The Nunc dimittis (Canticle of Simeon) is found in the second chapter of Luke (2.29–32). According to the narrative in Luke, Simeon was priest in the Jerusalem Temple who had been promised by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah.
At the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, Mary underwent the traditional Jewish rites of purification (40 days after the birth), thought the immaculate and sinless Virgin had no need. She did this, like her Son, in obedience to the Law and to fulfill all righteousness.
Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace : according to thy word.
For mine eyes have seen : thy salvation;
Which thou hast prepared : before the face of all people;
To be a light to lighten the Gentiles : and to be the glory of thy people Israel.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen.
Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge
Director: Christopher Robinson
A Naxos Recording (P) 2004