Monday, March 31, 2008

Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Commemorated in 2008 on 31 March)


The Feast of the Annunciation is normally celebrated 25 March, but due to its falling in Easter Week this year, it is instead being commemorated today.

From the Medieval Saints Yahoo Group:

Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, March 25

Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, commemorates the conception in human form of Holy God the Son within the Holy Trinity / Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ; Also known as Feast fo the Incarnation; The Conception of Christ and beginning of Redemption; Annunciation of the Lord; Solemnity of the Theotokos (Greek); Lady Day or Our Lady's Day

Instituted: c. 431, shortly before or after the council of Ephesus

Themes & Motives: Beginning of process of redemption

Commemorated March 25

Known as Lady Day, this is one of the Medieval Quarter Days which fall around the Equinoxes or Solstices and mark the beginnings of new natural seasons and were used in medieval times to mark "quarters" for legal purposes, such as settling debts.

In art: the Annunciation is represented in art by many masters, among them Fra Angelico, Hubert Van Eyck, Jan Van Eyck, Ghirlandajo, Holbein the Elder, Lippi, Pinturicchio, and Del Sarto.


The Annunciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary
(full article at: http://elvis.rowan.edu/~kilroy/JEK/03/25.html )

In the first chapter of Luke we read how the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she had been chosen to be the mother of the Christ, and how Mary answered, "Here I am, the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be to me as you have said." It is reasonable to suppose that Our Lord was conceived immediately after this. Accordingly, since we celebrate His birth on 25 December, we celebrate the Annunciation nine months earlier, on 25 March.

For many centuries most European countries took 25 March, not 1 January, as the day when the number of the year changed, so that 24 March 1201 was followed by 25 March 1202. If you had asked a Christian of that time why the calendar year changed so awkwardly partway through a month, he would have answered: "Today we begin a new year of the Christian era, the era which began X years ago today when God was made man, when He took upon Himself a fleshly body and human nature in the womb of the Virgin."

Pray the Angelus today in honor of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
V. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae;
R. Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.

V. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary;
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen.

V. Ecce ancilla Domini.
R. Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.

V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord:
R. Be it done unto me according to Thy word.

Ave Maria, gratia plena,.......
Hail Mary, full of grace, .....

V. Et Verbum caro factum est.
R. Et habitavit in nobis.

V. And the Word was made flesh:
R. And dwelt among us.

Ave Maria, gratia plena,.......
Hail Mary, full of grace, .....

V. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genetrix.
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Oremus:
Gratiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde; ut qui, Angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus, per passionem eius et crucem, ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.
R. Amen.

Let us pray:
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His passion and cross be brought to the glory of His resurrection, through the same Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.
Annunciation Window, North Transept,
St. Mary, Mother of the Redeemer - Norwalk, Ohio
(Photo by Alex Fries)


UPDATE
Jeffrey Smith at The Roving Medievalist has posted a very nice selection of artwork depicting the Annunciation.

Labels: , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

hit counter for blogger