| || The Annunciation is the Christian
celebration of the announcement to Mary by the archangel Gabriel that she would become the Theotokos (“God-bearer”).
Though a virgin, Mary would conceive a child who would be the Son of God. Gabriel told Mary to name her son Jesus
(“Yahweh delivers”). |
Most of Christianity
observes this event with the Feast of the Annunciation on March 25, nine months before the Feast of Christmas. (It is sometimes
moved to a later date if it should conflict with Holy Week or Easter observances.) The date of the Annunciation once marked
the New Year in many places, including England, where it was called Lady Day.
—Extracted from Wikipedia
Mérode Altarpiece (detail), Robert Campin, 1428, Metropolitan Museum, New York
Psalm 40: 1-11
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
me up from the desolate pit,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in
Happy are those who make
the Lord their trust,
who do not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after false gods.
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts towards us;
none can compare with you.
Were I to proclaim and tell of them,
they would be more than can be counted.
Sacrifice and offering
you do not desire,
but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt-offering and sin-offering
you have not required.
Then I said, “Here I am;
in the scroll of the book it is written of me.
I delight to do your will,
O my God;
your law is within my heart.”
I have told the
glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
see, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O Lord.
I have not hidden your saving help within my heart,
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.
Do not, O Lord, withhold
your mercy from me;
let your steadfast love and your faithfulness
keep me safe for ever.
Isaiah 7: 10-14
Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, “Ask
a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I
will not put the Lord to the test.” Then Isaiah
said: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary mortals, that you weary my God also? Therefore
the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.”
Hebrews 10: 5-10
[W]hen Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and
offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt-offerings and sin-offerings you have taken no
pleasure. Then I said, ‘See, God, I have come to do your will, O God (in the scroll of the book it is written of me).’
When he said above, “You have neither
desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt-offerings and sin-offerings” (these are offered according
to the law), then he added, “See, I have come to do your will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the
second. And it is by God's will that we have been sanctified through the offering
of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in
Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name
was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.”
But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do
not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will
name him 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 ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 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 holy; he will
be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month
for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.”
said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed
thee, O Lord, pour Thy grace into our hearts; that we who have known the incarnation of Thy Son Jesus Christ, announced by
an angel to the Virgin Mary, may by his cross and passion be brought unto the glory of his resurrection; who liveth and reigneth
with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
The Annunciation, Mikhail Nesterov, c. 1900.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The Annunciation, John Collier