Advent 2011: Extraordinary Time

First Sunday of Advent

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Second Sunday of Advent

12 December Our Lady of Guadalupe - Feast

3rd Sunday of Advent

4th Sunday of Advent - December 18th, 2011

The Great O Antiphons:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Sunday in Advent

Readings:
Jeremiah 33:14-16
Psalm 25:4-5,8-10,14
1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2
Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

 

 Heads Up>>>>Listen

Every Advent, the Liturgy of the Word gives our sense of time a reorientation. There’s a deliberate tension in the next four weeks’ readings - between promise and fulfillment, expectation and deliverance, between looking forward and looking back.

In today’s First Reading, the prophet Jeremiah focuses our gaze on the promise God made to David, some 1,000 years before Christ. God says through the prophet that He will fulfill this promise by raising up a “just shoot,” a righteous offspring of David, who will rule Israel in justice (see 2 Samuel 7:16; Jeremiah 33:17; Psalm 89:4-5; 27-38).

Today’s Psalm, too, sounds the theme of Israel’s ancient expectation: “Guide me in Your truth and teach Me. For You are God my Savior and for You I will wait all day.”

We look back on Israel’s desire and anticipation knowing that God has already made good on those promises by sending His only Son into the world. Jesus is the “just shoot,” the God and Savior for Whom Israel was waiting.

Knowing that He is a God who keeps His promises lends grave urgency to the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel. Urging us to keep watch for His return in glory, He draws on Old Testament images of chaos and instability – turmoil in the heavens (see Isaiah 13:11,13; Ezekiel 32:7-8; Joel 2:10); roaring seas (see Isaiah 5:30; 17:12); distress among the nations (see Isaiah 8:22/14:25) and terrified people (see Isaiah 13:6-11). He evokes the prophet Daniel’s image of the Son of Man coming on a cloud of glory to describe His return as a “theophany,” a manifestation of God (see Daniel 7:13-14).

Many will cower and be literally scared to death. But Jesus says we should greet the end-times with heads raised high, confident that God keeps His promises, that our “redemption is at hand,” that ‘the kingdom of God is near” (see Luke 21:31)

 

Sunday Bible Reflections by Dr. Scott Hahn © 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

© 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

 

 

 

 

 

 


http://www.salvationhistory.com/images/main/blank.gif
Second Sunday in Advent

Readings:

Baruch 5:1-9
Psalm 126:1-6
Philippians 1:4-6,8-11
Luke 3:1-6



Today’s Psalm paints a dream-like scene - a road filled with liberated captives heading home to Zion (Jerusalem), mouths filled with laughter, tongues rejoicing.
It’s a glorious picture from Israel’s past, a “new exodus,” the deliverance from exile in Babylon. It’s being recalled in a moment of obvious uncertainty and anxiety. But the psalmist isn’t waxing nostalgic.
Remembering “the Lord has done great things” in the past, he is making an act of faith and hope - that God will come to Israel in its present need, that He’ll do even greater things in the future.
This is what the Advent readings are all about: We recall God’s saving deeds - in the history of Israel and in the coming of Jesus. Our remembrance is meant to stir our faith, to fill us with confidence that, as today’s Epistle puts it, “the One who began a good work in [us] will continue to complete it” until He comes again in glory.
Each of us, the Liturgy teaches, is like Israel in her exile - led into captivity by our sinfulness, in need of restoration, conversion by the Word of the Holy One (see Baruch 5:5). The lessons of salvation history should teach us that, as God again and again delivered Israel, in His mercy He will free us from our attachments to sin, if we turn to Him in repentance.
That’s the message of John, introduced in today’s Gospel as the last of the great prophets (compare Jeremiah 1:1-4,11). But John is greater than the prophets (see Luke 7:27). He’s preparing the way, not only for a new redemption of Israel, but for the salvation of “all flesh” (see also Acts 28:28).
John quotes Isaiah (40:3) to tell us he’s come to build a road home for us, a way out of the wilderness of sin and alienation from God. It’s a road we’ll follow Jesus down, a journey we’ll make, as today’s First Reading puts it, “rejoicing that [we’re] remembered by God.”

