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King James translation[edit]

So, why is King James translation given here? I mean, isn't the King James translation mostly appropriate to articles specifically aimed at conservative Protestants, who have sufficient background in that language to not be put off by its archaic English.

Leaving aside that the KJV is still the most widely distributed Bible translation, and definitely out of copyright, I still think it remains the best translation for poetic and hymn passages. If you wish to add another, feel free. - Smerdis of Tlön 04:26, 22 Dec 2003 (UTC)
The KJV is the most relevant for this page since it's the text for most musical settings in English, even up to the present day. (By the way, I believe that the King James version is technically under perpetual crown copyright and will never enter the public domain.) Doops | talk 2 July 2005 19:44 (UTC)
Wikipedia's article makes it sound like that "crown copyright" issue is only relevant in the UK. I'm not sure what this means in terms of Wikipedia's policies, but I would guess that such a small fragment as the Magnificat is still acceptable. —HorsePunchKid July 2, 2005 20:22 (UTC)
P.S. Thanks for the rewrite! I worked on some of the text but was never happy with how I left it. It's starting to look more like a real article now. :)HorsePunchKid July 2, 2005 20:25 (UTC)
I'm going to replace the KJV version with the version from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, as that is the version that most English versions of the Magnificat (all the ones I've sung, at least) actually use. It's only slightly different, and I assume it's based on the KJV. DTOx
Good call. But I'm going to kill the colons, which are distracting and will be meaningless for most readers. Doops | talk 21:07, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
If you must, but liturgical colons are part of the BCP and part of this version of the Magnificat. I'd leave them in. DTOx 21:17, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
H'm. Maybe we can find a away to keep the half-verse marks but make them less visually intrusive. Make them red, perhaps? Doops | talk 21:19, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
If you really don't like them (I'd still prefer them back in), perhaps someone could write it out so each half verse started a new line and each verse a new paragraph. DTOx 14:55, 24 December 2005 (UTC)
I think that whenever the (old) Book of Common Prayer uses a text that differs from the KJV, it's because they have retained texts from the Great Bible. The Psalms are from that version as well, I believe. They are all revisions of William Tyndale in any case, so they are going to resemble one another. Not sure which version is used in the revised books of common prayer. Smerdis of Tlön 05:12, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
Do you think we should use, rather than the NAB, the NRSV or another version more widely used than the NAB? As far as I can tell, the NAB is a Bible used only by American Catholics. Once again, I'm taking the initiative and I'm going to replace the NAB translation with the NRSV one. You can always revert my edit if you don't like it. DTOx 21:04, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
I've done it, but I can't get the indentation (as it's presented as poetry) without creating bigger line spacing. If anyone knows how to bring the lines closer together, please do it. DTOx 21:13, 20 December 2005 (UTC)
I like the NRSV version better than the NAB, but the latter is official American English translation used in most countries outside of the Commonwealth, and is the version used in the Liturgy of the Hours for those countries. This does not mean that I want it to be changed back, though. --Marcusscotus1 22:00, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

The Commonwealth?! Did I just step into an Oscar Wilde play? (talk) 01:50, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

English translation of the Latin[edit]

I have added Knox version of the Magnificat since it just seems incomplete when the translation present in this article (BCP & NRSV) are from the Greek. It is just justifiable to present a version that is actually from the Latin. If anyone suggest the Douai Version, it is too similar to the BCP so I instead opted for another one. 31 May 2006

Chances are the version in the BCP was translated from Latin. But this is starting to get too text-heavy. Really, we should have the Greek original, the Vulgate translation, at most two English versions, perhaps one translated from each language. TCC (talk) (contribs) 03:35, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't think we should include a Hebrew translation (As added March 28, 20090 [1]). The list of translations is already longer than I would wish for the front of such an article, and those included are justified only by the historical import of those particular versions within English-speaking Christianity and the other traditions in which the Magnificat had a significant liturgical role. It's true that Jesus' mother may have spoken this prayer in Aramaic (the common language of Palestine at the time) or even in Hebrew (still used in religious contexts among the the Jews), but the version posted is a modern translation back into Hebrew (a retroversion) or a translation into modern Israeli Hebrew. It has no claim to antiquity or originality. The "most original" Magnificat we have is still the Greek text from the gospel of Luke. It may be of interest to specialists to speculate about what sort of semitic constructs may lie behind the Greek, but that would border on "Original Research", and as such probably does not belong to an Encyclopedia article. If you think differently, do state your case below. At the very least we should include publication information on this version (there are a dozen retroversions of the Magnificat into Hebrew), and some justification for its inclusion, being clear that this does not pretend to be an "original" version. ("A sample Hebrew retroversion, as translated by XYZ in 19??:") I do admit the Hebrew translation is interesting, just not here! Beckersc0t (talk) 12:38, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Liturgical Use[edit]

