ANNUNCIATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
This great festival takes its name from the happy tidings brought by the angel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin, concerning the Incarnation of the Son of God. It commemorates the most important embassy that was ever known: an embassy sent by the King of kings, performed by one of the chief princes of His heavenly court; directed, not to the great ones of this earth, but to a poor, unknown virgin, who, being endowed with the most angelic purity of soul and body, being withal perfectly humble and devoted to God, was greater in His eyes than the mightiest monarch in the world. When the Son of God became man, He could have taken upon Him our nature without the cooperation of any creature; but He was pleased to be born of a woman. In the choice of her whom He raised to this most sublime of all dignities, He pitched upon the one who, by the riches of His grace and virtues, was of all others the most holy and the most perfect. The design of this embassy of the archangel is to give a Saviour to the world, a victim of propitiation to the sinner, a model to the just, a son to this Virgin, remaining still a virgin, and a new nature to the Son of God, the nature of man, capable of suffering pain and anguish in order to satisfy God’s justice for our transgressions.
When the angel appeared to Mary and addressed her, the Blessed Virgin was troubled: not at the angel’s appearance, says St. Ambrose, for heavenly visions and a commerce with the blessed spirits had been familiar to her; but what alarmed her, he says, was the angel’s appearing in human form, in the shape of a young man. What might add to her fright on the occasion was his addressing her in words of praise. Mary, guarded by her modesty, is in confusion at expressions of this sort, and dreads the least appearance of deluding flattery. Such high commendations make her cautious how she answers, till in silence she has more fully considered of the matter: “She revolved in her mind,” says St. Luke, “what manner of salutation this should be.” Ah, what numbers of innocent souls have been corrupted for want of using the like precautions!
The angel, to calm her, says: “Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favor before God.” He then informs her that she is to conceive and bring forth a Son Whose name shall be Jesus, Who shall be great, and the Son of the Most High, and possessed of the throne of David, her illustrious ancestor. Mary, out of a just concern to know how she may comply with the will of God without prejudice to her vow of virginity, inquires, “How shall this be?” Nor does she give her consent till the heavenly messenger acquaints her that it is to be a work of the Holy Ghost, who, in making her fruitful, will not Entrench in the least upon her virginal purity.
In submission, therefore, to God’s will, without any further inquiries, she expresses her assent in these humble but powerful words: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to Thy word” What faith and confidence does her answer express, what profound humility and perfect obedience!
From the example of the Blessed Virgin in this mystery, how ardent a love ought we to conceive of purity and humility! The Holy Ghost is invited by purity to dwell in souls, but is chased away by the filth of the contrary vice. Humility is the foundation of a spiritual life. By it Mary was prepared for the extraordinary graces and all virtues with which she was enriched, and for the eminent dignity of Mother of God.
Source: Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, 1866
OF THE EVER BLESSED VIRGIN
Transferred from March 25
Double – First class
Missa ‘Vultum tuum’
Psalm 44: 13, 15, 16
Vultum tuum deprecabuntur omnes divites plebis: adducentur Regi virgines post eam: proximæ ejus adducentur tibi in lætitia ex exsultatione. Alleluia, alleluia.
Ps. 44: 2. Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum: dico ego opera mea Regi. V. Glória Patri
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. Alleluia, alleluia.
Ps. My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King. V. Glory be to the Father.
Deus, qui de beatæ Mariæ Virginis utero Verbum tuum, Angelo nuntiante, carnem suscipere voluisti; præsta supplicibus tuis; ut, qui vere eam Genitricem Dei credimus, ejus apud te intercessionibus adjuvemur. Per eumdem Dominum.
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. Through the same our Lord.
Isaias 7: 10-15
In diebus illis: Locutus est Dominus ad Achaz, dicens: Pete tibi signum a Domino Deo tuo in profundum inferni, sive in excelsum supra. Et dixit Achaz: Non petam, et non tentabo Dominum. Et dixit: Audite ergo domus David: Numquid parum vobis est, molestos esse hominibus, quia molesti estis et Deo meo? Propter hoc dabit Dominus ipse vobis signum. Ecce virgo concipiet, et pariet filium, et vocabitur nomen ejus Emmanuel. Butyrum et mel comedet, ut sciat reprobare malum, et eligere bonum.
In those days the Lord spoke to Achaz, saying: Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God, either unto the depth of hell, or unto the height above. And Achaz said: I will not ask, and I will not tempt the Lord. And He said: hear ye therefore, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to be grievous to men, that you are grievous to my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and His Name shall be called Emmanuel. He shall eat butter and honey, that He may know to refuse the evil, and to choose the good.
Luke 1: 28
Alleluia, allelúia. V. Ave Maria, gratia plena: Dominus tecum: benedicta tu in mulieribus.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. Hail Mary, full of grace: the Lord is with thee: Blessed art thou among women.
Numbers 17: 8
Alleluia. V. Virga Jesse floruit: Virgo Deum et hominem genuit: pacem Deus reddidit, in se reconcilians ima summis. Alleluia.
Alleluia. V. The rod of Jesse hath blossomed: a virgin hath brought forth God and man: God hath given peace, reconciling the lowest with the highest in Himself. Alleluia.
Luke 1: 26-28
At that time 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 within 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.
Luke 1: 28, 42
Ave Maria, gratia plena: Dominus tecum: benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructris ventris tui. Alleluia.
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women and blessed in the fruit of thy womb. Alleluia.
In mentibus nostris quæsumus, Domine, veræ fidei sacramenta confirma: ut, qui conceptum de Virgine Deum verum et hominem confitemur; per ejus salutiferæ resurrectionis potentiam, ad æternam mereamur pervenire lætitiam. Per eumdem Dominum nostrum.
Strengthen in our minds, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the mysteries of the true faith; that we who confess Him who was conceived of a Virgin to be true God and man, may deserve by the power of His saving resurrection to attain to eternal happiness. Through the same our Lord.
THE BLESSED VIRGIN
Vere dignum et justum est, æquum et salutare, nos tibi semper, et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, æterne Deus. Et te in Annuntiatione beatæ Mariæ semper Virginis collaudare, benedicere et prædicare. Quæ et Unigenitum tuum Sancti Spiritus obumbratione concepit: et virginitatis gloria permanente, lumen æternum mundo effudit Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum. Per quem majestatem tuam laudant Angeli, adorant Dominationes, tremunt Potestates. Cœli, cœlorumque Virtutes, ac beata Seraphim, socia exsultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces, ut admitti jubeas deprecamur, supplici confessione dicéntes.
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal God: and that we should praise and bless, and proclaim Thee, in the Annunciation of the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin: Who conceived Thine only-begotten Son by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost, and the glory of her virginity still abiding, gave forth to the world the eternal Light, Jesus Christ our Lord: through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, Dominations worship, Powers stand in awe: the Heavens and the hosts of heaven with the blessed Seraphim unite, exult and celebrate; and we entreat that Thou wouldst bid our voices also to be heard with theirs, singing with lowly praise:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dóminus, Deus Sábaoth. Pleni sunt coeli et terra glória tua. Hosánna in excélsis! Benedíctus, qui venit in nómine Dómini! Hosánna in excélsis.
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth. Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory. Hosanna in the highest! Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest.
Isaias 7: 14
Ecce Virgo concipiet, et pariet filium: et vocabitur Nomen ejus Emmanuel. Alleluia.
Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and His Name shall be called Emmanuel. Alleluia.
Gratiam tuam, quæsumus Domine, mentibus nostris infunde: ut qui, Angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus; per passionem ejus et crucem, ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Per eumdem Dominum.
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 the Resurrection. Through the same our Lord.