 

 

Sunday Bible Reflections by Dr. Scott Hahn © 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

© 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 8th - Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Readings:

Genesis 3:9-15, 20
Psalm 98:1-4
Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12
Luke 1:26-38

Listen to the Readings>>>>

The Angel and Mary

In the Gospel for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, the angel Gabriel greets Mary in an unusual way: “Hail, favored one” (see Luke 1:28).
Kecharitomene, the Greek word translated as “favored one,” is very rare, used in only one other place in the New Testament. It comes from charis, the Greek word for “grace” and basically means “made full of grace” or “transformed by grace.”
This is how the word is used in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, where he describes how God “granted” His grace to all of us in Jesus (see Ephesians 1:6-7). This sheds light on what the angel means - Mary has been “transformed by God’s grace.”
Notice that the angel doesn’t mention Mary’s name. That’s odd, too. There’s no other angelic greeting like this in Scripture. It’s as if Mary’s name is “favored one” or “made full of grace.”
In Scripture, when God gives a person a new name, it reveals the person’s role in His saving plan. Think of Abraham - the father of all nations (see Genesis 17:5), or Peter, the Church’s “rock” (see Matthew 16:18). Mary is God’s favored one, transformed by God’s grace to be the sinless mother of His only-begotten Son.
That’s why the angel’s greeting is one of the biblical foundations for Mary’s Immaculate Conception, which we celebrate December 8. Listen closely to the Mass readings that day - you’ll hear the angel’s greeting, and Paul’s beautiful words about God’s transforming grace.

Sunday Bible Reflections by Dr. Scott Hahn © 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

© 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third Sunday of Advent

Readings:

Zephaniah 3:14-18
Isaiah 12:2-6 
Philippians 4:4-7 
Luke 3:10-18

What Do We Do?

Heads Up>>>>Listen

 

The people in today’s Gospel are “filled with expectation.” They believe John the Baptist might be the Messiah they’ve been waiting for. Three times we hear their question: “What then should we do?”
The Messiah’s coming requires every man and woman to choose - to “repent” or not. That’s John’s message and it will be Jesus’ too (see Luke 3:3; 5:32; 24:47).
“Repentance” translates a Greek word, metanoia (literally, “change of mind”). In the Scriptures, repentance is presented as a two-fold “turning” - away from sin (see Ezekiel 3:19; 18:30) and toward God (see Sirach 17:20-21; Hosea 6:1). 
This “turning” is more than attitude adjustment. It means a radical life-change. It requires “good fruits as evidence of your repentance” (see Luke 3:8). That’s why John tells the crowds, soldiers and tax collectors they must prove their faith through works of charity, honesty and social justice.
In today’s Liturgy, each of us is being called to stand in that crowd and hear the “good news” of John’s call to repentance. We should examine our lives, ask from our hearts as they did: “What should we do?” Our repentance should spring, not from our fear of coming wrath (see Luke 3:7-9), but from a joyful sense of the nearness of our saving God.
This theme resounds through today’s readings: “Rejoice!...The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all,” we hear in today’s Epistle. In today’s Responsorial, we hear again the call to be joyful, unafraid at the Lord’s coming among us.
In today’s First Reading, we hear echoes of the angel’s Annunciation to Mary. The prophet’s words are very close to the angel’s greeting (compare Luke 1:28-31). Mary is the Daughter Zion - the favored one of God, told not to fear but to rejoice that the Lord is with her, “a mighty Savior.”
She is the cause of our joy. For in her draws near the Messiah, as John had promised: “One mightier than I is coming.”

 

 

Sunday Bible Reflections by Dr. Scott Hahn © 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

© 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Monday, 12 December 2011 Our Lady of Guadalupe - Feast

In the USA: Our Lady of Guadalupe - Feast 

Readings:

Numb. 24:2-7.15-17a.
 Ps 25(24):4bc-5ab.6-7bc.8-9
Mt 21:23-27. 

Collect: O God, Father of mercies, who placed your people under the singular protection of your Son's most holy Mother, grant that all who invoke the Blessed Virgin of Guadalupe, may seek with ever more lively faith the progress of peoples in the ways of justice and of peace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

In 1910 Our Lady of Guadalupe was declared Patroness of Latin America, and in 1945 Pope Pius XII declared Her to be the Empress of all the Americas. She appeared to an Indian convert named Juan Diego on December 9, 1531. She left a marvelous portrait of herself on the mantle of Juan Diego. This miraculous image has proved to be ageless, and is kept in the shrine built in her honor, the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. 

