The Canticle of Simeon, called « Nunc dimíttis servum tuum Dómine » in Latin, is a traditional Christian prayer taken from the Gospel according to Saint Luke. This Canticle is in fact, recited or sung as a night prayer during the Office of Compline, before our night rest, in accordance with the Catholic liturgy of the Hours. In some translations, the canticle is spelled Canticle of Symeon.
Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;
Your word has been fulfilled:
my own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people;
a light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.
Then conclude by saying:
Glory to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit
As it was in the beginning, is now and shall be forever.
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 tuæ Israel.
Then conclude by saying :
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritu Sancto
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc et semper et in sæcula sæculorum.
The Canticle of Simeon appears in the second chapter of the Gospel according to Saint Luke. The parents of Jesus, Mary and Joseph go to the Temple in Jerusalem to present Jesus to the Lord for him to be consecrated, as it was prescribed in the Mosaic Law or Jewish law.
Simeon then appears, “an upright and devout man; he looked forward to the restoration of Israel and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord.” (Luke 2, 25-26). Simeon had then received the promise that he would see the Messiah before his death and it is then that, on receiving the child Jesus in his arms, he recognises in him the Messiah! His lips bless the Lord “for [his] eyes have seen the salvation [that He had made ready] in the sight of the nations.” (Luke 2, 30-31).
After having seen the Messiah and been a witness of the Good News, Simeon is ready to “go in peace”. The canticle of Simeon is thus recited as a evening prayer, so as to ask God to give us rest for the night after having been witnesses of His graces all through the day.
Why not read this canticle during your personal night prayer or with the family?
Hozana offers hundreds of spiritual suggestions to help each person to pray every day! Discover all the communities we have and choose those which will nourish your prayer life. You can, for example, receive a daily prayer, the Gospel of the day with a commentary, or even some suggestions for family prayer. The Lord deeply wants to share an intimate moment every day with us, in order to be able to transform our hearts and share His love,joy and peace with us. So let’s not wait, let us open the door to Him!