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Sermon on the Annunciation by St. Gregory the Wonderworker

Sermon on the Annunciation by St. Gregory the Wonderworker

Today are strains of praise sung joyfully by the choir of angels, and the light of the advent of Christ shines brightly upon the faithful.
Today is the glad spring-time to us, and Christ the Sun of righteousness has beamed with clear light around us, and has illumined the minds of the faithful.
Today is Adam made anew, and moves in the choir of angels, having winged his way to heaven.
Today is the whole circle of the earth filled with joy, since the sojourn of the Holy Spirit has been realized to men.
Today the grace of God and the hope of the unseen shine through all wonders transcending imagination, and make the mystery that was kept hid from eternity plainly discernible to us.
Today are woven the chaplets of never-fading virtue.
Today, God, willing to crown the sacred heads of those whose pleasure is to hearken to Him, and who delight in His festivals, invites the lovers of unswerving faith as His called and His heirs; and the heavenly kingdom is urgent to summon those who mind celestial things to join the divine service of the incorporeal choirs.
Today is fulfilled the word of David,
“Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad. The fields shall be joyful, and all the trees of the wood before the Lord, because He cometh.”
David thus made mention of the trees; and the Lord’s forerunner also spoke of them as trees
“that should bring forth fruits meet for repentance,”
or rather for the coming of the Lord. But our Lord Jesus Christ promises perpetual gladness to all those who believe on Him. For He says,
“I will see you, and ye shall rejoice; and your joy no man taketh from you.”
Today is the illustrious and ineffable mystery of Christians, who have willingly set their hope like a seal upon Christ, plainly declared to us.
Today did Gabriel, who stands by God, come to the pure virgin, bearing to her the glad annunciation,
“Hail, thou that art highly favoured!”
And she cast in her mind what manner of salutation this might be. And the angel immediately proceeded to say,
“The Lord is with thee: fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favour with God. Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever: and of His kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? “
Shall I still remain a virgin? is the honour of virginity not then lost by me? And while she was yet in perplexity as to these things, the angel placed shortly before her the summary of his whole message, and said to the pure virgin,
“The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
For what it is, that also shall it be called by all means. Meekly, then, did grace make election of the pure Mary alone out of all generations. For she proved herself prudent truly in all things; neither has any woman been born like her in all generations. She was not like the primeval virgin Eve, who, keeping holiday alone in paradise, with thoughtless mind, unguardedly hearkened to the word of the serpent, the author of all evil, and thus became depraved in the thoughts of her mind; and through her that deceiver, discharging his poison and refusing death with it, brought it into the whole world; and in virtue of this has arisen all the trouble of the saints.
But in the holy Virgin alone is the fall of that (first mother) repaired. Yet was not this holy one competent to receive the gift until she had first learned who it was that sent it, and what the gift was, and who it was that conveyed it. While the holy one pondered these things in perplexity with herself, she says to the angel,
“Whence hast thou brought to us the blessing in such wise? Out of what treasure-stores is the pearl of the word despatched to us? Whence has the gift acquired its purpose toward us? From heaven art thou come, yet thou walkest upon earth! Thou dost exhibit the form of man, and (yet) thou art glorious with dazzling light.”
These things the holy one considered with herself, and the archangel solved the difficulty expressed in such reasonings by saying to her:
“The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee. Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God “
And fear not, Mary; for I am not come to overpower thee with fear, but to repel the subject of fear.
Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour with God. Question not grace by the standard of nature. For grace does not endure to pass under the laws of nature. Thou knowest, O Mary, things kept hid from the patriarchs and prophets. Thou hast learned, O virgin, things which were kept concealed till now from the angels. Thou hast heard, O purest one, things of which even the choir of inspired men was never deemed worthy. Moses, and David, and Isaiah, and Daniel, and all the prophets, prophesied of Him; but the manner they knew not.
Yet thou alone, O purest virgin, art now made the recipient of things of which all these were kept in ignorance, and thou dost learn the origin of them. For where the Holy Spirit is, there are all things readily ordered. Where divine grace is present, all things are found possible with God. The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall; overshadow thee.
Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” And if He is the Son of God, then is He also God, of one form with the Father, and co-eternal; in Him the Father possesses all manifestation; He is His image in the person, and through His reflection the (Father’s) glory shines forth. And as from the ever-flowing fountain the streams proceed, so also from this ever-flowing and ever-living fountain does the light of the world proceed, the perennial and the true, namely Christ our God. For it is of this that the prophets have preached:
“The streams of the river make glad the city of God.”
And not one city only, but all cities; for even as it makes glad one city, so does it also the whole world. Appropriately, therefore, did the angel say to Mary the holy virgin first of all,
“Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee; “
inasmuch as with her was laid up the full treasure of grace. For of all generations she alone has risen as a virgin pure in body and in spirit; and she alone bears Him who bears all things on His word. Nor is it only the beauty of this holy one in body that calls forth our admiration, but also the innate virtue of her soul. Wherefore also the angels addressed her first with the salutation,
“Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee,”
