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The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia

Nunc Dimittis

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The Latin title for the Song of Simeon, meaning "Now lettest Thou (Thy servant) depart (in peace)," which is sung after the Second Lesson at Evening Prayer in praise of the manifestation of the Incarnate Word. It is to be found in St. Luke 2:29-32. The Nunc Dimittis has been so used throughout the Church from the earliest ages, being mentioned in the Apostolical Constitutions (written in the early part of the Fifth Century) as an Evening Canticle. There are English versions of it as early as the Fourteenth Century. When the American Prayer Book was set forth in 1789, this beautiful hymn, for some reason, was omitted, but always to the regret of intelligent and devout Church people. When, however, the Prayer Book was revised in 1892 the Nunc Dimittis was restored, so that now this ancient song continues to gladden the hearts of the faithful and devout in the American Church as it did the hearts of the faithful in the old time before them.

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Bibliography Information
Miller, William James. Entry for 'Nunc Dimittis'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. 1901.

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