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Ecce Virgo concipiet, et pariet filium et vocabitur nomen ejus Emmanuel.

Behold a virgin shall conceive and bring forth a Son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.

In the Postcommunion, the Church gratefully recals to mind all the Mysteries which God has achieved for our Salvation, and which were the consequences of the one of to-day. After the Incarnation, which unites the Son of God to our Human Nature, we have had the Passion of this our Divine Redeemer; and his Passion was followed by his Resurrection, whereby he triumphed over our enemy, Death.


Gratiam tuam, quæsumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde: ut, qui Angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus; per Passionem ejus et Crucem, ad Resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Per eumdem.

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 Passion and Cross, be brought to the glory of his Resurrection. Through the same, &c.

To this is added the Postcommunion for the Feria of Lent.


The Antiphons, Psalms, Hymn and Versicle, are the same as in the First Vespers, pages 571-576. The Magnificat-Antiphon is alone changed, and is

as follows:


The Angel Gabriel spoke unto Mary, saying: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among


Gabriel Angelus locutus es Mariæ dicens: Ave, gratia plena, Dominus tecum; benedicta tu in mulieribus.


O God, who wast pleased that thy Word, when the Angel delivered his message, should take flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, give ear to our humble petitions, and grant, that we who believe her to be truly the Mother of God, may be helped by her prayers. Through the same, &c.


Deus qui de beatæ Mariæ Virginis utero, Verbum tuum, Angelo nuntiante, carnem suscipere voluisti: præsta supplicibus tuis : ut qui vere eam Genitricem Dei credimus, ejus apud te intercessionibus adjuvemur. eumdem.


Let us now bring together the different Liturgies, and hear them celebrate the great Mystery of this glad Feast. First of all, let us listen to the Church of Rome, who, in her Office of Matins, thus proclaims the praises of Mary, the Mother of God.


He, whom earth, and sea, and the firmament, worship, adore, and praise; He, the King of the triple kingdom, is carried in Mary's womb.

The womb of a Virgin, who has been filled with heavenly grace, bears Him, whom the Moon, and Sun, and all creatures serve in the order marked for them.

Quem terra, pontus, si-
Colunt, adorant, prædicant,
Trinam regentem machi-


Claustrum Mariæ bajulat.

Cui luna, sol, et omnia
Deserviunt per tempora,
Perfusa cœli gratia,
Gestant puellæ viscera.

Beata Mater munere, Cujus, supernus artifex Mundum pugillo continens, Ventris sub arca clausus est.

Beata cœli nuntio,
Foecunda Sancto Spiritu,
Desideratus gentibus
Cujus per alvum fusus est.

Jesu, tibi sit gloria,
Qui natus es de Virgine;
Cum Patre, et almo Spiritu,
In sempiterna secula.

O Mother, Blessed in her great office! He, the Sovereign Creator, who holds the world in the palm of his hand, is inclosed in the tabernacle of her womb.

The angelic messenger proclaims her Blessed; the Holy Spirit makes her fruitful; and the Desired of Nations is born of her.

Glory be to thee, O Jesus, that wast born of the Virgin! and to the Father, and to the Spirit of love, for everlasting ages. Amen.

Many of the Latin Churches, in the Middle Ages, used to recite, in the Mass of the Annunciation, the following sequence, which is thought to have been composed by Peter Abailard.

Mittit ad Virginem
Non quemvis Angelum,
Sed Fortitudinem
Suum Archangelum,
Amator hominis.
Fortem expediat
Pro nobis nuntium,
Naturæ faciat
Ut præjudicium
In partu Virginis.
Naturam superet
Natus Rex gloriæ:
Regnet et imperet,
Et zyma scoriæ
Tollat de medio.

Terat fastigia:
Colla sublimium
Calcet vi propria,
Potens in prælio.


God, the lover of man, sends to the Virgin no less an Angel than him who is called God's strength, the Archangel Gabriel.

