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Nunc Dimittis

The Evening Service is supplied with a different Hymn of the Advent for
its Second Lesson--that of the aged Simeon, when, having waited through
his long life for it, he was blessed at last with the sight of the
Infant Jesus. Holding Him in his arms when He was brought to the
Temple, he used these words of praise. God was letting him depart in
peace: notice the words Thou lettest: it is not the imperative,
praying for release; but the indicative, praising God for His mercy.
The other chief thoughts of this short Hymn are that Jesus is God's
Salvation--before the face of all people--a Light to Gentiles--and the
glory of Israel. Comparing these with the Hymn of Zacharias, we shall
be struck with the correspondence of two very different compositions.

Lighten: not as in Te Deum 'to come upon,' but as in 3rd Collect at
Evening Service, 'to give light.'

Gentiles--Israel: making up together the whole human race.

Next: Jubilate Deo

Previous: Benedictus

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