This article implied that J.S. Bach's Magnificat was not intended for liturgical use. However, the piece was performed in a liturgical setting several times during Bach's lifetime (with full orchestra). It is still occasionally performed during worship services with full orchestra today. I added the words "most of," since perhaps later large-scale settings were not intended for liturgical use.Jkisch 17:20, 26 August 2006 (UTC)

More words?[edit]

Maybe I'm missing something, but isn't there another line after "Abraham et semini eus in saecula" that goes like this? "Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper et in saecula saeculorum. Amen." evin290 02:18, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Not in St. Luke's Gospel there isn't, no. Not every tradition follows the Gospel text with the doxology. As sung in the Orthodox canon, the lines alternate with the refrain, "More honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim, without corruption thou gavest birth to God the Word. True Theotokos we magnify thee." But it would be troublesome and not very informative to the reader to insert all these liturgical flourishes into the text. TCC (talk) (contribs) 03:05, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
In the interest of clarity, a less technical response to Evin290: those phrases, the Gloria Patri, are added onto the end of the Magnificat, the Nunc Dimittis, and various other canticles when sung liturgically. But they're not actually part thereof. Doops | talk 03:13, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Magnificat Booklet[edit]

WP:NOT#ADVERTISING That looks a lot like an advertisement to me; I'd like to see that section deleted. PatriciaT (talk) 19:49, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Okay, I'm going ahead with removal of the thing. If you can make the case that this is not advertising, go ahead and restore it. PatriciaT (talk) 05:56, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm looking to restore your edit. If there is a car, or a watch, or whatever called Magnificat then this article should try to discuss this issue. Otherwise there should be a disambiguation page and a separate article made for each one. --CyclePat (talk) 19:52, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
I've restore the booklet information and also added some interesting reference regarding trademarks. --CyclePat (talk) 21:39, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

This Magnificat article ought to stay focussed on the canticle. There is already a Magnificat (disambiguation) page, so you're half-way there already. Anything non-canticle (e.g. trademarks) should be elsewhere (e.g. Magnificat (trademark)), referenced from the disambiguation page. Could you do that, CyclePat? Or I could set it up for you if you wish starting with your current material. Feline Hymnic (talk) 09:08, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Completed. Feline Hymnic (talk) 19:01, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
I disagree, this is a WP:CFORK. All articles should try to talk about every aspect or POV. We need to have at least once sentence that describes this aspect of the term Magnificat otherwise we are violating WP:Cfork. --CyclePat (talk) 05:24, 21 July 2008 (UTC)
This is not an article on the term 'Magnificat', it's an article on the Lukan text, the hymn of Mary, which went on to play such a large part in the church's liturgical tradition. Other things which take or took their name from the first word of the canticle's Latin text do not belong in this article, except as a pointer to where they can be discussed on their own terms, and the Wikipedia idiom of a disambiguation page fulfills this function admirably. Paintings or musical pieces whose main focus is the hymn should get a reference, since they belong to the specific historical influence of the hymn. The publication referred to in this bullet point (Beginning: "In 1998, a pocket-size monthly booklet entitled Magnificat, published in English...") is a general liturgical resource, and the web page mentions no specific ongoing tie with Mary's song as opposed to the rest of the liturgical tradition. For this publication, "Magnificat" is a useful and suggestive name, but the resource is not focused around the canticle. If you think this particular publication is notable enough for a Wikipedia article, by all means restore the information to the appropriate page, and link from the Magnificat/disambiguation page. I have removed it. Beckersc0t (talk) 16:23, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the deletion performed by Beckersc0t. History2007 (talk) 21:58, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

What Did Gabriel Really Say?[edit]

At no time does Gabriel inform Mary that she IS pregnant. When Mary asks how it could be possible, he informs of what WILL happen. Those are his last words. According to Catholic teaching, Mary does not become pregnant until she agrees. Mary agrees and Gabriel leaves without saying anything about her pregnancy. I have changed the text in the article accordingly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:21, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Thank you. Willthacheerleader18 (talk) 14:47, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