May this strong messenger be speedily at his work; may he stay the rights and laws of nature in the Virgin's delivery.

May the King of glory, when born, triumph over nature; may he reign and command; may he take away from the midst of men all leaven and rust.

May he humble proud heads ; may this God, mighty in war, trample in his power on the necks of the haughty.

May he cast forth the prince of this world; and make his Mother share with him the empire which his Father has given him.

Go forth, messenger of God, announce these gifts; lift up, by the virtue of thy Annunciation, the veil of the ancient Scripture.

Approach, tell thy announcement say, when thou art in her presence, Hail! Say: O full of grace! Say: The Lord is with thee! And then: Fear not!

Receive, O Virgin the divine deposit; by him fulfil thy chaste purpose, and keep thy vow.

The Maid hears and accepts the announcement; she believes and conceives, and brings forth a Son, but he is the Admirable,

The Counsellor of mankind, God and Man, Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.

May his firmness render us firm, lest human frailty should make us stumble into the abyss.

But may the Giver of pardon, granting us pardon and grace, obtained by the Mother of grace, dwell within us.

May he that grants us pardon of our sins, wipe away all our guilt, and give us the country in the starry heaven. Amen.

Foras ejiciat Mundanum principem : Secumque faciat Matrem participem Patris imperii.

Exi qui mitteris, Hæc dona dissere : Revela veteris Velamen litteræ Virtute nuncii.

Accede, nuncia : Dic: Ave, cominus, Dic: Plena gratia, Dic: Tecum Dominus, Et dic: Ne timeas.

Virgo suscipias Dei depositum, In quo perficias Casta propositum, Et votum teneas. Audit et suscipit Puella nuntium: Credit et concipit, Et parit Filium, Sed admirabilem. Consiliarium Humani generis : Deum et hominem, Et Patrem posteris, расе stabilem. Cujus stabilitas Nos reddat stabiles, Ne nos labilitas Humana labiles Secum præcipitet.


Sed dator veniæ Concessa venia, Per matrem gratiæ Obtenta gratia, In nobis habitet. Qui nobis tribuat Peccati veniam : Reatus deleat, Donet et patriam In arce siderum.


The Ambrosian Liturgy gives us this fine Preface, which is used in its celebration of to-day's Mystery.


Vere dignum et justum est, æquum et salutare: nos tibi, Domine Deus omnipotens, gratias agere, et cum tuæ invocatione virtutis, beatæ Mariæ Virginis festa celebrare de cujus ventre fructus effloruit, qui panis angelici munere nos replevit. Quod Eva voravit in crimine, Maria restituit in salute. Distat opus serpentis et virginis inde fusa sunt venena discriminis; hinc egressa mysteria Salvatoris. Inde se præbuit tentantis iniquitas; hinc Redemptoris est opitulata majestas. Inde partus occubuit, hinc Conditor resurrexit, a quo humana natura, non jam captiva, sed libera restituitur; quod Adam perdidit in parente, Christo recipit


It is truly meet and just, right and available to salvation, that we should give thanks to thee, O Lord God Almighty and that we should, whilst invoking thy power, celebrate the feasts of the Blessed Virgin Mary; from whose womb came the Fruit, which has filled us with the Bread of Angels. That Fruit, which Eve took from us, when she sinned, Mary hath restored to us, and it hath saved us. Not as the work of the Serpent, is the work of Mary. From the one, came the poison of our destruction; from the other, the mysteries of Salvation. In the one, we see the malice of the tempter; in the other, the help of the divine Majesty. By the one, came death to the creature; by the other the resurrection of the Creator, by whom human nature, now not captive but free,is restored; and what it lost by its parent Adam, it regained by its Maker, Christ.

The Mozarabic Liturgy, (which, as we have already observed, keeps the Feast of the Annunciation on the 18th of December,) has several admirable prayers touching this Mystery: we select the following:


Gratiam plenam habere te credimus, o Virgo Christi

We believe thee to be full of grace, O glorious Mary, Virgin

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