The Annunciation John Collier, St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church, McKinney, Texas
This major feast day celebrates the announcing by the archangel to the Virgin Mary that Jesus the Christ was to be conceived in her womb. It has been celebrated as a feast since at least the fourth century, and also provided a focus for controversy about the nature of Christ as both God and Man, with the orthodox position continuing to assert that he was fully both. The Marian focus of the day (“Lady Day”) developed as her own cult did in the later middle ages, and asserting her as the “God-bearer” was another way of keeping Christ’s full divinity in the frame. It remains however at heart a Feast of our Lord, on which his virgin- mother has a unique place of honour and veneration.
We beseech you, O Lord,
pour your grace into our hearts,
that as we have known the incarnation
of your Son Jesus Christ
by the message of an angel,
so by his cross and passion
we may be brought to the glory of his resurrection;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.