The Magnificat sung[edit]

This section "The Magnificat sung" appeared on December 11. It doesn't seem to serve any real purpose. Shouldn't it simply be deleted? (Or replaced with something much more substantial that analyses musical settings of the Magnificat, whilst not overlapping with the "Liturgical use" section.) In the absence of further significant developments, can I propose deletion of it in mid-January? Feline Hymnic (talk) 22:27, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Other Comments[edit]

I removed the account of the prohibition of the Magnificat in Guatemala in the 1980's after I failed in a concerted effort to find any support for it. The book that was previously cited in the article only mentions the prohibition as a means of making an unrelated point and offers no further support for the story.

The account is found very widely on the internet (in published sermons and in blogs, mostly with reference to Guatemala, sometimes Nicaragua, once even Costa Rica[!]), but never with any further support. I could find no reference to the law itself, nor any first-hand accounts of the decree or enforcement of such a law. Of course if there was such a prohibition, the evidence should be fairly easy to find for someone close to the events, in which case we can add it back. At the moment, I consider it a baseless assertion which we should refrain from perpetuating. Beckersc0t (talk)

salutari vs salvatore[edit]

Google stats: "in Deo salutari meo", 50,500 hits [[2]] "in Deo salvatore meo", 6,720 hits [[3]]

Google book stats: "in Deo salutari meo", 680 hits [[4]] "in Deo salvatore meo", 68 hits [[5]]

Quite clear. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:25, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

No Johnny it is NOT clear. Google is not an official church authority. In fact even the Vatican website has BOTH versions, so I added both refs and the alternate form. Let the discussion end. History2007 (talk) 23:53, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
No problem, but the book references given by google (10 to 1) means that "salutari" is more common. (talk) 00:08, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Official Source[edit]

Esoglou recently revised the text to reflect the Nova Vulgata edition, which (perhaps) is the source mentioned in the references. But there is an issue. This year, the new Antiphonale was published by Solesmes, and its text differs from that printed in the breviary and Nova Vulgata. This "new" text does (or will?) indeed have some official standing in the Ordo Cantus Officii. As I understand it, the Magnificat now has two official texts, one for speaking and another for chanting. I believe that the chanted office could be considered the more "official" version, so you can tentatively count me in the "salutari" as opposed to "savatore" camp, for what it's worth. Rwflammang (talk) 12:47, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Some scuttlebut on some liturgy blogs. These are the closest things I have to references so far. : [6] and [7]. Regards Rwflammang (talk) 13:12, 12 July 2010 (UTC)


I agree with Esoglou's edit summary that if we open the door to other language then we will have to also have French if we have German, then Italian and eventually many more. Given that this is a long prayer I think Latin and a few English versions are enough. History2007 (talk) 23:12, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Why not, though? After all, the German (especially the Luther version) has been used (even more so than the English or the Greek, and 2nd only to the Latin) and (in many respects) is actually a truer translation of the words and meanings of the original Greek than the Latin. Speaking of the English, I feel we should limit it to the KJV and the most current liturgical usage and (if needs be) the NIV or NRSV, not all five (as it is now). Besides which, firstly it is not a prayer, but rather a Canticle; Secondly, there are other Canticles longer than it (the Nunc dimittis and certainly the Te Deum, for example). Dgljr5121973 (talk) 16:33, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
I like the Malayalam version. But this is the English Wikipedia. Esoglou (talk) 16:41, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Esoglou. I am sorry, given the length of the prayer, I can not agree that the German, French, Italian, Turkish, etc. need to all be here. History2007 (talk) 16:45, 10 March 2011 (UTC)


What is the general Wikipedia rule for the names of songs, canticles, hymns, and prayers? Are they to be listed in italics or non-italics? In this article — and others — I noticed some discrepancies. I was not sure if the differences were intentional or erroneous. Please advise. Thanks! (Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 12:27, 17 May 2011 (UTC))

