Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Feast of the Presentation

We come round again to our fourth Feast of the Presentation here at the blog. The story is told in Luke 2:22-40, how Jesus was brought to the temple forty days after his birth, there to be recognized by Anna and Simeon as the fulfillment of ancient prophecy.

The Song of Simeon, which begins in verse 29, also known as the Nunc dimittis, has been a part of Christian liturgy for hundreds of years. It is often sung in various musical settings, but today's version was set as a hymn by Martin Luther, and adapted from a translation by Catherine Winkworth.

In peace and joy I now depart,
According to thy will;
For full of comfort is my heart,
So calm and still.

For thou in mercy unto all
Hast set this Savior forth;
To Christ's dominion thou dost call
The whole wide earth.

Christ is the Hope, the saving Light,
That earthly nations need,
And those who know thee now aright
Will teach and lead.

Martin Luther, 16th cent.
tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1869; adapt.
Edmund S. Carter, 1874

The weather in many parts of the country today has probably cancelled many midweek observances of the day (including ours here in CT) but here you have four hymns for the occasion to consider without going outside in the cold.

Three Years Ago: O Zion, open wide thy gates

One Year Ago: O Jerusalem beloved

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