622. Magnify the Lord

Text Information
First Line: Magnify the Lord
Title: Magnify the Lord
Paraphraser: Bert Polman (1985)
Publication Date: 1987
Meter: PM
Scripture: Luke 1:49; Luke 1:46-49
Topic: Doxologies; Responses; Songs for Children: Hymns
Language: English
Copyright: Text and music © 1984, G.I.A. Publications. All rights reserved.
Tune Information
Name: MAGNIFICAT (Berthier)
Composer: Jacques Berthier (1984)
Meter: PM
Key: G Major
Copyright: Text and music © 1980, G.I.A. Publications. All rights reserved.

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. = Luke 1:46-49

This delightful canon comes from the Taizé Community, an ecumenical, monastic retreat center in France (see also 217, 312, and 639). Like many of the first Taize songs, "Magnify the Lord" was originally in Latin ("Magnificat Anima Mea"). It was published in France by the Taizé Community in 1978 and two years later in North America in the first volume of Music from Taizé. The original Latin text consisted entirely of repetitions of the opening phrase of the Song of Mary. In 1985 Bert Polman (PHH 37) prepared an English version of the text to which he added several other phrases from the opening verses of Mary's Song (Luke 1 :46-47, 49). This English version was first published in the 1987 Psalter Hymnal.

The text is one of three in the Psalter Hymnal taken from Mary's Song as recorded in Luke's gospel (see PHH 212 and 478 for further commentary on this profound biblical passage). The segment of the Song of Mary in this canon becomes for us a hymn of praise to Christ, an ascription of glory to the "Lord who is my Savior and my God!"

Liturgical Use:
As a song (canon) of jubilant praise to God on various occasions of worship; during the Christmas season; traditionally as the New Testament canticle for vesper services.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

This canonic setting of the MAGNIFICAT appeared in Music from Taizé as a double canon: a principal canon in four parts (given in larger print in the Psalter Hymnal) and a secondary canon in four parts (given as a descant). The same score also provides two different four-part choral settings, which choir directors could consult and use for more elaborate performances of this festive canon. The options for singing range from simple unison to four-part canon (with or without descant) to double canon with full harmonizations (using separate choral harmonizations, which add fuller textures to the harmony of the melodic canons). Bert Polman introduced the dotted rhythm to carry the English text. That rhythm needs to be sung crisply and distinguished from the regular eighth-note rhythms. Do not rush!

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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