The Lady Chapel II - The Annunciation

The Archangel Gabriel announces the coming of the Messiah from the virginal womb of St. Mary, the pure and holy one.

Lord and Father of our Savior Jesus Christ, Who is the Eternally Begotten, God the Son -- I will rejoice in wonder and thanksgiving that there was a woman, a virgin lady who, like Noah of old, found grace in Your holy sight. From her womb Christ is clothed in our common Humanity in order that He might redeem that Humanity in Himself. Amen.

St. Mary goes in great joy and wonder to her cousin St. Elizabeth. At Mary's greeting the baby in Elizabeth's womb, St. John the Baptist, leapt toward the Christ who was in Mary's womb. St. Elizabeth cries out in joy:

Mary visits Elizabeth

Who am I that the mother of my Lord should visit me?

And St. Mary responds under the unction of the Holy Spirit with the Magnificat.

There could be no greater words of reverence in all of this universe than those spoken by Elizabeth to Mary:

Blessed are you, Mary,
among all women!

What words then shall we sing with Mary and Elizabeth? There are no words to sing the glories of our Savior until we join with them and all the Faithful in Heaven singing the New Song which God shall give to us. Choirs of angels shall hush and listen with tearied eyes for never was a more wondrous anthem sung since that which Mary once sang: "My soul doth magnify the Lord!"

And thus at Bethlehem God the Son, the Eternally Begotten, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, appeared as true Man and was wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in the manger "for there was no room at the inn". Do we sing what she must have felt that night so long ago? I think we must, surely we must when on Christmas Eve we sing:

Silent night, Holy night
All is calm, All is bright:
Round 'yon virgin: Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild.
Sleep in Heavenly peace.
Sleep in Heavenly peace.

Silent night, Holy night
Son of God loves pure light:
Radiance beams from Thy Holy Face
With the dawn of redeeming grace:
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born!

Christ in manger
(from an old nativity wood cut)

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