Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Annunciation of the Theotokos

Today the Orthodox Church celebrates the Annunciation of the Theotokos. It is a symbol of the glorification of the Virgin Mary, but also of mankind. Due to this event we identify the glorification of God, of Mary, whereby the salvation of mankind is able to take place. This is expressed in the following hymn from the matins of the Annunciation:

‘Today is revealed the mystery that is from all eternity. The Son of God becomes the Son of man, that, sharing in what is worse, He may make me share in what is better. In times of old, Adam was once deceived: he sought to become God, but received not his desire. Now God becomes man, that He may make Adam God. Let creation rejoice, let nature exult: for the Archangel stands in fear before the Virgin and saying to her “Hail,” he brings the joyful greeting whereby our sorrow is assuaged. O Thou who in Thy merciful compassion wast made man, our God, glory to Thee.’[1] 
‘Mary’s glorification is basically the glorification of the merciful God who loves man, who loved his creature so much that he emptied himself for his salvation. The incarnation is the continuation of the good work of the creation, the good work Adam’s sin turned away from its goal. The meaning of the incarnation is universal and cosmic.’[2]

[1] Mother Mary, Kallistos Ware, The Festal Menaion, (London, Faber and Faber, 1959), p. 460.
[2] Behr-Sigel, Elisabeth, The Ministry of Women in the Church, (California, Oakwood Publications, 1991), pp. 191-192. 

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