Two days ago I referred to the beautiful Japanese Christmas carol “Mary’s Song” which is, of course, Mary’s Magnificat put in verse. Here is the full text from Pauline Smith McAlpine’s book "Japanese Hymns in English” published by Tsunobue Sha, April 1975.:
1. O magnify the Lord,
Honor and praise His name,
Heavenly King, great God and Saviour;
My soul, lift up your voice,
Sing and adore Him,
And in Him rejoice.
2. He hath not looked with scorn
On one of low estate,
Mighty is He; He hath dealt graciously;
Henceforth and evermore,
Each age shall say of me,
“Blessed is she!”
3. O holy is Thy name,
O mighty is Thine arm,
Thy mercies sure, from age to age the same,
And those who turn to Thee
All Thy rich promises
Freely may claim.
4. Thou dost lift up the weak,
Thou dost bring down the strong.
Scatter the proud, Move princes from their throne;
Fill the hungry with good things;
And all the rich
Are sent empty away.
5. Thou hast shown wondrous grace
To all of Abram’s seed,
Israel, too, Thou has remembered.
O how precious is the Lord,
Who brings salvation
Through his living word.
Beside some excellent translations of 50 Japanese Hymns in the 1954 Sanbika, there are also “Notes on Japanese Hymnody” at the back of the book which offer a rather good synopsis of Japanese hymnody.
After reading what I had written about “Mary’s Song” a friend told me that she reads Mary’s Magnificat every night in her devotion.
And I thought how different - but how biblical! - our ecclesiastical thinking and trends might be if more people followed her suit!