the church”.  (Mays 932)

How blessed are we that we need not await God’s coming to live among us . . . for Christ lives in us today.  How sanctified are we to be children of God . . . for we are sisters and brothers of Christ.  How holy are we to have God the creator to guide us, Jesus the Redeemer to lead us, and the Spirit Consoler to abide with us . . . for we are called to live the new Law of Love.

The child for whom Simeon waited for a lifetime is among us this day.  Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace.  Now, Master . . .

To hear this canticle set to music by Orbán György, sung by ARS NOVA VOCAL ENSEMBLE choir and conducted Dr. Katalin Kiss, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xgbcjha_kgQ

For more information and the Latin version of this canticle, click on the image above or go to: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=982

For more reflections on this evening canticle and Simeon, enter the word Simeon in the blog search bar.

“Nunc Dimittis.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 12 Dec 2013. .

Mays, James L., ed.  HARPERCOLLINS BIBLE COMMENTARY. New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1988. 932. Print.

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