THE ANNUNCIATION OF OUR
MOST HOLY LADY,
THE THEOTOKOS AND EVER-VIRGIN MARY
March 25/April 7
Andit came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustusthat all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyreniuswas governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea,unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the houseand lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being greatwith child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplishedthat she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrappedhim in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no roomfor them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding inthe field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of theLord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and theywere sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bringyou good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you isborn this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Andthis shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes,lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of theheavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and onearth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were goneaway from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now goeven unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lordhath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph,and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroadthe saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heardit wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Marykept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned,glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen,as it was told unto them.
Today is the fountainhead of our salvation and the manifestation of themystery which was from eternity. The Son of God becometh the Virgin'sSon, and Gabriel proclaimeth the good tidings of grace; wherefore, wealso cry to the Theotokos with him: Rejoice, thou who art full of grace,the Lord is with thee..