The Annunciation, Byzantine Rite – 28 November 2021

Troparion Tone 8

Be not afraid when called by God, in his wisdom is strength and he gives mercy to endure all which must come to pass.

Reading from the Book of Philippians

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

~Chapter: 4, Verses: 6 to 7

Reading from the Book of 1st Chronicles

Then David said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.

~Chapter: 28, Verses :20 to 21

Reading from the Gospel of Luke

“Do not be afraid, Mary,” the Angel Gabriel said, as he appeared before the young woman, “for you have found favor with God. And behold, 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,

~Chapter: 1, Verses: 30 to 33


By tradition the Holy Feast of Annunciation in Orthodox Church begins on March 25.  The Annunciation is the occasion of the proclamation of the good news to the Holy Theotokos by the Angel Gabriel and thereby to the whole universe, it is one of the greatest feasts in the Orthodox Church. It marks the beginning of the entrance of Jesus Christ to the human world. Saint Mary or Holy Theotokos as Mary was officially named by the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in A.D 431.

We revisit this holy event as we go into the advent season and prepare for the birth of Christ. In March we celebrate the beginning of the pregnancy and what Mary herself will be in the church to come. Here in early advent, we celebrate the holy family gathering to become a home for Christ in his nativity. The message of Gabriel is clear “fear not”. This covers fear of many kinds. The fear of judgement during the pregnancy, fear of Herod’s orders, fear of childbirth and pain. Gabriel brings Mary peace from all these thoughts and offers rejoicing in its place. We as followers must do the same in our lives as we go through birth and death. Strength for us can also be found by the words of the messenger Gabriel, “be not afraid”. This is the true lesson of the annunciation celebrated this week, in comparison with its high feast day.

Rejoice and let joy replace your fear as miracles and wonders of God’s work are coming soon. We hear Gabriel in this message and soon all the Angels as they will announce the triumphant and joyous occasion of Christ incarnate.


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