Our Lady of Guadalupe

"Hear me and understand well, my son the least, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything." Our Lady to Juan Diego

In the winter of 1531, a poor, 57-year-old Aztec Indian living five miles outside of Mexico City encountered a miraculous happening on his way to morning Mass. First he heard strange music coming from Tepeyac Hill, and then he heard a woman's voice calling his name. Juan Diego climbed the hill and encountered a young woman, appearing to be of his own people in physical appearance and dress. The woman identified herself as the Virgin Mary, and told Juan Diego to ask the bishop of Mexico City to build a church on the hill to assist in the conversion of the nation and be a source of consolation to the people. Juan Diego obeyed the request, but the bishop was skeptical regarding the message, even though he perceived that Juan was a humble, and well meaning Catholic. Juan reported the bishop's doubt to Our Lady at Tepeyac Hill, and she asked him to return to the bishop once again, bearing the same message.

The bishop once again heard the story, and told Juan Diego to ask Our Lady for a sign that it was indeed herself that wished for the church to be built. When he returned to the hill, Mary gave Juan Diego such a sign. Miraculously, roses appeared on the hill in the middle of winter, and Juan gathered them in his tilma, or cloak. Our Lady arranged the roses in his tilma with her own hands, and Juan returned to the bishop's presence.

When Juan released the tilma, allowing the flowers to fall to the floor, it was revealed that a miraculous image of Our Lady had imprinted itself on his tilma (see above). The bishop immediately fell to his knees, and came to believe in Juan Diego's message. A church was built on the spot of the apparition, as Mary had requested, and 8 million people converted to Catholicism in a short period of time upon hearing of or viewing the miraculous image of Our Lady.

The tilma of Juan Diego has been the subject of much modern research. The tilma, woven out of coarse cactus fiber, should have disintegrated after 20 years, but although over 500 years have passed the tilma is still in perfect condition. The pupils of Mary in the picture reflect the Indians and clergy present at the time of the first revelation of the image. No paint was used, and chemical analysis has not been able to identify the color imprint. Additionally, studies have revealed that the stars on Mary's mantle match exactly what a Mexican would have seen in the sky in December of 1531. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday Bible Reflections by Dr. Scott Hahn © 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

© 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advent 2011: Extraordinary Time


Advent is the season of the seed: Christ loved this symbol of the seed ...
This is no ordinary Advent - especially in this year of faith!!!

The Holy Father is treating this time as a moment of great historical significance. It’s the time of the new evangelization.

In recent months Pope Benedict has spoken and acted with great urgency about the matter. He established a dicastery in the Vatican to oversee new evangelistic efforts. He summoned a synod of bishops for 2012 to discuss the new evangelization.

When the pope speaks about the New Evangelization, he speaks as a father to us, his children. But notice, now, how his tone is imploring. He’s not speaking primarily about missionary activity to unbaptized people. He’s begging Catholics to take up the re-evangelization of Christian countries that have lost their way, especially in Europe and the Americas.

The “advent” of this project actually goes back to 1975, when Pope Paul VI wrote his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, lamenting a diminishment of energy in the apostolic efforts of Catholics. Pope John Paul II sought to remedy the situation and in 1983, while visiting Haiti, announced a “new evangelization.” He identified its launch with the year 1992, the half-millennium anniversary of Columbus’s discovery of the Americas. How serious was he about the project? Serious enough to pledge everything the Church has to its success: “I sense that the moment has come to commit all the Church’s energies to a new evangelization,” he said in his 1990 encyclical Redemptoris Missio. He even went so far as to compare the 1990s to an “advent” season of preparation before the turn of the millennium in the year 2000. Blessed John Paul foresaw a graced moment, a time when God would bless our renewed efforts to win (and re-win) the world for the Gospel.

