Friday 22 December 2023

O Rex Gentium

O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay.
(cf Isaiah 28.16; Ephesians 2.14)

Arvo Pärt. Seiben Magnificat Antiphonen. (1988 / 1991). Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, dir. Tönu Kaljuste.
6. "O König aller Völker, ihre Erwartung und Sensucht, Schlußstein, der den Bau zusammenhält: O komm und errette den Menschen, den du aus Erde gebildet."


Lorena Fonsato (Italy, 1975– ). Magnificat, 2020

1 Samuel 1:24-28

When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine. She brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh; and the child was young. Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli.And she said, ‘Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him.Therefore I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord. ’

She left him there for the Lord.

A Song of Hannah (1 Samuel 2)

1 My heart exults in the Lord;
my strength is exalted in my God.
2 My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation.
3 There is no Holy One like you, O Lord,
nor any Rock like you, our God.
4 For you are a God of knowledge
and by you our actions are weighed.
5 The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble gird on strength.
6 Those who were full now hire themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry are well fed.
7 The barren woman has borne sevenfold,
but she who has many children is forlorn.
8 Both the poor and the rich are of your making;
you bring low and you also exalt.
9 You raise up the poor from the dust,
and lift the needy from the ash heap.
10 You make them sit with the rulers
and inherit a place of honour.
11 For the pillars of the earth are yours
and on them you have set the world.

Luke 1:46-58

And Mary said,
‘My soul magnifies the Lord,and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’

And Mary remained with her for about three months and then returned to her home.

Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son.
58 Her neighbours and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.

Still, Louise Gallagher, 2022

Almost still
held captive between a season
of bounty
losing its strength
against winter ice
lined up like an army
ready to advance
across the river’s flow
captured by winter
advancing with its relentless
Arctic breath.

Behind front doors
strung with festive boughs
and twinkling lights
we wait
the light will return to
winter burnished skies
held captive within
the longest night’s
turning back
towards the light.

In the depths
of long dark night of winter
someone whispers
a child is coming
and the world holds
its collective breath
captive in the hope
this child
will bring love, peace and joy
for all the world
to know
winter passes,
spring thaws,
and summer blossoms
turn with the season’s passing
into autumn’s bounty.

Our souls proclaim your greatness, O Lord, and we rejoice; for you have looked with favour on us, your servants; you do great things for your us, and through the Holy Spirit and Mary you give us the gift of your Son. Holy is your name. Amen.

Pentatonix: Mary, Did You Know?