Preparing for Worship – The Purification of Mary and the Presentation of Our Lord

This coming Sunday, we’ll be hearing from Luke 2:22-32. We’ll especially be focusing on the section of the text called the Nunc Dimittis, which is a canticle that is a common part of the Church’s historic liturgy. A canticle is simply a song recorded in scripture other than a psalm.

I want to share with you an explanation of the Nunc Dimittis from An Explanation of the Common Service, written by the General Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America in 1908.

175. What is the Nunc Dimittis?
It is a hymn of joyful thanksgiving for the salvation manifested and bestowed in Christ Jesus. It was first used by the aged Simeon when he saw the infant Saviour in the Temple (Luke 2:29-32). It derives its name from the first words in of the Latin version.

176. What is the significance of the Nunc Dimittis here?
It is the closing hymn of the Communion and accords with the practice of our Lord (Matthew 26:30). That for which the believer has come into the Sanctuary has been received in all its fullness, and he now feels himself at peace with God and declares his readiness to depart.

This Sunday, we’ll be singing the hymns, #54 How Beautiful the Sky and #285 Let us Break Bread Together. We’ll also be singing #53 While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night and O Come to the Altar.