What is Magnificat Magazine?
Magnificat Magazine is a subscription-based publication that is sent each month in preparation for the following month's Masses. It is also possible to buy each issue individually but the cost almost doubles over the course of a year.
Each issue measures 6 1/2" x 4 1/2 " x 1/4" making it a very convenient size to put in a purse or to carry to Mass. The cover is made of a glossy paper usually featuring a famous full-color work of art and the pages are thin, khaki-colored paper that is thick enough to stand up to daily use.
The inside cover of each issue has a listing of the liturgical calendar for the month and also tells you which lectionary cycle you are in (A,B,C).
The next few pages contain seasonal reflections, a blessing of the month - the December issue contained a blessing for an Advent wreath, blessings before and after meals and a hymn of the month. The hymn of the month is used during a particular liturgy of that month and contains the chant notation, the original Latin and an English translation. The November 2007 issue contained a hymn for All Souls Day and the December 2007 issue contained one for Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. The November and December issues also included the chant notation and English / Latin for a Marian antiphon used during the month. The November 2007 issue contained an antiphon used in the Ambrosian Rite liturgy for the Memorial of the Presentation.
After the music is a section with an outline for Night Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours. The Liturgy of the Hours as contained in the Magnificat is not exactly the same as found in the official books so you won't be able to follow along at church.
After this introductory section you get to the meat of the missal. Each day contains morning prayer, the readings and propers for the day's Mass and evening prayer. For each weekday there is also a daily meditation from historical and contemporary Catholics. For example, the December 2007 issue contains meditations from St. Gregory the Great, Chesterton and Thomas Merton among others. Scattered throughout the missal are biographies of contemporary and historical saints.
At the end of the missalette, marked by pages in red letters, is the Order of the Mass. This section contains the entire text of the parts of the Mass that don't change each day as well as any options that are allowed. The parts of the Mass that can be sung by the congregation (Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Pater Noster, Sanctus, Agnus Dei) are included in both Latin (Greek) and English.
After the Order of the Mass is a section for Eucharistic Exposition and Benediction which includes all the texts, instructions and hymns. The hymns are both in Latin and English.
At the end of the Magnificat is an index of psalms and hymns followed by a brief critical analysis of a famous work of art. The November 2007 issue contains an explanation of the Gates of Hell by Rodin which is found in the Rodin Museum in Paris.
The back cover of the Magnificat contains the prayers from the Liturgy of the Hours that you say every day - the Canticle of Mary, the Canticle of Zechariah, the Canticle of Simeon and the Te Deum.
Apart from the regular issues you also receive extra Christmas and Holy Week issues. The Christmas issue contains all the Masses from Christmas Eve morning through the New Year's Vigil. It also contains a section of Christmas Carols. The Holy Week issue contains all the services from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday including information about the Tenebrae service. The Holy Week edition also contains preparation prayers for the priest before the Chrism Mass and Stations of the Cross and the Seven Last Words for Good Friday.
Outside of the regular magazine you can also get the Lent and Advent Companions which contain daily meditations for the season and the Rosary Companion which contains instructions on how the pray the Rosary as well as fine art in full-color for each Mystery.