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My Soul Magnifies the Lord


Here are some Advent worship resources inspired by Mary’s song of praise (the Magnificat) in Luke 1:46-55.


Luke 1:46-55


Prayer of Thanksgiving and Intercession

Loving God, our spirits do rejoice in all your gracious acts towards us, most of all, the event we so look forward to—the wonderful and precious gift of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.  We give thanks for the willingness of Mary to believe that the impossible could and would happen. Help us to have a similar faith.  Open our hearts and minds to believe that your promises can come to surprising fulfillment. Show us how we can best serve you with mercy and in humility, empowering people to live lives of dignity and worth.

As we look at our television screens and read accounts of people throughout the world who are being made powerless because of the greed and violence of others, remind us of the great possibility of prayer to effect changes for good.  To bring down the powerful and to lift up the lowly; to fill those who are hungry and to drive away those who profit by the weakness and ignorance of others. Be with all those who feel that life holds no hope and help them and each of us truly to believe O God, that with you, nothing is impossible. This we pray in Jesus' name.


~ Copyright © Moira Laidlaw, posted on her Liturgies Online website.

Prayer of Commitment

O God, whose word is fruitless
when the mighty are not put down,
the humble remain humiliated,
the hungry are not filled,
and the rich are;
make good your word,
and begin with us.

Open our hearts and unblock our ears
to hear the voices of the poor
and share their struggle;
and send us away empty with longing
for your promise to come true
in Jesus Christ.


~ Janet Morley, Tell Out My Soul, Christian Aid, 1990. Reprinted by permission.
From Bread of Tomorrow: Prayer for the Church Year, ed. Janet Morley
(Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1992), p. 151. Posted on the Canadian Foodgrains Bank Website.

Opening Prayer: Luke 1:46-56

Our hearts praise you, O Lord,
our spirits rejoice in God our Saviour,
for you have remembered us, your humble servants.
Mighty God, we celebrate
the great things you have done for us—your name is holy!
From one generation to another
you have shown mercy on those who honour you.
You have stretched out your mighty arm,
scattering the conceited,
confusing their schemes.
You bring down tyrants and lift up the lowly;
you fill the hungry with good things, but send the rich away empty.
You have kept your promises to us;
you have come to our help;
you will show your people your love for ever;
our hearts praise you, O Lord.


~ written by Michael Perry in Bible Praying. Posted on The Jubilate Group website.

Prayer of Commitment

God of hosts, restore us –
you who bring down the mighty
and raise on high the lowly.

In the meeting of Mary and Elizabeth
you stirred life, joy and hope in women
who were insignificant in the world’s eyes.

May this encourage us to pay attention to the forgotten people,
the unimportant places, the insignificant encounters,
and there recognize hope waiting to be born.

As we wait for the coming of our Saviour,
let your face shine on us,
so that we in turn might radiate light
that no darkness will ever smother.

~ posted on the Monthly Prayers page of the Christian Aid website.

Prayer of Confession

Every notion we have about power, success,
wealth, and achievement,
God takes and tosses out the window.
More importantly, God comes to us,
to upset our notion that we have to save ourselves.
In Jesus, God comes to us,
removing our sin, our failures, our expectations,
so we might have new life.
Please join me as we pray, saying,

We confess we are not the people you hope us to be, Advent God.
The very ones you favor, we too often ignore or ridicule.
The ones you knock off their pedestals,
we admire and emulate.
We are so focused on having more and more,
we risk being sent away empty. 

Forgive us, Mighty God,
and look with grace upon us.
We would live secure in your love;
we would be the ones of peace for our world,
we would seek to do your will,
as did Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior,
in whose name we pray.


Even now—yes, even in this very moment,
God comes to us,
bringing hope,
bringing forgiveness,
bringing grace as freely offered gifts to us.
May we open our hearts to the God who is with us,
and receive the gifts which have been offered to us.
Thanks be to God. Amen.

~ written by Thom Shuman, and posted on Lectionary Liturgies.

Spoken Resources

Call to Worship: Luke 1:47, 49

Come, let us praise God together!
Let us rejoice in God our Saviour!
For the Mighty One has done great things for us.
Holy is his name!

Affirmation of Faith

I believe in the Living God
who is directly involved in the affairs of the world.

I believe that God chooses the meek and the poor
to shame the proud and the rich.

I believe in the incarnate Word,
leaping in a woman’s womb, cradled in poverty.

I believe in Jesus, true son of Mary, true Son of God,
who came among us in weakness,
that we might come to know the profound strength
available to common people
who turn to God in trust and with love.

Yes, my friends, this I truly believe.

~ written by Bruce Prewer, and posted on Bruce Prewer’s Home Page.


Contemporary Hymn: For Ages Women Hoped and Prayed

Worship Together #274

For ages women hoped and prayed to bear the Anointed One,
both Israel’s Savior and the world’s, the new day’s shining Sun.
Did they not know? Did they not guess what pain would then be theirs,
if God’s Anointed graced their home in answer to their prayers?

Young Mary did not think to hope for miracles of birth,
and God chose her to be the one to make Christ’s home on earth.
So Mary sang her heartfelt praise of God who sets things straight;
the mighty fall, the weak are raised, the hungry fill their plate.

