Nunc Dimittis: The Song of Simeon

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.”

It must have been quite a sight for Simeon. This holy man was waiting for redemption, and there – finally – he saw it. And in the face of a child no less. This occasion is celebrated in the church calendar each year on 2 February, forty days after Christmas Day. But Simeon’s delight and wonder at God’s salvation was remembered liturgically each day, when Christians gathered in Evening Prayer to sing Simeon’s praise:

Lord now you let your servant go in peace:
your word has been fulfilled.
My own eyes have seen the salvation:
which you have prepared in the sight of every people;
a light to reveal you  to the nations:
and the glory of your people Israel.

It is truly an amazing thing that God should come amongst us for the sake of his people to heal the nations. Nunc Dimittis (now let) is the classic arrangement of  Simeon’s praise, joining with him in the delight of God’s salvation. The YouTube clip above shows Nunc Dimittis in a traditional setting at King’s College, Cambridge. Meanwhile the track below is a more contemporary arrangement of Simeon’s Song.

Stream and purchase at Bandcamp

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