Great Feast of the Annunciation

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The AnnunciationThe Holy Spirit has come upon the most pure Maiden, and the Son of God has become incarnate. We bow before the mystery which, in the words of St. Gregory Palamas, is ?believed not known, worshipped not investigated.?

The Lord Jesus Christ, a sweet-scented and spiritual fragrance, is poured out into the world. Before His Incarnation the Son of God was a ?myrrh kept within? and in the womb of the Holy Virgin He becomes a ?myrrh poured out? (Song of Songs 1:3). The Theotokos herself, who carried the Incarnate Christ in her womb, becomes the ?vessel of the fragrant myrrh.? The Holy Virgin becomes a spiritual perfume flask and in bearing Christ, the inexhaustible myrrh, she comes to pour forth this myrrh to fill our souls with its fragrance.[1] By the miracle of the Annunciation mankind itself becomes deified, the power of the Holy Spirit comes upon and anoints Holy Mary, and mankind is united to God.

This miracle of the Holy Annunciation is often depicted upon the Beautiful Gates of temple iconostasis as a witness to the liturgical fact that each divine liturgy is another Annunciation, another descent of the Holy Spirit and revelation of the Incarnate Christ come to fashion all believers into sacred vessels for the divine myrrh of God?s presence.

On the occasion of the Great Feast of the Annunciation to the Theotokos, we convey our paternal love, blessings and prayerful best wishes for a very happy feast to all of the Christ-loving Clergy, Monastics and Laity.

The Members of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America

[1] St. Nicholas Cabasilas, On the Life of Christ, 3, PG 150.569C.