25 March 2008

Hail! Full of Grace

Here we are in Bright Week and already another major feast day pops up.

The Annunciation is today, March 25. That means we are 9 months from Christmas. Let us recall how the Blessed Virgin said "Yes" to the Archangel and became "more spacious than the heavens". How for nine months, everywhere that Mary went, the Lamb was sure to go. How the Creator of the Universe took flesh from this simple daughter of Eve.

The Byzantine Canon for today's feast is a profound dialog betwen the Archangel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary.

I'll share this Ruthenian hymn with you that really captures the feast:

Another important aspect of this feast is that the serpent was conquered at the second of her "fiat". The prohecy given in Genesis that the woman's offspring would crush satan's head is fulfilled (Gen 3:15). What a victorious time! Christ conquers sin on Friday, death on Sunday, now it's Tuesday and the Church reminds us how the devil is defeated! Boo-yah!

Today all creation greatly rejoices, for the Archangel says unto thee, "Hail! Blessed art thou, O pure and holy, undefiled and spotless." Today the proud insolence of the serpent is brought low, for the chains of the curse laid on our forefather are loosened. Therefore with all the world we cry aloud unto Thee." (Tone 3)

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