[Transferred from March 25]
Every year this feast recalls anew Mary's reply to God's angelic messenger: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word." Every work of the Creator is called to perfection, and perfection consists in obedience. The heavens and the earth inevitably announce the glory of God, but to human beings alone God granted a free will to serve Him. At the Annunciation, the obedience of Mary brought Christ down on earth to save fallen humanity. we, too, are called upon to co-operate with the Creator. The glory of God awaits our human word of obedient consent.
DOUBLE, FIRST CLASS / WHITE
INTROIT (Ps. 44:13, 15, 16)
All the rich among the people shall seek your favor. Behind her the virgins shall be led to the king, her friends shall be brought to you with gladness and joy.
Ps. 44:2. My heart overflows with good tidings; I sing my song to the king.
V. Glory be . . .
O God, by Your divine decree the Word was made flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the announcement of the angel. May the prayers of the Virgin help us, for we believe that she is truly the Mother of God. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .
LESSON (Isa. 7:10-15)
In those days, the Lord spoke again 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."
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women. Alleluia!
V. The rod of Jesse has blossomed. A Virgin has brought forth the God-Man. God has restored peace to us, reconciling in Himself the lowness of earth and the highness of heaven. Alleluia!
GOSPEL (Luke 1:26-38)
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 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."
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON (Luke 1:28, 42)
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
O Lord, fix deeply in our minds the mysteries of our true faith. We profess that Your Son who was conceived of a virgin is true God and true man. May His life-giving resurrection bring us the reward of eternal happiness. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .
COMMUNION ANTIPHON (Isa. 7:14)
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and shall bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.
Pour forth Your grace into our hearts, O Lord, so that we who learned of the Incarnation of Your Son Christ through the message of an angel, may be brought to the glory of Jesus' resurrection by His passion and cross. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .