"Calling Mary's canticle "the oldest Advent hymn", Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian who was killed by the Nazis said:"
'It is at once the most passionate, the wildest, one might even say
the most revolutionary Advent hymn every sung. This is not the gentle, tender, dreamy Mary whom we sometimes see in paintings; this is
the passionate, surrendered, proud, enthusiastic Mary who speaks
out here. This song has none of the sweet, nostalgic, or even playful
tones of some of our Christmas carols. It is instead a hard, strong,
inexorable song about collapsing thrones and humbled lords of this
world, about the power of God and the powerlessness of humankind.
These are the tones of the women prophets of the Old Testament
that now come to life in Mary's mouth.'