Two songs, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament, draw comparisons - with good reason. “Hannah’s Song” appeared in 1 Samuel 2:1-10, and is regarded in Judaism as the prime model for how to pray. A thousand years later, “Mary’s Song of Praise” was preserved in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:46-55).
Hannah giving her son Samuel to the priest by Jan Victors, 1645. According to the biblical account, Hannah sang her song when she presented Samuel to Eli the priest.
1 Samuel 2:1-10 (KJV)
And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.
There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.
Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.
They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.
The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.
The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.
He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the world upon them.
He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.
The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.
Madonna del Magnificat, is a painting of circular or tondo form by the Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510). It is now in the galleries of the Uffizi, in Florence. The work portrays the Virgin Mary crowned by two angels. She is writing the opening of the Magnificat on the right-hand page of a book; on the left page is part of the Benedictus. In her left hand she holds a pomegranate.
This version of the Magnificat, adapted from Luke’s Gospel, appears in the Book of Common Prayer:
My soul doth magnify the Lord.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded: the lowliness of his handmaiden: For behold, from henceforth: all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me: and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him: throughout all generations.
He hath shewed strength with his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat: and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things: and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel:
As he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end.