March 25, 2019
Annunciation to the Mother of God
Luke 1:24-38 - After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she hid herself, saying, "Thus the Lord has done to me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men."
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end."
And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?"
And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible."
And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. (RSV)
The beginning of our salvation – What a wonder! God is come among men; He who cannot be contained is contained in a womb; the timeless enters time. A great mystery! His conception is without seed, his emptying past telling! So great is this mystery! For God empties himself, takes flesh and is fashioned as a creature, when the angel tells the pure Virgin of her conception: “Rejoice, you who are full of grace; the Lord who has great mercy is with you!” (Stichera of Annunciation, St. John the Monk)
For the Feast of the Annunciation
- Vespers (Parables of the Feast): Genesis 28:10-17, Ezekiel 43:27-44:4, Proverbs 9:1-11
- Matins: Luke 1:39-49, 56
- Vespers and Divine Liturgy: Exodus 3:1-8, Proverbs 8:22-30, Hebrews 2:11-18, Luke 1:24-38
The icon is of the Annunciation.