Mary takes centre stage on the fourth Sunday of Advent. Today in our Gospel reading, we recall her visit to her cousin Elizabeth, in whose womb John the Baptist leaps for joy to welcome his recently conceived cousin, Jesus.
Mary sings the following, which we know as the Magnificat. It is still said or sung at evening prayer in our Anglican Church:
MY soul doth magnify the Lord :
and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded :
the lowliness of his hand-maiden.
For behold, from henceforth :
all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath magnified me :
and holy is his Name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him :
throughout all generations.
He hath showed strength with his arm :
he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat :
and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things :
and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel :
as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, for ever.