A MOTHER'S MAGNIFICAT
Excerpted From Advent: A Cantata
Ensemble Mezzo-Soprano or Soprano and Piano
Text Paul Winchester
In 2013, I had the opportunity to compose Advent: A Cantata for my home church of Peace UCC in Duluth, MN. In so doing, I was able to explore several of the traditional advent texts as well as modern poetic takes on the season. Upon reaching the Magnificat text – one of the bedrocks of advent – I felt unsure. While I love and have set the traditional Magnificat and appreciate both its poetry and theology, in this instance I found myself struck by how, to my ears, the text sounded as though it came from the biblical authors rather than the mouth of Mary, a young girl soon to be a first-time mother. And so I set about the task of reimagining that text, maintaining the core theological elements but using more modernized language and imagining myself in Mary’s shoes. I then set the text in a way meant to convey both tenderness and utter self-assurance. The result is A Mother’s Magnificat.