Monday, December 13, 2010

Advent 3.4 - Magnificat

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor 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 forever.”

Luke 1:46-55

Last week our pastor reminded us that this is "one of the most politically subversive and dangerous songs in the Scriptures." If your own life has taken you far from department store Christmases, it's good to be reminded that Advent portends something 0f extravagant wildness.

I am at a loss as to why none of the art selected for the incredible musical piece below , sung by the St. Paul's Cathedral Choir, reflects the Magnificat's setting in the Gospel of Luke, in which Mary's words burst forth as she visits her cousin Elizabeth. A great deal of the power of the words comes from their being spoken in the unexpected context of the conversation between these two women, Elizabeth pregnant with John the Baptist and Mary with Jesus. So at the top of this post I've added an image of the Visitation Window from the church where I did my field education last year.

1 comment:

Songbird said...

Thanks for pointing me to this.