A Family Advent Activity with Mary’s Magnificat

Many of us spend part of the Advent season reflecting on Christ’s birth together as a family. But do you ever get to the point where you feel like you’re just saying the same things over and over?

This year I sat down and compared Hannah and Mary’s songs of praise to God and found quite  a few similarities.

Mary’s song reflects her deep knowledge of the lives and words of the Old Testament saints, and in particular, Hannah’s story seemed to resonate with Mary.

Over a thousand years earlier, Hannah sang a song of praise to God for blessing her barren womb, and Mary praised God for making fertile the womb of a virgin.


  • Sit down with your family and talk about the faith legacy of those who’ve gone on ahead.
  • Then take a look at Hannah’s prayer of praise in 1 Samuel 2:1–10 and Mary’s in Luke 1:46–56.
  • As you read, talk about the similarities between the prayers, particularly their descriptions of God.

Here are a few of the similarities that I charted on my personal blog earlier this month:

Hannah’s Song

Mary’s Song

“My heart exults in the Lord” (1 Sam. 2:1).

“My soul magnifies the Lord” (Luke 1:46).

“I rejoice in your salvation” (1 Sam. 2:1).

“My spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46).

“There is none holy like the Lord” (1 Sam. 2:2).

“Holy is his name” (Luke 1:49).

“Talk no more so very proudly” (1 Sam. 2:3).

“He has scattered the proud” (Luke 1:51).

“The bows of the mighty are broken” (1 Sam. 2:4).

“He has brought down the mighty from their thrones” (Luke 1:52).

“But the feeble bind on strength” (1 Sam. 2:4).

“Exalted those of humble estate” (Luke 1:52).

“Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread” (1 Sam. 2:5).

“The rich he has sent away empty” (Luke 2:53).

“Those who were hungry have ceased to hunger” (1 Sam. 2:5).

“He has filled the hungry with good things” (Luke 2:53).

“He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap” (1 Sam. 2:8).

“He has looked on the humble estate of his servant” (Luke 2:48).

"Inherit a seat of honor” (1 Sam. 2:8).

“From now on all generations will call me blessed” (Luke 2:48).

“He will guard the feet of his faithful ones” (1 Sam. 2:9).

“His mercy is for those who fear him” (Luke 2:50).

Sarah is the author of Bathsheba’s Responsibility in Light of Narrative Analysis, contributor to Vindicating the Vixens, and contributing editor for The Evangelism Study Bible. Some of her previous ministry experiences have included teaching and mentoring of adults and children in a wide variety of settings. Her small claim to fame is that she has worked with children of every age range from birth through high school over the past 20 years. She and her husband Ben reside in Richardson, Texas with their four children.

One Comment

  • Lisa Goodyear

    Great Observations!

    Thanks for sharing these great observations!   May familes use this activity to teach their children about our awesome God, His love, and His faithfulness.