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The Annunciation
Annunciation
(from Latin
Latin
annuntiatio), also referred to as the Annunciation
Annunciation
to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Annunciation
Annunciation
of Our Lady,[1] or the Annunciation
Annunciation
of the Lord, is the Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel
Gabriel
to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, marking his Incarnation.[2] Gabriel
Gabriel
told Mary to name her son Yeshua, meaning "YHWH is salvation".[3] According to Luke 1:26, the Annunciation
Annunciation
occurred "in the sixth month" of Elizabeth's pregnancy with John the Baptist.[4] Many Christians observe this event with the Feast of the Annunciation
Feast of the Annunciation
on 25 March,[2] an approximation of the northern vernal equinox nine full months before Christmas, the ceremonial birthday of Jesus. In England, this came to be known as Lady Day, [5] and Lady Day
Lady Day
marked the beginning of the English new year until 1752.[5] The 2nd-century writer Irenaeus
Irenaeus
of Lyon regarded the conception of Jesus
Jesus
as 25 March coinciding with the Passion.[6][disputed – discuss] The Annunciation
Annunciation
has been a key topic in Christian art
Christian art
in general, as well as in Marian art in the Catholic Church, particularly during the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
and Renaissance. A work of art depicting the Annunciation is sometimes itself called an Annunciation.

Contents

1 Biblical account

1.1 Manuscript 4Q246 1.2 In the Quran

2 Eastern Christianity

2.1 Churches marking the location of the Annunciation

3 Feast day 4 In Christian art 5 See also 6 Notes 7 References 8 External links

Biblical account[edit]

The Annunciation
Annunciation
by Salomon Koninck, 1655, Hallwyl Museum, Stockholm

The Annunciation
Annunciation
by Murillo, 1655–1660, Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg

The Annunciation
Annunciation
(Evangelismos). Orthodox style icon by anonymous, 1825, Church Museum of the Bishopry of Thessaloniki

In the Bible, the Annunciation
Annunciation
is narrated in Luke 1:26–38:[7]

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel
Gabriel
to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.” 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. A separate, briefer annunciation is given to Joseph in Matthew 1:18–22:[7]

18 This is how the birth of Jesus
Jesus
the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Manuscript 4Q246[edit] Main article: 4Q246 Manuscript 4Q246
4Q246
of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Dead Sea Scrolls
reads:

[X] shall be great upon the earth. O king, all people shall make peace, and all shall serve him. He shall be called the son of the Great God, and by his name shall he be hailed as the Son of God, and they shall call him Son of the Most High.[8]

It has been suggested that the similarity in content is such that Luke's version may in some way be dependent on the Qumran text.[9] In the Quran[edit]

Annunciation
Annunciation
in miniature

Main articles: Mary in Islam
Mary in Islam
and Jesus
Jesus
in Islam The Annunciation
Annunciation
is described in the Quran, in Sura 003:045 (Al-i-Imran – The Family of Imran) verses 45–51 (Yusuf Ali translation):

45 Behold! the angels said: "O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah;"

Sura 019:016 (Maryam – Mary) verses 16–26 also refers to the Annuciation. Eastern Christianity[edit]

Annunciation
Annunciation
to Zechariah, taken from an Ethiopian Bible
Bible
(c. 1700), kept at the British Library

Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth.

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See also: Eastern Christianity In the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox
Oriental Orthodox
churches, the Feast of the Annunciation
Annunciation
is one of the twelve "Great Feasts" of the liturgical year, and is among the eight of them that are counted as "feasts of the Lord". Throughout the Orthodox Church, the feast is celebrated on March 25. In the churches that use the new style Calendar (Revised Julian or Gregorian), this date coincides with March 25 on the civil calendar, while in those churches using the old style Julian calendar, March 25 is reckoned to fall on April 7 on the civil calendar, and will fall on April 8 starting in the year 2100. The traditional hymn (troparion) for the feast of the Annunciation goes back to St Athanasius. It runs:[10]

Today is the beginning of our salvation, And the revelation of the eternal mystery! The Son of God
Son of God
becomes the Son of the Virgin As Gabriel
Gabriel
announces the coming of Grace. Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:[n 1] "Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!"

