Magnificat from Matins

At Matins, the Church sings the Virgin Mary’s words from the Annunciation:

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm; he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.  (Luke 1:46-55)

Known as the Magnificat, it is accompanied by a refrain that is sung between the verses, called the megalynarion, which in a very real way fulfills her words: “all generations will call me blessed.”

More honorable than the cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim, without corruption you gave birth to God the Word: true Theotokos, we magnify you.

Here is a recording of this sung Magnificat from Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in State College, Pennsylvania. The bells heard in the background are from the bells on the censer the Deacon is while this is sung:

Deacon: The Theotokos and the Mother of Light, let us magnify in songs of praise:

My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.

More honorable than the cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim, without defilement thou gavest birth to God the Word: true Theotokos, we magnify thee!

For He hath looked upon the lowliness of His handmaiden; for behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

More honorable than the cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim, without defilement thou gavest birth to God the Word: true Theotokos, we magnify thee!

For the Mighty One hath done great things to me, and holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those that fear Him from generation to generation.

More honorable than the cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim, without defilement thou gavest birth to God the Word: true Theotokos, we magnify thee!

He hath shown strength with His arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their heart.

More honorable than the cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim, without defilement thou gavest birth to God the Word: true Theotokos, we magnify thee!

He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He hath sent away empty.

More honorable than the cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim, without defilement thou gavest birth to God the Word: true Theotokos, we magnify thee!

He hath holpen His servant Israel in remembrance of His mercy, as He spake to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever.

More honorable than the cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim, without defilement thou gavest birth to God the Word: true Theotokos, we magnify thee!

One Response to Magnificat from Matins

  1. Steve says:

    What puzzles me is why some English versions have “defilement” and others have “corruption”.

    I prefer “defilement”, because corruption is more appropriate to death than to giving birth, and the only time it is associated with birth is if the baby has died in the womb and has to be surgically removed.

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