Feast of the Annunciation
Updated: Mar 23, 2021
Hail, full of grace, the LORD is with thee
Ave Maria, Gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
SShalom lach Miriam Bruchat ha chesed Adonai imech.
Dios te salve María, llena eres de Gracia,
el Señor es contigo.
Salamu Maria, umejaa neema Bwana yu nawe.
Who didst please that at the message of an Angel
Thy Word should take flesh in the womb
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
grant unto Thy suppliants,
that we who believe her to be
truly the mother of God
may be aided by her intercession before Thee
Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen
Benedictine Monastic Diurnal
As early as the fourth or fifth century the Feast of the Annunciation was celebrated in the early church with the first recordings found in writings from the Council of Toledo in 656 AD. By the time of this canon the feast was widely celebrated. From the beginning, the Annunciation was celebrated on March 25th as early Christians believed the spring equinox was not only the first day of Creation (in Genesis by God) but also the beginning of the redemption of this created world through Christ. The early church believed this date to also be the date of Christ's death and the fall of Adam - the early martyrologies place the creation of Adam, the crucifixion, the fall of Lucifer and the Annunciation all together on March 25th.
The full narrative, as found in the Gospel of Luke is as follows:
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28 And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29 Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.
30 And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.
31 Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus.
32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.
33 And of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?
35 And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
36 And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren:
37 Because no word shall be impossible with God.
38 And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
Should the feast day fall within Holy Week, Easter Week or on a Sunday, the Catholic Church, Anglican Communion, Lutheran and Western Rite Orthodox Church will remove the date to either the next day (if the date falls on a Sunday, so it will be moved to March 26th, for example) or to the Monday after the Octave of Easter. The Eastern Orthodox, Oriental and Eastern Catholoic churches do not move the date under any circumstances and instead a Divine Liturgy is celebrated even on those dates.
In the medieval and early modern periods of England, the Annunciation served as one of the four quarter days (the others being the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, Michaelmas, and Christmas. These days marked the four divisions of the fiscal year.