The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Blagoveschenie)
The feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
is one of the most important in the Church calendar. According to the Gospel of Luke 1:26-38, the Archangel
Gabriel appeared in the home of the righteous Joseph while Mary was reading the Holy Scriptures.
He came to Her and said that the Blessed Virgin had been chosen to be the Mother of Our Lord
"Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women".
Mary was confused at the message that was given to her, and wondered what manner of greeting this might be. But the Archangel said to her:
"Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
Virgin Mary was confused and asked: "How can this be, when I am not married"?
The Archangel answered: "the Holy Spirit will come into you and the strength of the All Powerful One will come upon you, therefore the Sacred born will be named Son of God". Virgin Mary with humility answered, "I am the Lord's servant. Let it be to me as you have said."
And the Archangel Gabriel left Her..
The Annunciation of the Most Holy Virgin Mary is observed on March 25/April 7.
This date is selected to be exactly nine months ahead of Christmas, indicating that Christ was conceived at that time "by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary".
Troparion of the Feast:
Today is the beginning of our salvation,
The revelation of the eternal mystery!
The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin
As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace.
Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:
Rejoice, O Full of Grace,
The Lord is with You!