and no spouse of earth; “He Himself is with thee who is the Lord of sanctification, the Father of purity, the Author of incorruption, and the Bestower of liberty, the Curator of salvation, and the Steward and Provider of the true peace, who out of the virgin earth made man, and out of man’s side formed Eve in addition. Even this Lord is with thee, and on the other hand also is of thee. Come, therefore, beloved brethren, and let us take up the angelic strain, and to the utmost of our ability return the due meed of praise, saying,
“Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee!”
For it is thine truly to rejoice, seeing that the grace of God, as he knows, has chosen to dwell with thee-the Lord of glory dwelling with the handmaiden;
“He that is fairer than the children of men “
with the fair virgin; He who sanctifies all things with the undefiled. God is with thee, and with thee also is the perfect man in whom dwells the whole fulness of the Godhead. Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the fountain of the light that lightens all who believe upon Him! Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the rising of the rational Sun, and the undefiled flower of Life! Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the mead of sweet savour! Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the ever-blooming vine, that makes glad the souls of those who honour thee?
Hail, thou that art highly favoured!
the soil that, all untilled, bears bounteous fruit: for thou hast brought forth in accordance with the law of nature indeed, as it goes with us, and by the set time of practice, and yet in a way beyond nature, or rather above nature, by reason that God the Word from above took His abode in thee, and formed the new Adam in thy holy womb, and inasmuch as the Holy Spirit gave the power of conception to the holy virgin; and the reality of His body was assumed from her body.
And just as the pearl comes of the two natures, namely lightning and water, the occult signs of the sea; so also our Lord Jesus Christ proceeds, without fusion and without mutation, from the pure, and chaste, and undefiled, and holy Virgin Mary; perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, in all things equal to the Father, and in all things consubstantial with us, apart from sin.
Most of the holy fathers, and patriarchs, and prophets desired to see Him, and to be eye-witnesses of Him, but did not attaint hereto. And some of them by visions beheld Him in type, and darkly; others, again, were privileged to hear the divine voice through the medium of the cloud, and were favoured with sights of holy angels; but to Mary the pure virgin alone did the archangel Gabriel manifest himself luminously, bringing her the glad address,
“Hail, thou that art highly favoured!”
And thus she received the word, and in the due time of the fulfilment according to the body’s course she brought forth the priceless pearl. Come, then, ye too, dearly beloved, and let us chant the melody which has been taught us by the inspired harp of David, and say,
“Arise, O Lord, into Thy rest; Thou, and the ark of Thy sanctuary.”
For the holy Virgin is in truth an ark, wrought with gold both within and without, that has received the whole treasury of the sanctuary.
“Arise, O Lord, into Thy rest.”
Arise, O Lord, out of the bosom of the Father, in order that Thou mayest raise up the fallen race of the first-formed man.
Setting these things forth, David in prophecy said to the rod that was to spring from himself, and to sprout into the flower of that beauteous fruit,
“Hearken, O daughter, and see, and incline thine ear, and forget thine own people and thy father’s house; so shall the King greatly desire thy beauty: for He is the Lord thy God, and thou shalt worship Him.”
Hearken, O daughter, to the things which were prophesied before time of thee, in order that thou mayest also behold the things themselves with the eyes of understanding.
Hearken to me while I announce things beforehand to thee, and hearken to the archangel who declares expressly to thee the perfect mysteries.
Come then, dearly beloved, and let us fall back on the memory of what has gone before us; and let us glorify, and celebrate, and laud, and bless that rod that has sprung so marvellously from Jesse.
For Luke, in the inspired Gospel narratives, delivers a testimony not to Joseph only, but also to Mary the mother of God, and gives this account with reference to the very family and house of David:
“For Joseph went up,” says he, “from Galilee, unto a city of Judea which is called Bethlehem, to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child, because they were of the house and family of David. And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered; and she brought forth her son, the first-born of the whole creation, and wrapped him in swaddling-clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
She wrapped in swaddling-clothes Him who is covered with light as with a garment. She wrapped in swaddling-clothes Him who made every creature. She laid in a manger Him who sits above the cherubim, and is praised by myriads of angels.
In the manger set apart for dumb brutes did the Word of God repose, in order that He might impart to men, who are really irrational by free choice, the perceptions of true reason.
In the board from which cattle eat was laid the heavenly Bread, in order that He might provide participation in spiritual sustenance for men who live like the beasts of the earth.
Nor was there even room for Him in the inn. He found no place, who by His word established heaven and earth;
“for though He was rich, for our sakes He became poor,”
and chose extreme humiliation on behalf of the salvation of our nature, in His inherent goodness toward us. He who fulfilled the whole administration of unutterable mysteries of the economy in heaven in the bosom of the Father, and in the cave in the arms of the mother, reposed in the manger.
Angelic choirs encircled Him, singing of glory in heaven and of peace upon earth.
In heaven He was seated at the right hand of the Father; and in the manger He rested, as it were, upon the cherubim. Even there was in truth His cherubic throne; there was His royal seat.
Holy of the holy, and alone glorious upon the earth, and holier than the holy, was that wherein Christ our God rested.
To Him be glory, honour, and power. together with the Father undefiled, and the altogether holy and quickening Spirit, now and ever, and unto the ages of the ages. Amen.

