Great Feast of the Annunciation
Feast of the Annunciation
On the twenty-fifth day of this month we celebrate the Annunciation of our Most Holy Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.
The Angel announced to the Virgin the
Great Son of the Father’s great Counsel.
The Angel said, "Rejoice", to Mary on the twenty-fifth.
God, Who is merciful and loves mankind, is ever solicitous about the race of men. When, as a loving Father, He saw the work of His hands enslaved to the Devil and under his tyranny, subject to the passions and to idolatry, He resolved to send His Only-Begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver mankind from the clutches of the Devil. Since He wanted to escape the notice not only of Satan, but also of the Heavenly Powers themselves, He entrusted the Mystery to one of the Archangels, the glorious Gabriel, and in His OEconomy He brought it about that the Holy Virgin was purified by the Holy Spirit, for she was worthy of such a favor. When the Angel came to the city of Nazareth, he said to her: “Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee.” She asked: “How shall this be?” He replied: “The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee.” And she said: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” At the same time as she and the Archangel spoke, she conceived preternaturally in her immaculate womb the Son and Word of God, His enhypostatic Wisdom and Power, by the overshadowing of God and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Thereafter, the Mysteries of God the Word were accomplished by His OEconomy, for our salvation and redemption.
By her holy intercessions, O God, have mercy on us and save us, for Thou art good and lovest mankind. Amen.
The Feast of the Annunciation ~ March 25
When Mary became of age, according to Hebrew custom of the time, she could no longer stay at the Temple [see the section on the Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple, Nov 15], but had to either return to her parents or marry. Since Joachim and Anna had died, and Mary had proclaimed her vow of celibacy to the High Priest, it was decided to betroth her to an elderly distant relative who would protect and care for her. She, therefore, went to live in Nazareth with the elderly Joseph, who was a carpenter.
Here according to tradition, while Mary was reading from the prophet Isaiah about the birth of the Messiah to a virgin, the angel Gabriel appeared to her. "And the angel came in unto her and said, "Hail, thou who art highly favored, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.' And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying and cast about in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, 'Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favor with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His Kingdom there shall be no end.' Then said Mary unto the angel, 'How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?' And the angel answered and said unto her, 'The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee. Therefore also that Holy Being who shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.' . . . And Mary said, 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word." And the angel departed from her" (Luke 1: 28-38).
In the Russian language this holy day is called Blagovescheniye - "the announcement of glad tidings," because this was the first time that the glad tidings of the coming of the Savior were proclaimed to the world. Annunciation generally falls during the Great Lent, but it is of such great importance that it is still celebrated even if it coincides with Holy Friday or Pascha.
From the very beginning, the Church saw in the Mother of God one who would pray for all of mankind. She is the haven of the mothers of the world. She teaches how to live in total faithfulness to the will of God. She, who kept in her heart the divine words, is an example of faithfulness, love and service.
From: Missionary Leaflet # E50
Copyright © 1999 and Published by
Holy Protection Russian Orthodox Church, Los Angeles, CA
Editor: Bishop Alexander (Mileant)
Troparion - Tone 4
Today is the beginning of our salvation,
The revelation of the eternal mystery!
The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin
As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace.
Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:
Rejoice, O Full of Grace,
The Lord is with You!
Kontakion - Tone 8
O Victorious Leader of Triumphant Hosts!
We, your servants, delivered from evil,
sing our grateful thanks to you, O Theotokos!
As you possess invincible might,
set us free from every calamity
So that we may sing:
Rejoice, O unwedded Bride!
Further Articles on the Annunciation:
Book List for the Feasts of the Theotokos:
(Links provided for quick selection and ordering.)
Additional Articles . . .