The Annunciation

Today, March 25th is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord!

Archangel Gabriel was sent to the Blessed Virgin Mary to announce that she was chosen to bear the Son of God.

This event is known as the Annunciation.

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

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 (Luke 1:26-38).

In Honor of the Annunciation 

Even though the Annunciation takes place during Lent, it’s not a day of penance and fasting.

To celebrate this feast, I want to share a special carol.

But before that, Pope Francis has asked Christians to pray an ‘Our Father’ at noon today (7 am Eastern Standard Time) in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

If you can pray at the appropriate time, please do so. If you can’t pray at the appropriate time, please pray right now before continuing this post.

The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came is a Basque Christmas folk carol.

(The Basque Country is an autonomous region in northern Spain.)

It’s based on the medieval Latin carol Angelus Ad Virginem, a poetic version of the Hail Mary and the Annunciation that originally contained 27 stanzas.

It was first compiled by Charles Bordes.

It was then paraphrased into English by Sabine Baring-Gould who spent a winter in the Basque Country as a boy.

The carol is also known as Gabriel’s Message and the English text is below.

To listen to a beautiful version, click here.

Today, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation, let us praise God for becoming man and sharing in our humanity.

And let us thank Mary for saying “yes” to God and participating in His plan for our redemption.

Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth, Israel. Photo from a friend

Gabriel’s Message

The angel Gabriel from heaven came,
His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame,
All hail, said he, thou lowly maiden Mary!
Most highly favoured Lady, Gloria!

For known a blessed mother thou shalt be,
All generations laud and honour thee,
Thy son shall be Emmanuel by seers foretold,
Most highly favoured Lady, Gloria!

Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head,
“To me be as it pleaseth God,” she said,
“my soul shall laud and magnify His holy Name.”
Most highly favoured Lady, Gloria!

Of her, Emmanuel, the Christ, was born
in Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,
and Christian folk throughout the world will ever say,
Most highly favoured Lady, Gloria!

4 thoughts on “The Annunciation

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