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Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos by St. John of Kronstadt

Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos by St. John of Kronstadt

The mystery that transpired upon this day awes not only the human mind; it likewise astonishes all angelic, exalted minds. They, too, are amazed at how God, Who is without beginning — Who is uncircumscribable, unapproachable — how He could lower Himself to the status of a servant and become a man, without ceasing to be God — and without in any way diminishing His Divine glory.

How could the Virgin contain within Her most-pure womb the unbearable fire of Divinity and remain unscathed — and, throughout all ages to come, be the Mother of God-incarnate?

So great, so marvelous, fraught with such Divine Providence, is this mystery of the annunciation to the Most Holy Virgin by the Archangel [Gabriel] — and the incarnation of the Son of God from Her! Rejoice, O ye who are earth-born; rejoice, especially, ye faithful Christian souls — but rejoice with trepidation in the face of the magnitude of this mystery, being encompassed by the filthiness of sin.

With pure hearts and lips, magnify the Mother of God, Who is magnified and exalted above all creatures, angels and men; Who is magnified by God Himself, the Creator of all — and remember that the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God, and of His becoming man, was accomplished for our salvation from sin, from the curse that was rightfully pronounced upon us by God, in the beginning, by reason of our sins, and from temporal and eternal death.

With peace and joy, receive ye the Lord, Who comes to us in order to establish upon earth, in our hearts and in our souls, the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 4, 17) — and come to hate divinely-detested sin, impurity, incontinence, pride, hardness of heart, lack of mercy, self-love, satisfaction of [the cravings of] the flesh, and all unrighteousness.

Christ descended to the earth in order to raise us up to heaven (Akathist to the Mother of God, kondak 8). Let us, therefore, being nailed down to the earth by the passions of life, incline our heads towards heaven, whither it is that the Lord Jesus Christ desires to raise us all up, and lift up the eyes of our heart. Lift up the heart! Long enough have we crept along the ground, like worms, in our thoughts and in our hearts. It is true that we are insignificant worms, according to our sins, although our souls have been created in the image of God, which we have disfigured by our sins, and which we must invariably re-instate through sincere penitence while we yet live.

If is necessary that this image of God, like the sun, shine forth within us as it did in the beginning, when Adam and Eve alone had been created. It is for this purpose that we have been given life; it is for this reason that our life continues on, that we are joined to God’s Church and participate in her divine services, mysteries and fasts.

Behold: how the image of the Ever-Virgin Mother of God gleams! Yet, She is also human…. What exalted Her to such incomparable heights? What made Her so glorious and so great — loftier than the Cherubim and more glorious than the Seraphim?
It was the three supreme virtues: humility, purity and a fiery love for God — a love that is alien to earthly, external, love.
She Herself confesses that the Lord has looked upon the humility of His hand-maiden (Luke 1, 48).
Do thou also, O Christian, begin to love, and implant deep within thine heart that humility which is divinely-pleasing; acquire also, though exerted labors lasting thine entire life, a purity of heart — do this by [means of] fasting, prayer, meditation upon God, tears, and especially by a frequent and worthy communion of the
Holy Mysteries of Christ.

