About the Feast of the Annunciation of the Theotokos (Mother of God)
The Feast of the Annunciation of Our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary is celebrated on March 25 each year. The Feast commemorates the announcement by the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Son of God, would become incarnate and enter into this world through her womb.
Today, the world is given good news. The Prince of God's Angels, the Archangel Gabriel is sent to a Jewish virgin, named, Mary to deliver an important message from God. Gabriel, the Archangel told her not to be afraid, for she had found favor with God. He said, "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 forever; and of his kingdom there will be no end."
Mary responded to the Archangel by asking how this could happen since she had no husband. The Archangel told her that the Holy Spirit and the power of God would come upon her, and that the child to be born of her would be called holy, the "Son of God."
The angel then proceeded to tell the Virgin Mary that her cousin Elizabeth had conceived a son in her old age (John the Baptist), and affirmed that with God nothing is impossible.
In faith and obedience to the will of God, Mary replied to the angel, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be according to your word." Upon her response, the angel departed.
The Theotokos is God's most excellent creature, for she exercised her free will to say, "Yes, let it be according to your word." She participated perfectly in the Divine Will of God, and because of that, she became a co-participant in the process that ultimately permitted the salvation of all those who believe on the Name of God's Son, Jesus Christ. With the same force of Egeneto as heard in Genesis by the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, she arranged for us to celebrate the good news of the One Gospel of Christ Jesus and for salvation to be sealed for us who believe. Today, therefore, we celebrate our freedom and give thanks for it by giving agape to God and neighbor, the very same agape we provide for ourselves individually.
Apolytikion (Fourth Tone)
Today marks the crowning of our salvation and the revelation of the mystery before all ages. For the Son of God becomes the son of the Virgin, and Gabriel proclaims the grace. Wherefore, we also cry out with him, "Hail, O full of grace, the Lord is with you."
Kontakion (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)
To you, Theotokos, invincible Defender, having been delivered from peril, I, your city, dedicate the victory festival as a thank offering. In your irresistible might, keep me safe from all trials, that I may call out to you: "Hail, unwedded bride!"
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