Sunday, 8 March 2009

The Angelus


V: The angel of the Lord brought tidings to Mary
R: And she conceived by the Holy Spirit

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

V: Behold the handmaid of the Lord
R: Be it onto me according to thy word

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

V: And the word was made flesh
R: And dwelt among us

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

V: Pray for us O Holy Mother of God
R: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that, we to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an Angel, may by His Cross and Passion, be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Angelus is a devotion in honour of the incarnation which at first consisted of three Hail Marys to be said three times a day in the morning, at midday and in the evening. Later, the three introductory versicles and the concluding versicle and prayer, which is that belonging to the Alma Redemptoris Mater, were added. It is generally thought that it developed out of the 14th century European custom of saying three Haily Marys in the evening, although there are various theories about each time of day which the Catholic Encyclopedia explores here. There's also the useful tip that, for those like me with dreadful memories who tend to forget bits, if you can't remember the Angelus, five Hail Marys are permitted instead.

To remind people to say it, a bell is tolled three times for each Hail Mary and nine times for the prayer at the end. If anyone would like to say it with bell accompaniment, this video provides it , as well as images of the annunciation, as an aid to prayer:



An avid reader of the blog tells me that he once managed to program his computer to ring the Angelus at midday and six in the evening. However, the Women's Guild would like to suggest that one can take things a bit too far...

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