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The Magnificat

The Magnificat (My Soul magnifies the Lord) is also known as the Song of Mary, Canticle of Mary and the Ode of the Theotokos. The text of this prayer is taken directly from Luke 1:46-55 and is spoken by Mary of her visitation to her cousin Elizabeth. When the Virgin Mary moves closer to Elizabeth, John the Baptist leaps in her (Elizabeth's) womb and Mary responds with the text. It is recited most often now within the Liturgy of the Hours and during the Vespers.

Following traditional Hebrew poetry, the first stanza shows synonymous parallelism :

"my soul" mirrors "my spirit"; "proclaims the greatness" with "has found gladness"; "of the Lord" with "in God my Savior."

The second portion declares the greatness of the Lord with the third stanza again showing the parallelism but by using contrasting parallels - for example the proud are reversed by the poor. The Magnificat is included in the Book of Odes, an ancient liturgical collection found in some manuscripts of the Septuagint.


Magnificat anima mea Dominum;

Et exsultavit 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 ejus,

Et misericordia ejus a progenie in progenies timentibus eum.

Fecit potentiam in bracchio 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 ejus in saecula.

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto,

sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper: et in Saecula saeculorum. Amen.


My soul magnifies the Lord,

and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.

For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;

for he who is mighty has done great things for 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 put down the mighty from their thrones,

and exalted those of low degree;

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 posterity for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.

Amen, Alleluia.

Koine 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 αὐτοῦ. ἰδοὺ 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 αὐτόν.

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.

Amharic (Oriental Orthodox Church of Ethiopia):

46፤ ማርያምም እንዲህ አለች።

47፤ ነፍሴ ጌታን ታከብረዋለች፥ መንፈሴም በአምላኬ በመድኃኒቴ ሐሴት ታደርጋለች፤

48፤ የባሪያይቱን ውርደት ተመልክቶአልና። እነሆም፥ ከዛሬ ጀምሮ ትውልድ ሁሉ ብፅዕት ይሉኛል፤

49፤ ብርቱ የሆነ እርሱ በእኔ ታላቅ ሥራ አድርጎአልና፤ ስሙም ቅዱስ ነው።

50፤ ምሕረቱም ለሚፈሩት እስከ ትውልድና ትውልድ ይኖራል።

51፤ በክንዱ ኃይል አድርጎአል፤ ትዕቢተኞችን በልባቸው አሳብ በትኖአል፤

52፤ ገዥዎችን ከዙፋናቸው አዋርዶአል፤ ትሑታንንም ከፍ አድርጎአል፤

53፤ የተራቡትን በበጎ ነገር አጥግቦአል፤ ባለ ጠጎችንም ባዶአቸውን ሰዶአቸዋል።

54-55፤ ለአባቶቻችን እንደ ተናገረ፥ ለአብርሃምና ለዘሩ ለዘላለም ምሕረቱ ትዝ እያለው እስራኤልን ብላቴናውን ረድቶአል።

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