And it has to begin with our neighborhoods, yours and mine. First of all, we need to live lives that are beacons of Christian charity. I teach at a Franciscan university, so I have many colleagues who like to say: “Preach the Gospel always. When necessary, use words.” And that’s true enough. But I suspect it’s going to be necessary for most of us to use words, much of the time. Very few people are so transparently holy that they radiate the Gospel. The rest of us need to work on our holiness, but we also need to prepare to witness with timely words—witness to Christ in the Word, Christ in the sacraments, Christ in the Church, Christ in history, Christ in his saints.

Pope Benedict’s activity nicely coincides with our own efforts, at the St. Paul Center, as we discern a plan for our second decade of apostolic work. I long ago lost count of the books we’ve produced, the web and video and audio resources, the many thousands of people who’ve attended our educational events.

Where is the energy coming from? I have to believe it’s been loosed by the Pontiffs, who enjoy the power of the keys, the authority of binding and loosing. And their word is binding on you and me.

If not for such grace called down from heaven, the task would be impossible. But we serve a mighty God, and we dare to call him Father.

We can accomplish the new evangelization with his help. I am utterly dependent on your help as well, and I thank you for all the support you’ve given us, in your prayer, in your donations, in your encouragement.

Let us spend the coming weeks preparing the way of the Lord at Christmas. What can we do to welcome friends and family back home to Church for the holiday?

BY DR. SCOTT HAHN ON 11.28.11 

 

Sunday Bible Reflections by Dr. Scott Hahn © 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

© 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forth Sunday of Advent

Readings:
Micah 5:1-4
Psalm 80:2-3,15-16,18-19
Hebrews 5:5-10
Luke 1:39-45 (see also “The ‘New Ark’”)

A Mother’s Greeting>>>>Listen

 

On this last Sunday before Christmas, the Church’s Liturgy reveals the true identity of our Redeemer:
He is, as today’s First Reading says, the “ruler…whose origin is from…ancient times.” He will come from Bethlehem, where David was born of Jesse the Ephrathite and anointed king (see Ruth 4:11-17; 1 Samuel 16:1-13; 17:1; Matthew 2:6).

God promised that an heir of David would reign on his throne forever (see 2 Samuel 7:12-13; Psalm 89; Psalm 132:11-12).

Jesus is that heir, the One the prophets promised would restore the scattered tribes of Israel into a new kingdom (see Isaiah 9:5-6; Ezekiel 34:23-25,30; 37:35). He is “the shepherd of Israel,” sung of in today’s Psalm. From His throne in heaven, He has “come to save us.”

Today’s Epistle tells us that He is both the Son of David and the only “begotten” Son of God, come “in the flesh” (see also Psalm 2:7). He is also our “high priest,” from the mold of the mysterious Melchisedek, “priest of God Most High,” who blessed Abraham at the dawn of salvation history (see Psalm 110:4; Genesis 14:18-20).

All this is recognized by John when he leaps for joy in his mother’s womb. Elizabeth, too, is filled with joy and the Holy Spirit. She recognizes that in Mary “the mother of my Lord” has come to her. We hear in her words another echo of the Psalm quoted in today’s Epistle (see Psalm 2:7). Elizabeth blesses Mary for her faith that God’s Word would be fulfilled in her.

Mary marks the fulfillment not only of the angel’s promise to her, but of all God’s promises down through history. Mary is the one they await in today’s First Reading - “she who is to give birth.” She will give birth this week, at Christmas. And the fruit of her womb should bring us joy - she is the mother of our Lord.

The New ‘Ark’

The Church in her liturgy and tradition has long praised Mary as “the Ark of the New Covenant.” We see biblical roots for this in the readings for the Fourth Sunday in Advent (Cycle C).

Compare Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth with the story of David returning the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and you’ll hear interesting echoes.

As Mary “set out” for the hill country of Judah, so did David (see Luke 1:19; 2 Samuel 6:2). David, upon seeing the Ark, cries out “How can the Ark of the Lord come to me?” Elizabeth says the same thing about “the mother of my Lord” (see Luke 1:43; 2 Samuel 6:9).

John leaps in Elizabeth’s womb, as David danced before the Ark (see Luke 1:41; 2 Samuel 6:16). And as the Ark stayed three months in “the house of Obed-edom,” Mary stays three months in “the house of Zechariah” (see Luke 1:40,56; 2 Samuel 6:11).