I am not sure, but it seems to want them in Italics. But no big deal probably, given that so man factual errors still float around. History2007 (talk) 13:21, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. I was just wondering if Wikipedia (in general) — or if either the WikiProject Christianity or the WikiProject Songs — had any consistent rules or conventions for this. Thanks. (Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:34, 23 May 2011 (UTC))
The Wikipedia:Manual of Style has rules for almost everything and songs are supposed to be in quote marks. I just changed the formatting in the article to match the standard style. 04:36, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Does that apply to the Magnificat, the Benedictus, the Nunc Dimittis, the Te Deum ...? What is the accepted way of writing of them? Are they perhaps usually left with neither quote marks not italics? I apologize for not being able just now to do the necessary research. Esoglou (talk) 07:51, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
You raise some good questions, and I see that in the articles for those songs they are not presently in quote marks. It would seem to me that they are songs and as such should all be in quote marks. It's clear that these are not songs like "Yellow Submarine" though, but hymns are formatted the same way. There is a possible exception where they would be in neither quote marks nor italics. The MoS says that "scriptures of large, well-known religions" are in neither quote marks nor italics, but all the examples are of either collections of scripture, like the Quran or books from the Bible like the Book of Ruth. These canticles or hymns are taken from scripture, but they are not scripture themselves, so I don't think that would apply. I don't know why those other articles are not formatted as songs in quote marks. Perhaps they should be fixed. Do you have any thoughts? SchreiberBike talk 22:24, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I regret that I have no answers to offer. Only questions. One is: Is the Magnificat a "song" in the sense intended by the Wikipedia Manual of Style? It was not written as a "song" in the usual sense, even if it was later set to music. A particular setting of it could be called a song, but is it a song in itself? If the Beatitudes have also been set to music, as I suppose they have, should we therefore add quotation marks to all mentions of the Beatitudes, or should we do so only when when mean "The Beatitudes (song)" or "The Beatitudes (chant)"? I am not proposing that anything be done or undone. Just offering uncertain thoughts. Esoglou (talk) 07:03, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
I was thinking it was a song because it is described in the article as one ("song", "canticle", "hymn"). Magnificat doesn't seem to be the label for (Luke 1:46-55), but for songs based on that text. Beatitudes are different because that refers to a set of teachings, which like many other things could be set to music. Benedictus, Nunc dimittis, Te Deum, and probably others, seem to be in the same category. I think I will ask at MoS Titles, WikiProject Classical music and WikiProject Christian music for opinions. Any other ideas are welcome. Thanks, SchreiberBike talk 19:35, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
And you won't forget to point out that the Magnificat, as well as being something chanted or set to polyphonic music is also a passage of Scripture like other passages of Scripture that have been set to music such as the Beatitudes and dozens, if not hundreds, of other passages of Scripture. Esoglou (talk) 21:55, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Whatever the general rule is, should we also think about the reasons for a rule? I imagine that the reason for quotation marks around a song title is that otherwise the prose of a title can't be distinguished from the prose of the text, thinking of "The Lord bless you and keep you". However, Magnificat will never be confused with the prose of the text because it stands out as a single word, capitalised, in a foreign language. I see no need for the quotation marks, - we are not slaves of the rules but make them. Once the biblical text Magnificat gets set to music, as by Bach, Magnificat (Bach), the question is: should we have it italic, like an opera title, or not, like Symphony or Mass? My 2 cents, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:23, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
ps: the same goes for Benedictus, Te Deum, Nunc dimittis, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:25, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
I did a quick tour through encyclopedias and reference books in my library, and then through JSTOR. The New Grove italicizes it. Many books give the word in upper case, when discussing it generally, unless they refer to a specific Magnificat by an individual composer, in which case it is italicized. In no case have I been able to find it in quotes, certainly never when discussed generally. I suppose if there were a popular song called "Magnificat" it would make sense to do it with quotes, because then and only then would it be a "song". Antandrus (talk) 15:33, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
I'll take the above to be consensus for italics. If New Grove italicizes it, that's good enough for me, though I'd be happier if our MoS gave a clear reason for it. SchreiberBike talk 05:02, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

More general discussion for italics used in the article title at WT:AT#Italicization of Latin incipits --Francis Schonken (talk) 03:53, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

Music and liturgy[edit]

I just added a German Magnificat for liturgical use, but wonder about starting a new section for the compositions, because some are also performed in concert. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 13:15, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

I do not know much about its use in compositions, but I have seen your edits around and you seem to know the topic. So maybe that way I will learn it. History2007 (talk) 13:31, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Ok, I see the section now. How about some references so we will not get a citation flag on it next week. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 13:48, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Nothing in it which was not there before, to be expanded. An article on the piece itself, Magnificat of Bach and Bruckner, should be a ref. My time is limited, I just came here for the new Bach cantata, but the Rutter Magnificat is also on my todolist, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 14:26, 27 June 2011 (UTC)