Monday, April 8, 2013

Morning Prayer Guide - Monday

Monday, April 8, 2013 – The Annunciation (Transferred)
Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.

Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Read: Isaiah 7:10-14, Luke 1:46-56, Hebrews 10:5-10, and Luke 1:26-38

The Annunciation of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary is the celebration of the angel Gabriel’s announcement to Mary that she would give birth to the Son of God.  It is usually celebrated on March 25, but this year was unique.  Since it fell during Holy Week, and since both Holy Week and Easter Week take precedence over any other holy days or observances, it was transferred to today.

St. Iraneous (c.130-202) believed that the Annunciation fell on the same day of the year as Jesus’ passion.  He reckoned it to be March 25th.  Further, it is exactly nine months until Christmas Day, which is the celebration of Jesus’ birth.  Although we don’t believe that Jesus was actually born on December 25th (some scholars point to sometime around September 21, 11BCE), March 25 is as good a day to celebrate the Annunciation as any.

The northern hemisphere’s vernal equinox generally falls on or around March 21st – the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere.  Because of that, the Annunciation marked the new year in many places, including England.

Mary was obedient to God, even though it was going to cost her.  People were going to talk bad about her.  She might even be stoned.  Joseph might not understand what was going on.  Yet she accepted the job God gave her.  Could you do the same?

Take some time to pray about this.  If you can, memorize her song.  You may use it as a prayer, or song of praise.  You may also find the following prayer helpful:
Pour your grace into our hearts, O Lord, that we who have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ, announced by an angel to the Virgin Mary, may by his cross and passion be brought to the glory of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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