The Greek word Luke uses to describe Elizabeth’s loud cry of joy (anaphoneo) isn’t used anywhere else in the New Testament. And it’s found in only five places in the Greek Old Testament - every time used to describe “exultation” before the Ark (see 1 Chronicles 15:28; 16:4-5; 2 Chronicles 5:13).

Coincidences? Hardly. The old Ark contained the tablets of the Law, the manna from the desert and the priestly staff of Aaron (see Hebrews 9:4). In Mary, the new Ark, we find the Word of God, the Bread of Life and the High Priest of the new people of God (see also Catechism, no. 2676).

 

Sunday Bible Reflections by Dr. Scott Hahn © 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

© 2010 St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology

 

 

The Great Antiphons:

The "Great 's"
The final phase of preparation for Christmas begins with the first of the great  Antiphons of Advent on the evening of December 17. These prayers are seven jewels of liturgical song, one for each day until Christmas Eve. They seem to sum up all our Advent longing for the Savior.
The  Antiphons are intoned with special solemnity in monasteries at Vespers, before and after the Magnificat, Mary's prayer of praise and thanksgiving from the Gospel of Luke (1:46-55), which is sung every evening as the climax of this Hour of the Divine Office.
A vestige of the "Great 's" can be seen in verses of the familiar Advent hymn, " Come, O Come Emmanuel".
Families interested in the liturgy have discovered these gems of liturgical poetry and use them in their evening prayers. An Antiphon House similar to an Advent Calendar, can be made, with seven windows, each concealing an appropriate symbol for each Antiphon, and an eighth window hiding the Nativity scene. As with an Advent calendar, one window is opened each day.
The sublime meditation of the Great 's would be excellent for families with children who have outgrown the Jesse Tree or Advent calendar. In any case, they are beautiful additions to your family prayers in the days just before Christmas.
The Antiphons appear below in English translation, with scriptural sources and suggested symbols.


17 Dec

18 Dec

19 Dec

20 Dec

21 Dec

22 Dec

23 Dec

Sapientia 

Adonai 

Radix Jesse 

Clavis David

Oriens 

Rex Gentium

Emmanuel 

On the evening of December 17 the final phase of preparation for Christmas begins with the first of the great "O Antiphons" of Advent. These prayers are seven jewels of liturgical song, one for each day until Christmas Eve. They seem to sum up all our Advent longing for the Savior.
The "O Antiphons" are intoned with special solemnity in monasteries at Vespers, before and after the Magnificat, Mary's prayer of praise and thanksgiving from the Gospel of Luke (2:42-55), which is sung every evening as the climax of this Hour of the Divine Office.
A vestige of the "Great Os" can be seen in verses of the familiar Advent hymn, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel".
Families interested in the liturgy have discovered these gems of liturgical poetry and use them in their evening prayers. An "O Antiphon House" -- similar to an Advent Calendar -- can be made, with seven windows, each concealing an appropriate symbol for the different "O Antiphons", and an eighth window hiding the Nativity scene. As with an Advent calendar, one window is opened each day.
The sublime meditation of the "Great Os" would be excellent for families with children who have outgrown the Jesse Tree or Advent calendar. In any case, they are beautiful additions to your family prayers in the days just before Christmas. And they form part of the classic Christmas Novena.
The "O Antiphons" appear below in English translation, with scriptural sources and suggested symbols.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The " Antiphons"

Saturday, 17 December 2011
Readings of the day
Gn 49:2.8-10. / Ps 72(71):3-4ab.7-8.17. / Mt 1:1-17. 

Sapientia"

  WISDOM, who came from the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: Come, and teach us the way of prudence.
Sirach 24:2; Wisdom 8:1. Symbols: oil lamp, open book.



Sunday, 18 December 2011
Readings of the day
2 Sam. 7:1-5.8b-12.14a.16. / Ps 89(88):2-3.4-5.27.29. / Rm 16:25-27. / Lk 1:26-38. 


Adonai" 

" LORD AND RULER of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: Come, and redeem us with outstretched arm.
Exodus 3:2, 20:1. Symbols: burning bush, stone tablets.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Monday, 19 December 2011
Readings of the day
Judges 13:2-7.24-25a. / Ps 71(70):3-4a.5-6ab.16-17. / Lk 1:5-25. 

