Today we fete the Annunciation of Christ’s conceive of Virgin Mary in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. The Annunciation is one of the 12 great Orthodox Christian feasts in memoriam of the living the death and the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Mother of God (Virgin Mary).
The Annunciation feast is being celebrated in the realm of all Orthodox Christian Churches (nation-wide).
The date on which the feast is celebrated in the bulgarian orthodox church is different every single year and depends on the Great Lent’s yearly schedule according to the (Julian Calendar, Revised Julian Calendar and Gregorian Calendar).
On this date we do commemorate the announcement by the Archangel Gabriel to Vigin Mary that she would become the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Here is what we read in the Bible in the Gospel of Luke about the Archangel’s going to the Theotokos and Virgin mary’s immeasurable humbleness:
26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel 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[b] 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.
The living of the blessed mother of God (our shroud and hope) from it’s early days is distinguished from the Church’s tradition as extremely rightous.
At the time of this great God’s mercy on us the sinners, mother mary is already engaged for the widowed elder Joseph.
Simply speaking the Annunciation is the first salvation light shed by the all merciful God on us.
Mother Mary believed the Angel’s words and humbly answered “May your word to me be fulfilled.”, – she believed the Archangel’s words.
It’s interesting fact that the Archangel’s name Gabriel meanining from Jewish is (God-Man), which is another prophecy for the nature which our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ will possess.
The feast of the Annunciation is one of the two days during the fasting time before Eastern (The Resurrection of Christ), when we the Church members (churh layman and clergy) are allowed to eat Fish food
An interesting fact about the Annunciation feast day is that the Divine Liturgy of the Annunciation is the only celebration of the Eucharistic liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom allowed on a weekday of Great Lent.
The Annunciation is called Euangelismos (Evangelism) in Greek, literally meaning “spreading the Good News”.
The Annunciation is the day of the “good news” as on that day the salvation of mankind by has been initiated by Christ’s incarnation.
Here is the Hymn sang by church singer (The Troparion):
Today is the beginning of our salvation,
The revelation of the eternal mystery!
The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin
As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace.
Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:
Rejoice, O Full of Grace,
The Lord is with You!
O Victorious Leader of Triumphant Hosts!
We, your servants, delivered from evil, sing our grateful thanks to you, O Theotokos!
As you possess invincible might, set us free from every calamity
So that we may sing: Rejoice, O unwedded Bride!
Today is the prelude of joy for the universe!
Let us anticipate the feast and celebrate with exultation:
Gabriel is on his way to announce the glad tidings to the Virgin;
He is ready to cry out in fear and wonder:
Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with You!
You are the beginning of salvation for all of us on earth, Virgin Mother of God.
For the great Archangel Gabriel, God's minister,
Was sent from heaven to stand before you to bring you joy:
Therefore, we all cry to you: Rejoice, O unwedded Bride.
Let us all be glad and give thanks to The Holy Trinity for his great mercy and ask the Blessed Theotokos to pray his Son and our God Jesus Christ to save us and grant us eternal life in heaven.
Oh Mother of God, Most Blessed of all eartly creatures pray your Son and our Lord to have mercy on us the sinners!