As the action initiating the Incarnation of Christ, Annunciation
Annunciation
has such an important place in Orthodox Christian theology that the festal Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy
of St. John Chrysostom
John Chrysostom
is always celebrated on the feast, even if it falls on Great and Holy Friday, the day when the crucifixion of Jesus
Jesus
is remembered. Indeed, the Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy
is celebrated on Great and Holy Friday
Great and Holy Friday
only when the latter coincides with the feast of the Annunciation.[citation needed] If the Annunciation
Annunciation
falls on Pascha ( Easter
Easter
Sunday) itself, a coincidence which is called Kyriopascha, then it is celebrated jointly with the Resurrection, which is the focus of Easter. Due to these and similar rules, the rubrics surrounding the celebration of the feast are the most complex of all in Orthodox Christian liturgics. St Ephraim taught that the date of the conception of Jesus
Jesus
Christ fell on 10 Nisan
Nisan
on the Hebrew calendar, the day in which the passover lamb was selected according to Exodus 12. Some years 10 Nisan
Nisan
falls on March 25, which is the traditional date for the Feast of the Annunciation
Annunciation
and is an official holiday in Lebanon. Churches marking the location of the Annunciation[edit] Both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches hold that the Annunciation
Annunciation
took place at Nazareth, but slightly differ as to the precise location. The Basilica of the Annunciation
Basilica of the Annunciation
marks the site preferred by the former, while the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation
Annunciation
marks that preferred by the latter. Feast day[edit] Main article: Feast of the Annunciation The feast of the Annunciation
Annunciation
is usually held on March 25.[2] It is moved in the Catholic Church, Anglican and Lutheran
Lutheran
liturgical calendars when that date falls during Holy Week
Holy Week
or Easter
Easter
Week or on a Sunday.[11] The Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, and Eastern Catholic Churches
Eastern Catholic Churches
do not move the feast. Instead they have special combined liturgies for those years when the Annunciation coincides with another feast. In these churches, even on Good Friday a Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy
is celebrated when it coincides with the Annunciation. One of the most frequent accusations brought against New Calendarism is the fact that in the New Calendar churches (which celebrate the Annunciation
Annunciation
according to the New Calendar, but Easter
Easter
according to the Old Calendar), these special Liturgies can never be celebrated any more, since the Annunciation
Annunciation
is always long before Holy Week
Holy Week
on the New Calendar. The Old Calendarists believe that this impoverishes the liturgical and spiritual life of the Church Greek Independence Day is celebrated on the feast of the Annunciation and 25 March is also a national holiday in the Lebanon. When the calendar system of Anno Domini
Anno Domini
was first introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in AD 525, he assigned the beginning of the new year to March 25 since, according to Catholic theology, the era of grace began with the Incarnation of Christ. The first certain mentions of the feast are in a canon of the 656 Council of Toledo, where it is described as celebrated throughout the church.[2] The 692 Council of Constantinople "in Trullo" forbade observance of any festivals during Lent, excepting Sunday and the Feast of the Annunciation. An earlier origin had been claimed for it on the grounds that it appeared in manuscripts of the sermons of Athanasius
Athanasius
and Gregory Thaumaturgus
Gregory Thaumaturgus
but they were subsequently discovered to be spurious.[2] Along with Easter, March 25 was used as the New Year's Day
New Year's Day
in many pre-modern Christian countries.[12] The holiday was moved to January 1 in France by Charles IX's 1564 Edict of Roussillon. Lady Day
Lady Day
was the English New Year's until 1752. Also in England, the 1240 Synod of Worcester banned all servile work during the Feast of the Annunciation, making it a day of rest.[7] In Christian art[edit] Main article: Annunciation
Annunciation
in Christian art See also: Marian art in the Catholic Church

Part of a series on the

Mariology of the Catholic Church

The Immaculate Conception, by Murillo

Overview

Prayers Antiphons Hymns to Mary Devotional practices

Prayers

Angelus Fátima Prayers Flos Carmeli Hail Mary Hail Mary
Hail Mary
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Antiphons

Alma Redemptoris Mater Ave Maris Stella Ave Regina Caelorum Salve Regina

Hymns to Mary

Hail Queen of Heaven, the Ocean Star Immaculate Mary Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming O Sanctissima Regina Coeli Stabat Mater