Begin, also, to love God, your Creator and your Saviour, with all your heart, and prefer nothing that is in the world to His holy love. Meditate ever upon Him and upon His wondrous works; live Him and breathe Him; nourish your soul with Him; attire yourself in Him; purify yourself, enlighten yourself, sanctify yourself, establish yourself, adorn yourself, praise yourself, console yourself through Him. By means of Him, vanquish the temptations and impositions of foes, visible and invisible.

Whatsoever ye do, do all with thought of Him, and for His sake. Wheresoever ye might be, be everywhere with Him, as He is always with us, being everywhere, and filling all things (Troparion to the Holy Spirit). If you come to love the Lord in such a way, then in you also shall the Lord be magnified — and the Lord shall magnify you, as the holy Church says on His behalf: those who glorify Me, I shall likewise glorify (“The Epistle of Tarasios, the Patriarch of Constantinople, to Pope Adrian of Rome.” (The Rudder, Part 1, Chapter 36, 1787 edition.)

Learn, O Christian, to hate, to humiliate, to annihilate every sin within yourself — and the Lord of Glory shall be magnified in you, and you shall be great before God and men; begin to love humility — and the Lord will exalt you.

Amen.

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Annunciation of the Mother of God

Annunciation of the Mother of God

Readings

6th Hour – Reading from the Prophecy of Isaiah (Isaiah 66:10-24)

Rejoice, O Jerusalem, and all ye that love her hold in her a general assembly: rejoice greatly with her, all that now mourn over her: that ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breast of her consolation; that ye may milk out, and delight yourselves with the influx of her glory. For thus saith the Lord, ‘Behold, I turn toward them as a river of peace, and as a torrent bringing upon them in a flood the glory of the Gentiles: their children shall be borne upon the shoulders, and comforted on the knees. As if his mother should comfort one, so will I also comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. And ye shall see, and your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall thrive like grass: and the hand of the Lord shall be known to them that fear Him, and He shall threaten the disobedient. For, behold, the Lord will come as fire, and His chariots as a storm, to render His vengeance with wrath, and his rebuke with a flame of fire. For with the fire of the Lord all the earth shall be judged, and all flesh with His sword: many shall be slain by the Lord. They that sanctify themselves and purify themselves in the gardens, and eat swine’s flesh in the porches, and the abominations, and the mouse, shall be consumed together,’ saith the Lord. ‘And I know their works and their imagination. I am going to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see My glory. And I will leave a sign upon them, and I will send forth them that have escaped of them to the nations, to Tharsis, and Put, and Lud, and Mosoch, and to Tubal, and to Greece, and to the isles afar off, to those who have not heard My name, nor seen My glory; and they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. And they shall bring your brethren out of all nations for a gift to the Lord with horses, and chariots, in litters drawn by mules with awnings, to the holy city Jerusalem,’ said the Lord, ‘as though the children of Israel should bring their sacrifices to Me with psalms into the house of the Lord. And I will take of them priests and Levites,’ saith the Lord. ‘For as the new heaven and the new earth, which I make, remain before Me,’ saith the Lord, ‘so shall your seed and your name continue. And it shall come to pass from month to month, and from sabbath to sabbath, that all flesh shall come to worship before Me in Jerusalem,’ saith the Lord. ‘And they shall go forth, and see the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against Me: for their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.’

Vesperal Liturgy

Reading from Genesis (Genesis 49:33- 50:26)

