02 September 2009

Commemoration of Hannah

Today our Synod commemorates and gives thanks to God for Hannah, the mother of Samuel the Prophet. From the Treasury and the Synod's website:

Hannah was the favored wife of Elkanah, the Ephraimite, and the devout mother of the prophet Samuel. He was born to her after years of bitter barrenness (1 Sam 1:6–8) and fervent prayers for a son (1:9–18). After she weaned her son, Hannah expressed her gratitude by returning him for service in the House of the Lord at Shiloh (1:24–28). Her prayer (psalm) of thanksgiving (2:1–10) begins with the words, “My heart exults in Lord; my strength is exalted in the Lord.” This song foreshadows the Magnificat, the Song of Mary centuries later (Lk 1:46–55). The name Hannah derives from the Hebrew word for “grace.” She is remembered and honored for joyfully having kept the vow she made before her son's birth and offering him for lifelong service to God.

The collect assigned for the day asks: "You looked on the affliction of Your barren servant Hannah and did not forget her but answered her prayers with the gift of a son. So hear our supplications and petitions and fill our emptiness, granting us trust in Your provision, so that we, like Hannah, might render unto You all thankfulness and praise..." (Treasury, p. 683)

Hannah's canticle would be a good addition to the Psalmody today. You can find it in Treasury on page 427: "The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up!"

1 comment:

Past Elder said...

Hannah prefigures Mary in the name too as well as her prayer, Hannah being a variant of Ana (Anne), the name of Mary's mother.