Radix Jesse" 
" ROOT OF JESSE, who stands for an ensign of the people, before whom kings shall keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication: Come to deliver us, and tarry not.
Isaiah 11:1-3. Symbol: vine or plant with flower (especially a rose).



 

 

 

 

 

 



Tuesday, 20 December 2011
Readings of the day
Is 7:10-14. / Ps 24(23):1-2.3-4ab.5-6. / Lk 1:26-38. 
Clavis David" 

"KEY OF DAVID, and Scepter of the House of Israel, who opens and no man shuts, who shuts and no man opens: Come, and bring forth the captive from his prison, he who sits in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Isaiah 22:22. Symbols: key; broken chains.


 

 

 


 

 

 

 



Wednesday, 21 December 2011
Readings of the day
Song 2:8-14. / Ps 33(32):2-3.11-12.20-21. / Lk 1:39-45. 

" Oriens" 
DAWN OF THE EAST, brightness of the light eternal, and Sun of Justice: Come, and enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Psalm 19:6-7. Symbol: rising sun.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Thursday, 22 December 2011
Readings of the day
1 Sam. 1:24-28. / 1 Sam. 2:1.4-5.6-7.8abcd. / Lk 1:46-56. 

Rex Gentium 

" KING OF THE GENTILES and their desired One, the Cornerstone that makes both one: Come, and deliver man, whom You formed out of the dust of the earth.
Psalm 2:7-8, Ephesians 2:14-20. Symbols, Crown, scepter.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 




Friday, 23 December 2011
Readings of the day
Malachi 3:1-4.23-24. / Ps 25(24):4bc-5ab.8-9.10.14. / Lk 1:57-66. 

Emmanuel" 

" EMMANUEL, God with us, our King and Lawgiver, the expected of the nations and their Savior: Come to save us, O Lord our God.
Isaiah 7:14; 33:22. Symbols: tablets of stone, Chalice and Host.

 

 


About the Magnificat
The Magnificat [Latin: magnifies], also called the Canticle of Mary, is recorded in the Gospel of Luke (1:46-55). It is the Virgin Mary's joyous prayer in response to her cousin Elizabeth's greeting (Luke 1: 41-45). This great hymn forms part of the Church's prayer in the Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours). When it is recited as part of the Divine Office, it is followed by the Gloria Patri ("Glory be"). The traditional sung Magnificat is Latin plainchant. One of the hymn's most glorious musical renditions is the version of the Magnificat by J.S. Bach.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes the Magnificat as "the song both of the Mother of God and of the Church" [CCC 2619], and explains this prayer's significance:
Mary's prayer is revealed to us at the dawning of the fullness of time. Before the Incarnation of the Son of God, and before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, her prayer cooperates in a unique way with the Father's plan of loving kindness: at the Annunciation, for Christ's conception; at Pentecost, for the formation of the Church, His Body. In the faith of His humble handmaid, the Gift of God found the acceptance He had awaited from the beginning of time. She whom the Almighty made "full of grace" responds by offering her whole being: "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to Thy word". "Fiat": this is Christian prayer: to be wholly Gods' because He is wholly ours. [CCC 2617]
The Magnificat appears below both in English and in Latin.


My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden,
For behold, henceforth all generations shall 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 those of low degree.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen
Scripture text: Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition


Magníficat ánima mea Dóminum,
et exsultávit spíritus meus
in Deo salvatóre meo,
quia respéxit humilitátem
ancíllæ suæ.
Ecce enim ex hoc beátam
me dicent omnes generatiónes,
quia fecit mihi magna,
qui potens est,
et sanctum nomen eius,
et misericórdia eius in progénies
et progénies timéntibus eum.
Fecit poténtiam in bráchio suo,
dispérsit supérbos mente cordis sui;
depósuit poténtes de sede
et exaltávit húmiles.
Esuriéntes implévit bonis
et dívites dimísit inánes.
Suscépit Ísrael púerum suum,
recordátus misericórdiæ,
sicut locútus est ad patres nostros,
Ábraham et sémini eius in sæcula.
Glória Patri et Fílio
et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio,
et nunc et semper,
et in sæcula sæculórum.
Amen.