Our hearts rejoice as Mary’s song becomes our hymn of praise,
for Christ has come, Emmanuel! to claim our years and days,
both present now and coming still, accomplished fact and dream,
we join the song that Mary sings, an earthly, heav’nly theme.

~ Words copyright © 1986. Jane Parker Hubert in A Singing Faith.

Tune suggestions:
CAROL (“It came upon a midnight clear”)
ELLACOMBE (“I sing the mighty power of God”)

Contemporary Hymn: My Soul Proclaims with Wonder

My soul proclaims with wonder the greatness of the Lord;
rejoicing in God's goodness, my spirit is restored.

To me God has shown favor, to one the world thought frail;
and every age will echo the angel's first "All hail."

God's mercy shields the faithful and saves them from defeat
with strength that turns to scatter the proud in their conceit.

The mighty have been vanquished; the lowly lifted up.
The hungry find abundance; the rich, an empty cup.

To Abraham's descendants the Lord will steadfast prove,
for God has made with Israel a covenant of love.

~ Carl P. Daw, Jr.  Words copyright © 1989 Hope Publishing Company. If you use this song in worship, be sure to report it on your CCLI license.

Tune suggestions:
ST. THEODULPH (“All glory, laud and honour”)
Listen to it here: http://www.hymnary.org/tune/st_theodulph_teschner

Contemporary Song: Canticle of the Turning

My soul cries out with a joyful shout
that the God of my heart is great,
And my spirit sings of the wondrous things
that you bring to the ones who wait.
You fixed your sight on your servant's plight,
and my weakness you did not spurn,
So from east to west shall my name be blest.
Could the world be about to turn?

My heart shall sing of the day you bring.
Let the fires of your justice burn.
Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near,
and the world is about to turn!

Though I am small, my God, my all,
you work great things in me,
And your mercy will last from the depths of the past
to the end of the age to be.
Your very name puts the proud to shame,
and to those who would for you yearn,
You will show your might, put the strong to flight,
for the world is about to turn.

From the halls of power to the fortress tower,
not a stone will be left on stone.
Let the king beware for your justice tears
ev'ry tyrant from his throne.
The hungry poor shall weep no more,
for the food they can never earn;
There are tables spread, ev'ry mouth be fed,
for the world is about to turn.

Though the nations rage from age to age,
we remember who holds us fast:
God's mercy must deliver us
from the conqueror's crushing grasp.
This saving word that our forebears heard
is the promise which holds us bound,
'Til the spear and rod can be crushed by God,
who is turning the world around.

~ Rory Cooney. Copyright © 1990 GIA Publications, Inc.

Tune suggestions:
Set to the tune of the Irish ballad, Star of the County Down
Listen to it here: http://www.spiritandsong.com/compositions/30269

Find music/chords here: http://www.irishmusicforever.com/star-of-the-county-down/lyrics-and-chords

Contemporary Song: Holy is His Name

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
and my spirit exalts in God my Savior.
For he has looked with mercy on my lowliness,
and my name will be forever exalted.
For the mighty God has done great things for me,
and his mercy will reach from age to age.
And holy, holy, holy is his name.

He has mercy in ev’ry generation.
He has revealed his power and his glory.
He has cast down the mighty in their arrogance,
and has lifted up the meek and the lowly.
He has come to help his servant Israel;
he remembers his promise to our fathers.

And holy, holy, holy is his name.

~ John Michael Talbot  Copyright © 2009 worshiptogether.com Songs/sixsteps Music/Vamos Publishing (Admin. by EMI CMG Publishing). CCLI Song 5601671.

Listen to it here: http://www.spiritandsong.com/compositions/15356

Contemporary song: My Soul Magnifies the Lord

Good news of great joy
For every woman, every man
This will be a sign to you
A baby born in Bethlehem
Come and worship, do not be afraid

A company of angels
Glory in the highest
And on the Earth peace among
Those on whom His favor rests
Come and worship, do not be afraid

My soul, my soul magnifies the Lord
My soul magnifies the Lord
He has done great things for me
Great things for me

Unto you a child is born
Unto us a Son is giv'n
Let every heart prepare His throne
In every nation under Heav'n
Come and worship, do not be afraid

Of His government
There will be no end
He'll establish it with His righteousness
And He shall reign on David's throne
And His name shall be from this day on
Wonderful, Counselor, Everlasting Father

~ Daniel Carson, Chris Tomlin. Copyright © 2009 worshiptogether.com Songs/sixsteps Music/Vamos Publishing (Admin. by EMI CMG Publishing). CCLI Song 5601671.

Listen to it here: http://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/songdetail.aspx?iid=1725591


rr~ Magnificat, by Franz Anton Maulbertsch, 1771-1777

Additional Resources

Gospel Reflection: Luke 1:46-55


This worship resource was created/compiled by Christine Longhurst. You are welcome to use it free of charge, and where appropriate, please note the source. If you are printing any of the resources for distribution, please print the source as well. The content of the worship resource does not necessarily represent the views of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, which oversees the Centre for Mennonite Brethren Studies. For more worship resources by Christine Longhurst, see http://www.re-worship.blogspot.ca or http://www.faithmatters.ca.

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