Canticles: The Song of Mary

Magnificat/Sing Out My Soul (pg. 1018)

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1092 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.

Other Resources:

  • To purchase a collection or recording that contains this song and is published by GIA Publications, Inc.
  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: from the Song of Mary, Luke 1:46-49 © 1978, 1980, 1981 Ateliers et Presses de Taizé, Taizé Community, France, GIA Publications, Inc., exclusive North American agent
  • Music (MAGNIFICAT): Jacques Berthier (1923-1994) © 1978, 1980, 1981 Ateliers et Presses de Taizé, Taizé Community, France, GIA Publications, Inc., exclusive North American agent
  • Reprint Information:

My Spirit Glorifies the Lord (pg. 1019)

Performance Notes:

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Luke 1:46-48
st. 2 = Luke 1:48-49
st. 3 = Luke 1 :50-51
st. 4 = Luke 1:52-53
st. 5 = Luke 1 :54-55

The Song of Mary recorded in Luke 1 :46-55 is the first of the three "great" canticles recorded in Luke 1 and 2. It features similarities to the Song of Hannah and echoes many other Old Testament passages. Commonly known as the Magnificat (after its Latin incipit), Mary's song is a bold text uttered by a young woman who wasn't supposed to become pregnant–and yet it compares in many ways with an Old Testament song uttered by a woman (Hannah) who at first couldn't become pregnant. Mary's song has all the characteristics of a psalm of thanksgiving, praising God for his mighty acts of salvation, for being merciful toward the poor and hungry and humble, and for being faithful to his people. In 1931 Dewey Westra versified Mary's song in Detroit for the 1934 Psalter Hymnal. The text was revised by the Psalter Hymnal Revision Committee for the 1987 edition.

Liturgical Use:
Advent; Christmas; occasions of thanksgiving for God's grace. In churches that have daily prayer services, this canticle is sung during evening prayer.

Tune Information:

William Boyd (b. Montego Bay, Jamaica, 1847; d. Paddington, England, 1928) composed PENTECOST in 1864 for the hymn text "Come, Holy Ghost, Our Souls Inspire"; it was published in 1868 in Thirty-Two Hymn Tunes Composed by Members of the University of Oxford. The name PENTECOST derives from the subject matter of that hymn text. Boyd was educated at Hurstpierpoint, where the hymn writer Sabine Baring-Gould was one of his teachers, and at Worcester College, Oxford. He was ordained in the Church of England and served the Church of All Saints, Norfolk Square, London, from 1893-1918.

The tune PENTECOST was retained from the 1959 Psalter Hymnal, though Dewey Westra originally versified Mary's song for the tune DUKE STREET. The humble, meditative character of PENTECOST stands in contrast to the spirit of rejoicing found in DUKE STREET. The text can also be sung to PUER NOBIS. A simple chant-like tune with a range of only five tones in the melody, PENTECOST is one of the "generic" Victorian tunes of its time. Sing it in harmony, perhaps unaccompanied, but with a firm pulse and not too slowly.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.
  • The following are alternative accompaniments for this tune, PENTECOST

Alternative Harmonization for Organ and Descant Resources:

  • McKinney, Howard D. Preludes for Fifty-Five Well-Known Hymn Tunes. J. Fischer 9770 [1967]
  • Noble, T. Tertius. Free Organ Accompaniments to One Hundred Well-Known Hymn Tunes. J. Fischer 8175 [1946]
  • Powell, Robert J. Free Hymn Accompaniments. Abingdon APM-513 [1979]
  • Wilkinson, John T. One Hundred and Four Descants for “The Hymn Book”. enThusia [1980]

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Luke 1:46-55; vers. Dewey Westra, 1931; rev. Psalter Hymnal, 1987, © 1987 Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Music (PENTECOST 8.8.8.8): William Boyd, 1868, P.D.
  • Reprint Information:
    • Words: permitted with a license from OneLicense.net or a CCLI License.
    • Music: The Music is in Public Domain; you do not need permission to reprint this music.

Holy is Your Name (pg. 1020)

Other Resources:

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Luke 1:46-55; David Haas (b. 1957) © 1989 GIA Publications, Inc.
  • Music (WILD MOUNTAIN THYME): Irish traditional; arr. David Haas (b. 1957) © 1989 GIA Publications, Inc.
  • Reprint Information:

My Soul Rejoices in the Lord (pg. 1022)

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1092 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Luke 1:46-55, English Language Liturgical Consultation (ELLC), 1988; 'Sanctum nomen Domini,' Graduale Simplex; ref. tr. Charles Thatcher © 2007 World Library Publications
  • Music: Charles Thatcher © 2007 World Library Publications
  • Reprint Information:

My Soul Gives Glory to God (pg. 1042)

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.
  • The following are alternative accompaniments for this tune, MORNING SONG

Alternative Harmonization for Organ and Descant Resources:

  • Busarow, Donald. All Praise to You, Eternal God. Augsburg 11-9076 [1980]

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Luke 1:46b-55; vers. Miriam Therese Winter © 1978, 1987 Medical Mission Sisters
  • Music (MORNING SONG/CONSOLATION 8.6.8.6): J. Wyeth's Repository of Sacred Music, 1813; harm. Kevin Hildebrand (b. 1973) © 2006 Concordia Publishing House
  • Reprint Information: