The significance of Jesus's presentation at the Temple is that, for the first time, he is recognized as the Messiah. The man who recognizes him, Simeon, is a devout Jew who has for many years been waiting for the savior of his people. As soon as he sets eyes on Jesus, Simeon knows that he is that savior, the Messiah. Taking the baby Jesus in his arms, Simeon gives thanks to God and utters the prayer now known as the Nunc Dimittis.
The prayer has been an important part of Christian liturgy and worship ever since, set to music and performed as a hymn of praise. The Latin expression Nunc Dimittis literally means "Now you dismiss," and is a request by Simeon that God allows his loyal servant to depart in peace now that he has seen the Messiah, his salvation. With these solemn words, he expresses the hope that he now be released from earthly life to enjoy eternal life in Christ.