Μεγαλύνει ἡ ψυχή μου τὸν Κύριον
καὶ ἠγαλλίασεν τὸ πνεῦμά μου ἐπὶ τῷ Θεῷ τῷ σωτῆρί μου,
ὅτι ἐπέβλεψεν ἐπὶ τὴν ταπείνωσιν τῆς δούλης αυτοῦ.
ἰδού γὰρ ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν μακαριοῦσίν με πᾶσαι αἱ γενεαί,
ὅτι ἐποίησέν μοι μεγάλα ὁ δυνατός,
καὶ ἅγιον τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ,
καὶ τὸ ἔλεος αὐτοῦ εἰς γενεὰς καὶ γενεὰς
τοῖς φοβουμένοις αυτόν.
Ἐποίησεν κράτος ἐν βραχίονι αὐτοῦ,
διεσκόρπισεν ὑπερηφάνους διανοίᾳ καρδίας αὐτῶν·
καθεῖλεν δυνάστας ἀπὸ θρόνων
καὶ ὕψωσεν ταπεινούς,
πεινῶντας ἐνέπλησεν ἀγαθῶν
καὶ πλουτοῦντας ἐξαπέστειλεν κενούς.
ἀντελάβετο Ἰσραὴλ παιδὸς αὐτοῦ,
καθὼς ἐλάλησεν πρὸς τοὺς πατέρας ἡμῶν
τῷ Αβραὰμ καὶ τῷ σπέρματι αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα.
The Magnificat (A contemporary translation)
My soul proclaims your greatness, O God, my spirit rejoices in you, my Savior,
for you have looked with favor on your lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
you, the Almighty, have done great things for me, and holy is your name.
You have mercy on those who fear you from generation to generation.
You, O God have shown strength with your arm
and scattered the proud in their conceit,
Casting down the mighty from their thrones and lifting up the lowly.
You have filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty.
You have come to the help of your servant Israel,
for you have remembered your promise of mercy,
The promise made to our forebears, to Abraham, Sarah, and their children for ever.
Many happy memories emerge when I think of Mary's "heart-song", The Magnificat, the thanksgiving hymn chanted at Vespers commemorating the privilege of Mary's become the Theotokos, the God-bearer, and of God's goodness in redeeming humankind. If I had to pick a favorite hour of the Divine Office, I guess it would be Vespers, largely because of Magnificat hymn. The hymn also recalls for me the many times it was sung by the choir at my home church, St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, Sacramento. In particular, I remember the soprano voice of Mavis Isaacson, who rendered the verses of The Hymnal 1982 version (S 247) with such grace and beauty, backed by the choir's response of the Antiphon.
Mary knows how to receive a gift with total freedom, without needing to say 'Lord, I am not worthy.' She knows how to be totally vulnerable and humble before Mystery. Mary knows she did not earn anything. It was all mercy, grace, and God’s utterly free and gratuitous choice. (Mary uses the word “mercy” three times in her Magnificat). Mary had nothing to do with it, except, of course, saying YES to it!
All divine worthiness is given—and received."