Song of Simeon

Versifier: Dewey Westra

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Text Information

First Line: Now may your servant, Lord
Title: Song of Simeon
Versifier: Dewey Westra (1931, alt.)
Meter: 6.6.7 D
Language: English
Copyright: © 1976 Faith Alive Christian Resources
Article: "The Song of Simeon" by Emily R. Brink (from The Hymn)

Notes

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Luke 2:29-30
st. 2 = Luke 2:31-32

Recorded in Luke 2:29-32, Simeon's song is the final (fourth) "great" canticle in Luke 1-2 (see also 212, 213, and 214). This song of joy and peace is part of the gospel account of the presentation of Jesus in the temple, involving first Simeon and then Anna (w. 21-40), who express thanks that salvation in Christ is for Jew and Gentile alike. Simeon's song is often called the Nunc Dimittis, after its incipit in Latin. Dewey Westra (PHH 98) versified the text in Detroit in 1931 for the 1934 Psalter Hymnal; it was revised slightly for the 1987 edition.

The Nunc Dimittis has traditionally been paired with the Magnificat for Vespers or evening services and is still sung daily in churches with a tradition of daily prayer services (see 247 for more information on this tradition). John Calvin used it at the end of the Lord's Supper. In the Scottish Kirk, if communion was served at both services, Psalm 103 would be used at the end of the morning Lord's Supper and the Song of Simeon at the end of the afternoon or evening Lord's Supper.

Liturgical Use:
Suitable as a hymn for dismissal, especially after the Lord's Supper, and during Epiphany, since it brings to focus the worldwide character and task of the church. Also appropriate for funerals.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune

NUNC DIMITTIS (Bourgeois)

Louis Bourgeois (PHH 3) composed NUNC DIMITTIS for the Song of Simeon; the tune was first published in the 1547 edition of the Genevan Psalter. Claude Goudimel (PHH 6) wrote the harmonization in 1564 with the melody originally in the tenor voice. Some Christian denominations associate this tune with…

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Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #216

Instances

Instances (1 - 4 of 4)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #935TextFlexScorePage Scan
Presbyterian Hymnal: hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs #605TextPage Scan
Psalms for All Seasons: a complete Psalter for worship #1029TextPage Scan
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #216Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudioPage Scan
Include 1 pre-1979 instance



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