An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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Magna et mirabilia

Canticle 19 in the 1979 BCP (p. 94), based on Rv 15:3-4. It begins, "O ruler of the universe, Lord God, great deeds are they that you have done, surpassing human understanding." It is also known as the Song of the Redeemed. In this heavenly vision, the victorious faithful sing the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb. The Song of Moses was the celebration of Moses and the people of Israel after they crossed the Red Sea and escaped from bondage in Egypt (Ex 15:1-18; See Canticle 8, Cantemus Domino, BCP, p. 85). The Song of the Redeemed reflects a vision of the completion of salvation for the faithful in heaven, as the Song of Moses was a great event in the history of God's mighty acts in the world for human salvation. Magna et mirabilia draws together several OT passages. It may have been an early Christian hymn. It first appeared as a Prayer Book canticle in the 1979 BCP. It concludes with a doxology. Magna et mirabilia is recommended for use at Morning Prayer after the NT reading on Mondays and Saturdays and after the NT reading at Morning Prayer on Thursdays in Advent and Lent (BCP, p. 144). The Hymnal 1982 Accompaniment Edition, Vol. 1, provides several musical settings for Magna et mirabilia (S 267-S 271). The hymn "How wondrous and great thy works, God of praise" (Hymns 532/533 in The Hymnal 1982) by Henry Ustick Onderdonk (1759-1858), Bishop of Pennsylvania, is a metrical (poetic) version of Magna et mirabilia. The metrical version of the canticle may be used at Morning or Evening Prayer instead of Magna et mirabilia (BCP, p. 141).

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.