The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Lady Day)
This feast, prepared by that of St. Gabriel, recalls the greatest event in history, the Incarnation of our Lord (Gospel) in the womb of a Virgin (Epistle). On this day the Word was made flesh and united to itself for ever the humanity of Jesus. March 25th is Indeed the anniversary of the ordination of Christ as priest, for it is by the anointing of the divinity that He has become Supreme Pontiff, Mediator between God and man. The mystery of the Incarnation has earned for Mary her most glorious title, that of "Mother of God" (Collect), in Greek "Theotokos" a name which the Eastern Church always inscribed in letters of gold, like a diadem, on the forehead of her images or statues. "Standing on the threshold of divinity" since she gave to the Word of God the flesh to which He was hypostatically united, the Virgin has always been honoured by a supereminent worship, that of hyperdulia. "The Son of the Father and the Son of the Virgin naturally become a single and identical son," says St. Anselm; hence Mary is queen of the human race and is to be venerated by all (Introit).
To March 25th will correspond, nine months later, December 25th, the day on which will be manifested to the world the miracle as yet only known to heaven and to the humble Virgin.
Since the title of Mother of God makes Mary all powerful with her Son, let us have recourse to her intercession with Him (Collect), so that by the merits of His passion and crucifixion we may have part in the glory of His resurrection (Postcommunion).
Vultum Tuum deprecabuntur omnes divites plebis: adducentur Regi virgines post eam: proximae ejus adducentur tibi in laetitia et exsultatione. * Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum: dico ego opera mea Regi.
All the rich among the people shall entreat Thy countenance: after her shall virgins be brought to the King: her neighbours shall be brought to Thee in gladness and rejoicing. * My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King.
(Psalm 44:13,15,16,2 from the Introit of Mass)
Deus qui de beatae Mariae Virginis utero Verbum Tuum, Angelo nuntiante, carnem suscipere voluisti: praesta supplicibus tuis; ut qui vere eam Genitricem Dei credimus, ejus apud te intercessionibus adjuvemur.
O God, who didst will that Thy Word should take flesh, at the message of an Angel, in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, grant to Thy suppliant people, that we who believe her to be truly the Mother of God, may be helped by her intercession with Thee.
The Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Luke
At that time: And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David His father: and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of His kingdom there shall be no end. And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren. Because no word shall be impossible with God. And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word.
(St Luke 1:26-38)