The Canticles Continued

The position which the Te Deum occupies in the morning is that of

Respond of the whole people to the message of the Old Testament. We

have found that the Te Deum is a Hymn of the Incarnation; hence it is

especially appropriate as a Respond to those Old Testament Lessons

which contain, or imply, the promise of the Saviour's Birth and Work on

Earth. Gen. iii., Isaiah viii., Malachi iii. may be taken as examples:

but th
re are very many which relate the doings of men in such a way as

to leave the hearers waiting and wishing for the adoption which comes

to us through Christ.

Some of them set forth the facts which show our miserable state without

Christ. Others contain predictions of the life which He came on Earth

to lead. Thus the Christian worshipper seeing the Christ wanted,

promised, foretold, or the world waiting, groaning in pain, suffering,

responds to such Lessons with this Hymn of the Incarnation.

In the evening the place is occupied by another Hymn of the

Incarnation--Magnificat (doth magnify)--the Song of the Blessed

Virgin when the Birth of the Saviour was assuredly promised to her.

The Blessed Mother's words of greeting to the promise and assurance are

very sacred, and may be regarded as the most suitable possible for any

human being very near the Lord. The words of Isaiah, Unto us a child

is born, unto us a son is given will often come to the worshipper's

mind, when he uses her words to express his praise after the 1st Lesson.

Sometimes however the connection of the Old Testament Lesson with the

Incarnation may with advantage be omitted in favour of another line of

thought and praise.

Lessons which declare the great acts of Creation, Providence, and

Government by God sometimes contain but remote reference to the

Redeeming work of Christ: and for such Lessons another Canticle is

provided, viz. Benedicte omnia Opera (Bless ye all works) for the

morning, and Cantate Domino (O sing unto the Lord) for the evening.