OUR LADY'S MAGNIFICAT
Writing in The Church’s Year of Grace: Advent to Candlemas (1957), Dr. Pius Parsch speaks of how central the figure of Mary is in understanding the spirit of Advent. “Since Advent means preparation for receiving God’s grace, who could be a better model than she who bodily contained and sheltered Him and was privileged to be a true Mother to Him?”
The use of Our Lady’s Magnificat (Luke 1:48- 55) in the Church’s liturgical prayer shows how every faithful Christian can be immersed in that spirit of closeness to God, expressed by Mary’s inspired Canticle. If we do not yet know Our Lady’s Magnificat by heart, I recommend its memorization as an Advent project for this year.
Here is my favorite translation (a version we sang once in the schola at the Seminary):
My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoicéd in God my Savior, For He hath regarded the lowliness of His handmaid, and, behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blesséd. For He that is mighty hath magnified me, and holy is His Name, and His mercy is on them that fear Him throughout all generations. He hath shown the strength of His arm; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts;
He hath put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted the humble and meek. He hath filléd the hungry with good things, And the rich He hath sent empty away. He remembering His mercy hath holpen His servant Israel,
As He promiséd to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed forever.
(Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.)