ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD
Here am I, the servant of the Lord: let it be to me according to your will.
(from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals)
LECTIONARY FOR THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD
PRACTICES TO CONSIDER
- Plant (or plan to plant, if it’s too early) seeds and watch them grow
- Celebrate this feast day by breaking your Lenten fast on purpose with foods shaped in rings or circles such as angel food cake, coffee rings, or wreath-shaped cookies in honor of the eternal cycle of liturgical time
The central image is a vase which represents Mary as God’s willing vessel, set before an open book which symbolizes the good news of the coming Messiah. The rose, lily, and violet represent Mary’s charity, chastity, and humility. Behind them stands the mandorla, an almond-shaped aureole of light used in antiquity to represent the convergence of humanity and divinity in Jesus. Seven rays of light suggest the Holy Spirit descending to envelope Mary.
We see so little, stayed on surfaces,
We calculate the outsides of all things,
Preoccupied with our own purposes
We miss the shimmer of the angels' wings.
They coruscate around us in their joy,
A swirl of wheels and eyes and wings unfurled;
They guard the good we purpose to destroy,
A hidden blaze of glory in God's world.
But on this day a young girl stopped to see
With open eyes and heart. She heard the voice –
The promise of his glory yet to be
As time stood still for her to make a choice.
Gabriel knelt and not a feather stirred.
The Word himself was waiting on her word.
("The Annunciation" from Sounding the Seasons by Malcolm Guite, 2012, Canterbury Press Norwich)