Feast of the Annunciation

The feast of the Annunciation and the rubrics on how to serve it are very interesting, since the feast can fall on any number of days during Great Lent and Bright Week, including, howbeit very rarely, on Pascha itself.

The typicon of the Church is a great treasure for the Orthodox Christians.  Nothing is left to chance, and there is great meaning in the services, on how they are put together.  Suddenly as it were, in the midst of the sorrowful, penitential services of Lent, one has the joy of a great feast.  Nevertheless, we are not allowed to forget that it is still Great Lent.  The same applies for when Annunciation occurs during Bright Week.  The joy of the Incarnation is united to the joy of the Lord’s Resurrection.

            In the Russian tradition, blue vestments are worn on feasts of the Mother of God.  Even though there is a forefeast of one day as well as an afterfeast, it is swallowed up in the black of Great Lent, thus showing in a way, the humility of the Most Holy Virgin before Her Son.

            This year, since Annunciation fell on a weekday, Vespers for the feast were part of Presanctified Liturgy on Wednesday.  The Vigil, Wednesday evening, consisted of Great Compline and Matins, which, since it was on a weekday, had three kathismas, the doxology was read, and the Prayer of St. Ephraim was read at the end. 

            The Hours were served separately, Thursday morning, since they all had kathismas and the Prayer of St. Ephraim.  The Divine Liturgy was a vesperal liturgy, but with the liturgy of St. John, not the usual, more Lenten liturgy of St. Basil.  This was served by His Grace, Bishop Luke, together with the clergy assigned to the Holy Trinity Monastery.

            Most Holy Theotokos, pray for us!


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