Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace,
according to Thy Word,
for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation
which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples,
a Light to enlighten the gentiles,
and the glory of Thy people Israel.
(The Canticle of Simeon, Luke 9:29-32)
The first words of the canticle, pronounced by Simeon when he sees the Child, are an exclamation of joy at his approaching death. It is an answer to the promise made by the Holy Spirit to the old man: he is not to die before seeing the Christ of the Lord.
In one of the Psalms of the Ascent which we sing during Vespers in Lent, the psalmist sings:
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