Magnificat

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Magnificat (Lat.). Canticle of the Virgin Mary (‘My soul doth magnify the Lord’) as it appears in St Luke's Gospel. The Lat. name is first word of Vulgate trans. (Magnificat anima mea Dominum). Part of RC Vespers and of Anglican Evensong (where mus. setting is followed by Nunc Dimittis). Sung to plainchant in RC service and to Anglican chant in latter, but there are many comp. settings for church and concert perf., e.g. by Dunstable, Du Fay, Lassus, Palestrina, Monteverdi, Bach, Schütz, and Vaughan Williams.

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Magnificat a canticle used in Christian liturgy, especially at vespers and evensong, the text being the hymn of the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:46–55). The literal meaning of Magnificat in Latin is ‘magnifies’, and the opening words of the canticle translate as ‘my soul magnifies the Lord’.

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Magnificat. Mary's song of praise in Luke 1. 46–55, from the Latin Magnificat anima mea Dominum (‘My soul doth magnify the Lord’).

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magnificat the canticle beginning ‘Magnificat anima mea Dominum’ My soul doth magnify the Lord (Luke 1: 46); 3rd pers. sg. pres. ind. of L. magnificāre MAGNIFY.