The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

That Magnifyd The Lord May Be

The Song of the Blessed Virgin Mary, called Magnificat

For The Annunciation

Song XXXII, based on Luke i. 46
See: The Magnificat

"Sing this as the Third Song."

Source: George Wither, Hymns and Songs of the Church (London: Printed by the Assigns of George Wither, 1623, reprinted London: John Russell Smith, 1856), pp. 143-144.

See: George Wither's Hymns of the Christmas-tide

1. That magnify'd the Lord may be,
My soul now undertakes ;
And in the God that saveth me
My Spirit merry makes.
For he vouchsafed hath to view
His handmaid's poor degree ;
And lo, all ages that ensue,
Shall blessed reckon me.

2. Great things for me the Almighty does.
And holy is his name;
From age to age he mercy shows,
On such as fear the same.
He by his arm declar'd his might,
And this to pass hath brought,
That now the proud are put to flight,
By what their hearts have thought.

3. The mighty plucking from their seat,
The poor he placed there ;
And for the hungry takes the "meat
From such as wealthy are.
But, minding mercy, he hath show'd
His servant Isr'el grace,
As he to our forefathers vow'd,
To Abraham and his race.

Note by George Wither, p. 142.

The blessed Virgin Mary, being saluted by the Angel Gabriel, and having by the Holy Ghost conceived our Redeemer Jesus Christ in her womb, was made fruitful also, in her soul, by the overshadowing of that Holy Spirit; and thereupon brought forth this evangelical and prophetical Hymn : where in three things are principally observable. First, she praiseth God for his particular mercies and favour towards her. Secondly, she glorifies God for the general benefit of our redemption. Thirdly, she magnifies God for the particular grace vouchsafed unto the seed of Israel, according to what was promised to Abraham. This is the first Evangelical Song; and was indicted by the Holy Ghost, not only to be the Blessed Virgin's Thanksgiving, but to be sung by the whole Catholic Church (whom she typically personated) to praise God for our redemption and exaltation; and therefore it is worthily inserted into the Liturgy, that it may be perpetually and reverently sung.

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