The Angelus is a prayer honoring the Incarnation and the Blessed Virgin Mary’s role in salvation history.
It has been a Catholic devotion for centuries.
The Angelus is a brief devotion in honor of the Incarnation that consists of short verses drawn from the Bible and a triple repetition of the Hail Mary. The devotion derives its name from the opening phrase in Latin: Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae (the Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary).
The Angelus is a way for lay people to sanctify the hours of the day that echoes the monastic praying of the Liturgy of the Hours. The practice seems to have always been associated with the ringing of a bell at 6:00 a.m., noon, and 6:00 p.m. Whole villages and towns would literally come to halt when the Angelus bell rang. Laborers in the fields, workers in shops, and families at home set aside what they were doing and prayed the Angelus together.
Today many churches and monasteries—as well as a number of radio and television stations—ring the Angelus bell at six o’clock in the morning, at noon, and at six in the evening, inviting the faithful to pause at what they are doing and pray.
Praying the Angelus sanctifies the hours of the day. God is our all in all, our very beginning and the end toward which we strive. By intentionally setting aside time for prayer throughout the day, every day, we turn our whole lives over to God, who becomes the motivation of all we do and all we are. Perhaps no devotion is better suited to this end than one centered on the Incarnation (Ave Maria Press).
It’s traditionally prayed daily — except during Easter when it’s replaced by Regina Caeli — at 6:00 a.m., noon, and 6:00 p.m.
It’s especially fitting to pray The Angelus during the Christmas season.
If you don’t already do so, I encourage you to pray it daily — at the traditional times or any time you’re able to.
The text is below.
First Friday is January 6th
First Saturday is January 7th
The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
And she conceived by the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
Be it done unto me according to thy word.
(Bow) And the Word was made flesh.
And dwelt among us.
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray. Pour forth, we beseech Thee O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His passion and cross be brought to the glory of His resurrection, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.