Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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is the liturgical name for the Te Deum, Benedicite, Benedictus, Magnificat, and Nunc Dimittis. The songs of Moses, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, and Isaiah are specimens of Biblical canticles; hymns inspired at the moment on a special occasion. After the 5th century canticles were added to psalmody. The Benedictus is mentioned by Amalarus in 820, and by St. Benedict, nearly three centuries before, as the canticle from the Gospel. Te Deum was sung at matins every Sunday before the Gospel-lectern, by the rules of St. Benedict and St. Caesarius of Ariles, c. 507. The Magunificat occurs in the office of Lauds in the latter rule, and in the office of the Eastern Church; in the time of Amalarius it was used at vespers. According to the apostolical constitutions the song of Simeon, or Nunc Dimittis, was also sung at that hour.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Canticles'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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