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Nunc dimittis

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The Presentation by Fra Angelico

Nunc dimittis (English: now you may dismiss) are the opening words of Simeon's song of praise on the occasion of the presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple. After seeing Jesus, Simeon joyfully proclaims that he has seen God's salvation. Simeon had been promised by the Holy Spirit that he would not die without seeing the Saviour. Source of text: Luke 2:29-31; usually followed by the minor doxology Gloria Patri.

In the Church of England, the Book of Common Prayer combined the offices of Vespers and Compline, stipulating that both the Magnificat and the Nunc dimittis be sung at Evening Prayer. For this reason, the Nunc dimittis is often found set to music in a pair with the Magnificat (see Category:Evening Canticles). In the traditional Roman rite, the Nunc dimittis also forms the Tract for Mass of the Presentation in the season after Septuagesima.

Musical settings at CPDL

In English, as part of an Evening Service

Other settings

Other settings possibly not included to the manual list above

Common texts

Latin.png Latin text

Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine, secundum verbum tuum in pace:
Quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum
Quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum:
Lumen ad revelationem gentium, et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto:
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.

English.png English text

The Book of Common Prayer, 1662
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.

German.png German text

Herr, nun lässest du deinen Diener in Frieden fahren, wie du gesagt hast.
Denn meine Augen haben deinen Heiland gesehen,
welchen du bereitet hast vor allen Völkern,
ein Licht zu erleuchten die Heiden, und zum Preis deines Volk Israel.

Ehre sei dem Vater und dem Sohn und dem Heiligen Geist,
wie im Anfang, so auch jetzt und alle Zeit, und in Ewigkeit. Amen.

Church Slavonic text needs to be added.   Question.gif

New Testament text & translations

Greek.png Greek text

Νυν απολύεις τον δούλον σου, Δέσποτα, κατά το ρήμα σου εν ειρήνη,
ότι είδον οι οφθαλμοί μου το σωτήριόν σου,
ο ητοίμασας κατά πρόσωπον πάντων των λαών,
φως εις αποκάλυψιν εθνών και δόξαν λαού σου Ισραήλ.

Serbian.png Serbian translation

Ниње отпушчајеши
Сад отпушташ у миру, слугу својега,
Господе, по речи својој;
Јер видеше очи моје Спасење твоје;
Које си уготовио пред лицем свију народа.
Светлост, да просвећује незнабошце,
и славу народа твојега Израиља.

Chinese.png Chinese translation

Modern Chinese:


Chinese.png Chinese translation

Classical Chinese:

Dutch.png Dutch translation

Heer laat Uw dienaar nu,
naar Uw woord, in vrede gaan.
Want mijn ogen hebben het heil aanschouwd
dat Gij hebt bereid voor het aanschijn van de volkeren:
een licht ter openbaring aan de heidenen,
de glorie van Uw volk Israel.

Danish.png Danish translation

Herre, nu lader du din tjener gå bort
med fred efter dit ord.
For mine øjne har set din frelse,
som du har beredt for alle folk:
Et lys til åbenbaring for hedninger
og en herlighed for dit folk Israel.

Italian.png Italian translation

Ora lascia, o Signore, che il tuo servo
vada in pace secondo la tua parola,
perché i miei occhi hanno visto la tua salvezza,
preparata da te davanti a tutti i popoli,
luce per illuminare le genti
e gloria del tuo popolo, Israele.

Metrical versions

English.png English translation

Old Version Metrical Psalter 86. 86 (C.M.)
O Lord my God because my heart hath longed earnestly
My Lord and Saviour to behold and see before I die;
The joy and health of all mankind desired long before;
Who now is come into the world lost man for to restore.

Then suffer, Lord, thy servant now in peace for to depart,
According to thy holy word, which doth rejoice my heart;
Because my eyes which thou hast made to give my body light,
have now beheld thy saving health, which is the Lord of might.

Whom thou hast mercifully set, of thy abundant grace,
in open sight, and visible, before all people's face
The Gentiles to illuminate, who do in darkness dwell,
also to be the glory of thy people Israel.

English.png English text

New Version Metrical Psalter (CM)
Lord, let thy servant now depart into thy promis'd rest,
Since my expecting eyes have been with thy salvation blest;

Which till this time thy favour'd saints and prophets only knew;
Long since prepar'd, but now set forth in all the people's view.

A light to shew the heathen world the way to saving grace;
But, O! the light and glory both of Israel's chosen race.

To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the God whom we adore,
Be glory ; as it was, is now, and shall be evermore.

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