Nunc Dimittis


Nunc Dimittis
Nunc Dimittis
The Canticle of Simeon found in Luke 2:29-32

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

Nunc Dimittis
    Nunc Dimittis
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Nunc Dimittis
    (The Canticle of Simeon).
    Found in St. Luke's Gospel (ii, 29-32), is the last in historical sequence of the three great Canticles of the New Testament, the other two being the Magnificat (Canticle of Mary) and the Benedictus (Canticle of Zachary). All three are styled, by way of eminence, the "Evangelical Canticles" (see CANTICLE). The title is formed from the opening words in the Latin Vulgate, "Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine" etc.). ("Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord" etc.). The circumstances under which Simeon uttered his song-petition, thanksgiving, and prophecy are narrated by St. Luke (ii. 21-35) (see CANDLEMAS). The words following those quoted above, "according to thy word in peace", are explained by v. 26: "And he had received an answer from the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Christ of the Lord." Brief though the Canticle is, it abounds in Old-Testament allusions. Thus, in the following verses, "Because my eyes have seen thy salvation" alludes to Isaias, lii, 10, rendered afterwards by St. Luke (iii, 6), "And all flesh shall see the salvation of God". Verse 31, "Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples" accords with the Psalmist (xcvii, 2); and verse 32, "A light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel", recalls Isaias, xlii, 6.
    The text of the Nunc Dimittis is given in full in the brief evening prayer found in the Apostolic Constitutions (Book VII, xlviii) (P.G., 1, 1057). In the Roman Office, the canticle is assigned to Complin. If St. Benedict did not originate this canonical Hour, he gave to it its liturgical character; but he nevertheless did not include the Canticle, which was afterwards incorporated into the richer Complin Service of the Roman Rite, where it is preceded by the beautiful responsory, "In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum" (Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit) etc., with the Antiphon following, "Salva nos, Domine, vigilantes, custodi nos dormientes" (O Lord, keep us waking, guard us sleeping) etc., all this harmonizing exquisitely with the spirit of the Nunc Dimittis and with the general character of the closing Hour of the Office. In the blessing of the candles on the feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin, the Canticle, of course, receives great prominence both in its text and in the references to Simeon in the preceding prayers. Its last verse, "Lumen ad revelationem" etc., forms the Antiphon which not only precedes and follows the Canticle, but also precedes every verse of it and the Gloria Patri and Sicut erat of the concluding doxology. The symbolism of the Canticle and of its Antiphon is further emphasized by the lighted candles of Candlemas. The complete Canticle also forms the Tract in the Mass of the feast, when the 2 February follows Septuagesima.
    For a fuller explanation of the Nunc Dimittis, the following commentaries (in English) may be consulted: CORNELIUS A LAPIDE, St. Luke's Gospel, tr. MOSSMAN (London, 1892), 113-116; MCEVILLY, An Exposition of the Gospel of St. Luke (New York, 1888), 61, 62; BREEN, A Harmonized Exposition of the Four Gospels, I (Rochester, N.Y., 1899), 209-16; MARBACH, Carmina Scripturarum (Strasburg, 1907), 438-40 (gives detailed references to the use of its verses in Mass and Office); The Office of Compline, in Latin and English, according to the Roman Rite, with full Gregorian Notation (Rome, 1907); SQUIRE in GROVE, Dict. of Music and Musicians, gives s.v. Nunc Dimittis, an explanation of its use in Anglican Evensong; HUSENBETH, The Missal for the Use of the Laity (London, 1903), 562-66, for the prayers and canticles on the feast of the Purification.
    H.T. HENRY
    Transcribed by Michael T. Barrett Dedicated to Dr. Wallace Long and the Willamette University choirs

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


Catholic encyclopedia.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nunc Dimittis — Le Nunc dimittis appelé aussi Prière de Siyméon est une des prières que les chrétiens prononcent le plus fréquemment. Elle caractérise en particulier l office de complies, le dernier office avant de s endormir. Le nom de cette prière lui vient de …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Nunc dimittis — Nunc di*mit tis [L. nunc now + dimittis thou lettest depart.] (Eccl.) The {song of Simeon} ( Luke ii. 29 32), used in the ritual of many churches. It begins with these words in the Vulgate. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Nunc Dimittis — [nooŋk′ di mit′is] n. [L, now thou lettest depart: first words of the L version] 1. the song of Simeon, used as a canticle in various liturgies: Luke 2:29 32 2. [n d ] a) departure or farewell, esp. from life b) permission to depart; dismissal …   English World dictionary

  • Nunc dimittis — For the short story by Roald Dahl, see Nunc Dimittis (short story). Simeon s Song of Praise by Aert de Gelder, around 1700–1710. The Nunc dimittis[1] …   Wikipedia

  • Nunc dimittis — Darbringung im Tempel (Meister der Pollinger Tafeln, 1444) Das Nunc dimittis (von lat. Nun entlässt du [Herr, deinen Knecht], den Anfangsworten, auch genannt Lobgesang des Simeon bzw. Canticum Simeonis) ist mit dem Magnificat und dem Benedictus… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Nunc dimittis — La presentación en el templo por Giovanni Bellini. El Nunc dimittis (también llamado El Cántico de Simeón) es un cántico del Evangelio de Lucas,[1] así llamado por sus primeras palabras en latín …   Wikipedia Español

  • Nunc dimittis — La Présentation au Temple de Giotto à la chapelle Scrovegni Le Nunc dimittis appelé aussi cantique de Syméon est une des prières que les chrétiens prononcent le plus fréquemment. Elle caractérise en particulier l office divin de complies, le… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Nunc Dimittis —    One of the three Gospel canticles for the major divine offices of the Roman Catholic liturgy, known as the Canticle of Simeon (St. Luke 2: 29–32;), sung at compline in the Roman rite and at Evening prayer in the Anglican rite. In the Gregorian …   Historical dictionary of sacred music

  • Nunc Dimittis — /nungk di mit is, noongk / 1. (italics) the canticle beginning with the words of Simeon, in Luke 2:29 32, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace. 2. (l.c.) permission to leave; dismissal or departure. [ < L] * * * ▪ biblical canticle… …   Universalium

  • Nunc Dimittis —    The Latin title for the Song of Simeon, meaning Now lettest Thou (Thy servant) depart (in peace), which is sung after the Second Lesson at Evening Prayer in praise of the manifestation of the Incarnate Word. It is to be found in St. Luke 2:29… …   American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.