Nunc dimittis

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Offering in the Temple (Master of the Pollinger Tablets, 1444)

The Nunc dimittis , also known as the praise of Simeon or Canticum Simeonis , is one of the three praises ( Cantica ) of the Gospel of Luke with the Magnificat and the Benedictus ( Lk 2.29–32  EU ).


Nunc dimittis or “Now you let [master, your servant]” are the opening words of Simeon's hymn of praise. It comes from the biblical account of the presentation of the Lord in the Jerusalem Temple ( LkEU ), according to which Simeon , who is otherwise not mentioned in the New Testament, recognizes the expected Messiah in the Infant Jesus and thus the fulfillment of a promise that he personally through the Holy Spirit had received. According to this promise, he should not die until his eyes have seen the Messiah.

Basic Greek text Latin ( Vulgate VUL ) Luther Bible 1912 Standardized translation ( EU )

Νῦν ἀπολύεις τὸν δοῦλόν σου, δέσποτα, κατὰ τὸ ῥῆμά σου ἐν εἰρήνῃ:

ὅτι εἶδον οἱ ὀφθαλμοί μου τὸ σωτήριόν σου

ὃ ἡτοίμασας κατὰ πρόσωπον πάντων τῶν λαῶν,

φῶς εἰς ἀποκάλυψιν ἐθνῶν καὶ δόξαν λαοῦ σου Ἰσραήλ .

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 tuae Israel.

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace, as you said;

for my eyes have seen your Savior,

whom you prepared before all peoples,

a light to illuminate the Gentiles, and for the praise of your people Israel.

Now, sir, you let your servant part in peace, as you said.

For my eyes have seen the salvation

that you prepared before all peoples,

a light that illuminates the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.

In liturgical use, the closed small doxology Glory to the Father ... to.

Liturgy and church music


The Nunc dimittis in the Duke of Berry's Book of Hours

The nunc dimittis is sung daily in the hourly prayer . With its peaceful thanksgiving and farewell mood, it belongs to Compline , the night prayer of the Church; in the Anglican Church it is part of the Evensong together with the Magnificat .

In some Lutheran churches such as the Independent Evangelical Lutheran Church , the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod and the ELCA , the Nunc dimittis is also used as a song of thanks as part of postcommunio in the sacrament liturgy.

Musical versions

Based on the Nunc dimittis, Martin Luther created the chorale Mit Fried und Freud I drive there . The chorale from the time of the Reformation and revised by Philipp Spitta , Im Frieden dein, O Herrre mein, has found ecumenical dissemination. In Protestant church music, this text often served as the basis for funeral compositions.

Examples of settings


  • Anthony William Ruff:  Nunc dimittis . In: Religion Past and Present (RGG). 4th edition. Volume 6, Mohr-Siebeck, Tübingen 2003, Sp. 434-435.

Web links

Commons : Nunc dimittis  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. The Bible or all of the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Stuttgart 1912. Quoted from