The Magnificat (Song of Mary) and Nunc dimittis (Song of Simeon) are biblical canticles. Mary sings the Magnificat (“My soul doth magnify the Lord”) on the occasion of her visit to Elizabeth, as narrated in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:39–56). Simeon sings the Nunc dimittis (“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace”) when Jesus is presented in the temple (Luke 2:29–32). The canticles are part of the daily service of Evening Prayer (Evensong) in the Anglican church and have been set to music frequently in English, Latin, and other languages.
This setting was composed in 2016 for the women’s voices of St Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral of Minneapolis. It can be performed by any two-part treble ensemble, either Soprano I/II or Soprano/Alto. The two canticles can also be performed separately; the Magnificat text is appropriate for Christmas/Advent.