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.
Herr, nun lässest du deinen Diener
im Friede fahren, wie du gesagt hast;
Denn meine Augen haben deinen Heiland gesehen
welchen du bereitet hast vor allen Völkern,
ein Licht, zu erleuchten die Heiden
und zum Preis deines Volks Israel.
Now Lord, let your servant depart
According to your word in peace
For my eyes have seen the salvation
Which you have prepared before all nations
A light to enlighten the heathen
And the glory of your people Israel.
Nunc dimittis (also Song of Simeon or Canticle of Simeon) is a canticle from a text in the second chapter of Luke (Luke 2:29–32) named after its first words in Latin.
Simeon was a devout Jew who, according to the book of Luke, had been promised by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Saviour. When Mary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem for the ceremony of consecration of the firstborn son (not the circumcision, but rather after the time of Mary's purification: at least 40 days after the birth), Simeon was there, and he took Jesus into his arms and uttered the words of this prayer.
The Nunc Dimittis is the traditional 'Gospel Canticle' of Night Prayer (Compline), just as Benedictus and Magnificat are the traditional Gospel Canticles of Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer respectively. Hence the Nunc Dimittis is found in the liturgical night office of many western denominations, including the Lutheran service of Compline.Among Lutheran churches, the Nunc Dimittis may be sung following the reception of the Eucharist.