Observing Advent at Home: the Magnificat

This is part 1 in a series of posts scheduled now through the first week of December about practicing and observing the Advent season at home.


My Soul Proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

During Advent, the Church remembers Israel’s desire for liberation from bondage, prepares to receive the gift of the Christ child, and waits for the second coming of Christ when all manner of things shall be made well.

The Song of Mary, or the Magnificat, is Mary’s response to the news that she will bear the one who will be called “Emmanuel” or God with us. It is the way that she shares with her relative Elizabeth God’s gift of a savior. Mary expresses faith that the promise of the baby Jesus is God’s work of liberation and a demonstration of God’s faithfulness. What kind of expectations does Mary have for a savior? What kind of expectations do all of the people of Israel have? Does Jesus fulfill them? What kind of Savior is Jesus?

This year, your family might enjoy Reading the Magnificat together. You can find the story of Mary’s song in Luke 1:46-55, you can also find the Song of Mary in the Book of Common Prayer (canticle 15, page 91). If you would like to chant the Song of Mary, you can find the music one of our church’s hymnals (S 242).

In addition to reading or chanting the Magnificat, children and families may enjoy memorizing it together. Use one of the suggestions below to get started:

1. Children of writing age can copy the Song of Mary from the prayer book, decorating the border, and illustrating some of the words.

2.  Write the words of the Magnificat on a poster board and hang it up somewhere in your home (near the family table or in the playroom may be good). Each day, read the poster together, covering a different word or phrase every day until all of the words are covered up.


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