Devotional practices

Acts of Reparation Consecration to Mary First Saturdays Rosary Seven Joys of the Virgin Seven Sorrows of Mary Three Hail Marys Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Catholicism portal

v t e

The Annunciation
Annunciation
has been one of the most frequent subjects of Christian art.[13][14] Depictions of the Annunciation
Annunciation
go back to early Christianity, with the Priscilla catacomb
Priscilla catacomb
including the oldest known fresco of the Annunciation, dating to the 4th century.[15] It has been a favorite artistic subject in both the Christian East and as Roman Catholic Marian art, particularly during the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
and Renaissance, and figures in the repertoire of almost all of the great masters. The figures of the virgin Mary and the angel Gabriel, being emblematic of purity and grace, were favorite subjects of Roman Catholic Marian art, where the scene is also used to represent the perpetual virginity of Mary via the announcement by the angel Gabriel that Mary would conceive a child to be born the Son of God. Works on the subject have been created by artists such as Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Duccio, Jan van Eyck, and Murillo among others. The mosaics of Pietro Cavallini
Pietro Cavallini
in Santa Maria in Trastevere in Rome (1291), the frescos of Giotto
Giotto
in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua
Padua
(1303), Domenico Ghirlandaio's fresco at the church of Santa Maria Novella
Santa Maria Novella
in Florence
Florence
(1486), and Donatello's gilded sculpture at the church of Santa Croce, Florence
Florence
(1435) are famous examples.

The Annunciation
Annunciation
by Johann Christian Schröder, c. 1690

The Annunciation
Annunciation
by Paolo de Matteis, 1712, Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis. The white lily in the angel's hand is symbolic of Mary's purity[n 2] in Marian art.[16]

See also[edit]

Angelus Annunciade, religious order Annunciation
Annunciation
of Ustyug Basilica of the Annunciation Chronology of Jesus Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth Incarnation (Christianity) Order of the Most Holy Annunciation Roman Catholic Marian art

Notes[edit]

^ In Eastern Orthodoxy, Mary is referred to as Theotokos
Theotokos
(Greek: Θεοτόκος, from Θεο, theo-, "God", and τοκος, tokos, "bearer"). ^ Purity is a wider concept than virginity, which is comprised within it, but which relates to a physical aspect only of purity.

^ "Lessons for Holy Days » The Prayer Book Society of Canada". Prayerbook.ca. 2014-03-23. Retrieved 2014-03-27.  ^ a b c d e EB (1878). ^ " Bible
Bible
Gateway passage: Matthew 1:18-23 - Complete Jewish Bible". Bible
Bible
Gateway.  ^ Patella, Michael (2005), The Gospel according to Luke, p. 14, ISBN 0-8146-2862-1  ^ a b EB (1911b). ^ Michael Alan Anderson, Symbols of Saints (ProQuest 2008 ISBN 978-0-549-56551-2), pp. 42–46 ^ a b c EB (1911a). ^ Dead Sea scrolls manuscript Q4Q246, translated in "An Unpublished Dead Sea Scroll Text Parallels Luke’s Infancy Narrative", Biblical Archaeology Review, April/May 1990 ^ The meaning of the Dead Sea scrolls: Their significance for understanding the Bible, Judaism, Jesus, and Christianity, James C. VanderKam, Peter W. Flint, p. 335, Continuum, 2005, ISBN 0-567-08468-X ^ Speaking the Truth in Love: Theological and Spiritual Exhortations by John Chryssavgis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomu 2010 ISBN 978-0-8232-3337-3 page 85 ^  Holweck, Frederick George (1907). "Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company.  ^ Groves, Marsha (2005), Manners and Customs of the Middle Ages, p. 27  ^ The Oxford Companion to Christian Art and Architecture by Peter Murray and Linda Murray 1996 ISBN 0-19-866165-7 page 23 ^ Images of the Mother of God: by Maria Vassilaki 2005 ISBN 0-7546-3603-8 pages 158–159 ^ The Annunciation
Annunciation
To Mary by Eugene LaVerdiere 2007 ISBN 1-56854-557-6 page 29 ^ Ross, Leslie. Medieval Art: A Topical Dictionary, p. 16, 1996 ISBN 0-313-29329-5

References[edit]

 Baynes, T.S., ed. (1878), "Annunciation", Encyclopædia Britannica, 2 (9th ed.), New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, p. 90   Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911), "Annunciation", Encyclopædia Britannica, 2 (11th ed.), Cambridge University Press, p. 78   Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911), "Lady Day", Encyclopædia Britannica, 16 (11th ed.), Cambridge University Press, p. 62 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Annunciation.

Wikisource
Wikisource
has the text of the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia
Catholic Encyclopedia
article The Annunciation.

The Annunciation
Annunciation
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Annunciation
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