Mary’s Song of Praise

The Christmas season is now in full force. It is a time of singing and joy. The carol we sang “What Child is This” was written in 1865 in England by William Chatterton Dix. That year William suffered a near-fatal sickness. This experience changed him completely. He experienced a spiritual awakening. He became an avid reader of the Bible and began to write hymns. He set the lyrics to this carol to the tune of “Greensleeves” a popular English folk song. The carol urges people to accept Christ. The word “laud” means to praise. One of the ways we praise Jesus is through songs. Mary went to visit her relative Elizabeth who had also been blessed with a conception miracle though different from Mary’s. God must have revealed the virgin conception to Elizabeth. (43-45) “But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” Mary broke into praise as the realization of was happening began to sink down into her soul. Mary did not actually sing as the Bible records that she “said” (46). The word means “to speak.” Mary’s praise became a canticle, a hymn or chant typically with a biblical text. This has been labeled as “The Magnificat” from the Latin word translated “exalts” (46). It is truly the expression of Mary’s heart. Her praise is filled with illusions and quotations from the Old Testament. Mary is a model believer whose gives us an example of biblical worship.

Daren Ritchey