When Jacob ceased giving charges to his sons, having lifted up his feet on the bed, he died, and was gathered to his people. And Joseph fell upon his fathers face, and wept on him, and kissed him. And Joseph commanded his servants the embalmers to embalm his father; and the embalmers embalmed Israel. And they fulfilled forty days for him, for so are the days of embalming numbered; and Egypt mourned for him seventy days. And when the days of mourning were past, Joseph spoke to the princes of Pharaoh, saying, ‘If I have found favour in your sight, speak concerning me in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, “My father adjured me, saying, ‘In the sepulchre which I dug for myself in the land of Canaan, there thou shalt bury me;’ now then I will go up and bury my father, and return again.”’ And Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Go up, bury thy father, as he constrained thee to swear.’ So Joseph went up to bury his father; and all the servants of Pharaoh went up with him, and the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt. And all the household of Joseph, and his brethren, and all the house of his father, and his kindred; and they left behind the sheep and the oxen in the land of Goshen. And there went up with him also chariots and horsemen; and there was a very great company. And they came to the threshing-floor of Atad, which is beyond Jordan; and they bewailed him with a great and very sore lamentation; and he made a mourning for his father seven days. And the inhabitants of the land of Canaan saw the mourning at the floor of Atad, and said, ‘This is a great mourning to the Egyptians;’ therefore he called its name, ‘The mourning of Egypt,’ which is beyond Jordan. And thus his sons did to him. So his sons carried him up into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the double cave, which cave Abraham bought for possession of a burying place, of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre. And Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brethren, and those that had gone up with him to bury his father. And when the brethren of Joseph saw that their father was dead, they said, ‘Let us take heed, lest at any time Joseph remember evil against us, and recompense to us all the evils which we have done against him.’ And they came to Joseph, and said, ‘Thy father adjured us before his death, saying, “Thus say ye to Joseph, ‘Forgive them their injustice and their sin, forasmuch as they have done thee evil; and now pardon the injustice of the servants of the God of thy father.’”’ And Joseph wept while they spoke to him. And they came to him and said, ‘We, these persons, are thy servants.’ And Joseph said to them, ‘Fear not, for I am God’s. Ye took counsel against me for evil, but God took counsel for me for good, that the matter might be as it is today, and much people might be fed.’ And he said to them, ‘Fear not, I will maintain you, and your families:’ and he comforted them, and spoke kindly to them. And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he and his brethren, and all the family of his father; and Joseph lived a hundred and ten years. And Joseph saw the children of Ephraim to the third generation; and the sons of Machir the son of Manasseh were born on the sides of Joseph. And Joseph spoke to his brethren, saying, ‘I die, and God will surely visit you, and will bring you out of this land to the land concerning which God sware to our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’ And Joseph adjured the sons of Israel, saying, ‘At the visitation with which God shall visit you, then ye shall carry up my bones hence with you.’ And Joseph died, aged an hundred and ten years; and they prepared his corpse, and put him in a coffin in Egypt.

Reading from Exodus (Exodus 3:1-8)

Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he brought the sheep nigh to the wilderness, and came to the Mount of Horeb. And an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the bush, and he saw that the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, ‘I will go near and see this great sight, why the bush is not consumed.’ And when the Lord saw that he drew nigh to see, the Lord called him out of the bush, saying, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘What is it?’ And He said, ‘Draw not nigh hither: loose thy sandals from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.’ And He said, ‘I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses turned away his face, for he was afraid to gaze at God. And the Lord said to Moses, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of my people that is in Egypt, and I have heard their cry caused by their taskmasters; for I know their affliction. And I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them out of that land, and to bring them into a good and wide land, into a land flowing with milk and honey.’

Reading from Proverbs (Proverbs 8:22-30)

The Lord hath made me the beginning of His ways for His works. He established me before time was in the beginning, before He made the earth: even before He made the depths; before the fountains of water came forth: before the mountains were settled, and all the hills, He begetteth me. The Lord made countries and deserts, and the highest inhabited parts under the heavens. When He prepared heaven, I was present with Him; and when He prepared His throne upon the winds: and when He strengthened the clouds above; and when He secured the fountains of the earth: and when He strengthened the foundations of the earth: I was by Him, arranging all things, I was that in which He took delight; and daily I rejoiced in His presence continually.

Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Hebrews (2:11-18)

Brethren: Both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of One, for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, ‘I will declare Thy name unto My brethren; in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Thee.’ And again, ‘I will put My trust in Him.’ And again, ‘Behold I and the children whom God hath given Me.’ Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same, that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death — that is, the devil — and deliver those who all their lifetime were subject to bondage through fear of death. For verily He took not on Himself the nature of angels, but He took on Him the seed of Abraham. Therefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself hath suffered, being tempted, He is able to succor those who are tempted.

Holy Gospel according to Luke (1:24-38)

In those days, Elisabeth, the wife of Zechariah, conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, ’Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein He looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.’ And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her and said, ‘Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.’ And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying and cast about in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, ‘Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His Kingdom there shall be no end.’ Then said Mary unto the angel, ‘How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?’ And the angel answered and said unto her, ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee. Therefore also that Holy Being who shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold, thy cousin Elizabeth: she hath also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ And Mary said, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.’ And the angel departed from her.

Troparia

Troparion of the Annunciation (Tone 4)
Today is the crown of our salvation and the revelation of the mystery which is from before the ages! The Son of God becometh the Son of the Virgin, and Gabriel announceth the glad tidings of grace. Wherefore, with him let us cry out to the Theotokos: Rejoice, O thou who art full of grace! The Lord is with thee!

Kontakion of the Annunciation (Tone 8)
To thee, the champion leader, we, thy servants, dedicate hymns of victory and thanksgiving, as ones delivered from evils, O Theotokos; but in that thou hast invincible might, free us from all misfortunes, that we may cry to thee: Rejoice, O Bride unwedded!