WDTPRS: Annunciation – Lady Day

Tanner AnnunciationThis is the very Feast of the Incarnation.

Today we celebrate that moment when our Lord elevated our humanity by taking our human nature into an indestructible bond with His Divinity.  In the Incarnation God opened for us the path to “divinization”, His sharing of something of His own divine glory with us in the eternal happiness of heaven.

In the sin of our First Parents, offending God and loosing so many of our gifts, the whole human race sinned.  In justice a human being had to correct the offense, but such a correction was entirely impossible for a mere mortal human.  Such a correction required the intervention of one who was both man and God.

In the Incarnation, the Word made flesh, made man, made Jesus the Lord and Savior, not only begins to save us from our sins in His earthly ministry, but begins also the mysterious revelation of man more fully to himself (cf. GS 22).

Part of the Lord’s mission was also to teach man more fully who He is in the beauty of His own Person.  However, He did not begin to do this only from the beginning of His public ministry.  He began this from the very moment of the Incarnation.

Remember: From the instant of His conception, the Word made flesh begins to teach man more fully who man is.

Light from Light sheds light on the dignity of man, God’s image, from the instant of conception, from man’s humblest beginning.

Here are the Collects for this beautiful Feast of the Annunciation, Lady Day.  Here are the “Opening Prayers” from both the older, traditional, extraordinary form of the Roman Rite and the newer, post-Conciliar, ordinary form.

You might discuss their differences, their respective strengths.


Deus, qui de beatae Mariae Virginis utero Verbum tuum, Angelo nuntiante, carnem suscipere voluisti: praesta supplicibus tuis; ut, qui vere eam Genetricem Dei credimus, eius apud te intercessionibus adiuvemur.


O God, who desired Your Word to take flesh from the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary the angel announcing it: grant to your supplicants; that we who believe truly in the Mother of God, may be helped in Your sight by her intercessions.


Deus, qui Verbum tuum in utero Virginis Mariae
veritatem carnis humanae suscipere voluisti,
concede, quaesumus,
ut, qui Redemptorem nostrum
Deum et hominem confitemur,
ipsius etiam divinae naturae mereamur esse consortes


O God, who wanted Your Word to take up
the truth of human flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary,
grant, we beseech,
that we, who confess our Redeemer to be God and man,
may also merit to be the sharers of His divine nature

This is of new composition, though there is a reference here to Letter 123 Ad Eudociam Augustam – “De monachis Palaestinis” of St. Pope Leo I, “the Great” (+461).

“Fides enim catholica sicut damnat Nestorum, qui in uno domino nostro Iesu Christo duas ausus est praedicare personas, ita damnat etiam Eutychen cum Dioscoro, qui ab unigenito Deo Verbo negant in utero Virginis matris veritatem carnis humanae susceptam.”


O God, who willed that your Word
should take on the reality of human flesh
in the womb of the Virgin Mary,
grant, we pray,
that we, who confess our Redeemer to be God and man,
may merit to become partakers even in his divine nature

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. ReginaMarie says:

    Today is the beginning of our salvation,
    The revelation of the eternal mystery!
    The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin
    As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace.
    Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:
    Rejoice, O Full of Grace,
    The Lord is with You!

    O Victorious Leader of Triumphant Hosts!
    We, your servants, delivered from evil, sing our grateful thanks to you, O Theotokos!
    As you possess invincible might, set us free from every calamity
    So that we may sing: Rejoice, O unwedded Bride!

  2. jfk03 says:

    The Annunciation is a day of obligation in the Greek Catholic Churches. We sing the beautiful troparion and kontakion of the feast, per the previous post. May the Mother of God free us (particularly our Syrian brothers) from every calamity!

  3. KateD says:

    This is the day God entered creation; when the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. And it’s not even on the radar of most Catholics.

    Christmas is when we got to see Him, but He was already on Earth for 9 months prior to his birth.

    The Annunciation would be the appropriate foundation for the establishment of the dogmatic truth that Life Begins at Conception. In order to turn back the tide on Abortion and the social evils and moral degeneration that have sprung from it, humanity desperately needs this dogma spelled out. Think of the graces that would flow from it!

  4. LA says:

    I do not understand why this is not THE most important Feastday of the entire year. Without the Incarnation, we would have none of the other Feasts.

    But, Father, why ask us to remember this? “Remember: From the instant of His conception, the Word made flesh begins to teach man more fully who man is.”. Does not the Incarnation much more teach us Who God is, rather than who man is?

  5. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Solemnity, no? [Solemnity, yes! In the Novus Ordo calendar it is Duplex I. classis. In the traditional calendar ] In case folks are looking to dodge a Lenten observance or two, today, eh? :)

  6. ReginaMarie says:

    I concur! What could teach us more about the dignity of human life from conception than the Feast of the Annunciation!? For this reason, a small group of us has been gathering for about 10 years to pray the Rosary & Divine Mercy Chaplet outside the local IVF clinic. Please join us in prayer for the many, nascent human lives lost at this facility & others like it throughout the world. Also, for those experiencing infertility, that they may be open to the loving & life-giving alternative of adoption & seek moral, medical help through techniques such as NaPro Technology & Fertility Care.
    God bless! Rejoice, O Bride & Maiden, ever pure!

  7. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Canon 3 of the Synod of Constantinople of 543 effectively gives an accent to the Feast and Fr. Z’s reminder: “If anyone holds or says that the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ was first formed in the womb of the Holy Virgin and that afterwards both God the Word and the soul, being pre-existent, were united to it, let him be anathema.”

    Fr. Z says, “You might discuss their differences, their respective strengths.” Might one say, EF especially accents the ‘simply human means’ (instinct with Grace) – the Blessed Virgin Mary and her intercessions , and OF the ‘Fully Human Theandric means’ and the longed- and prayed-for end?

  8. Gerard Plourde says:

    Our pastor’s homily today focused on the fact that this feast, occurring in the midst of Lent acts as a reminder of the Nativity, which set in motion the salvific act that was consummated in the Triduum.

  9. mysticalrose says:


    I think maybe it teaches both. Josef Pieper has a wonderful exposition of the virtue of magnanimity — the virtue in which we fecognixe our true dignity as sons of God. In his analysis, our modern world suffers from not recognizing and living up to the heights to which we have been called as Christians. In this sense, the Incarnation underscores the depths of our human vocation and the nature of man. That’s my take on it, anyway.

  10. mysticalrose says:

    Recognize, not fecognixe — I’m all thumbs!

  11. Gregg the Obscure says:

    I prefer the older prayer as it echoes the closing prayer of the Angelus, which is very dear to me. Even though the newer prayer doesn’t even mention the angelic aspect of the day, I was glad to have the opportunity to hear it. I needed to go to confession today and so took the opportunity to follow that with Benediction and assisting at Holy Mass.

  12. JuliaB says:

    Is it actually called ‘Lady Day’? Because when I saw that, all that came to mind was Billie Holiday.

  13. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    It is – and as the Wikipedia article on it correctly notes, ‘Lady’ is here a genitive/possessive, which our ancestors would have understood: ‘Lady Day’ = ‘[Our] Lady’s Day’ (which is also true in other contexts like ‘Lady-chapel’, ‘Lady-altar’, and ‘Lady-bird’ or ‘-bug’!).

    Searching at New Advent for “Lady Day”, I did not find an article discussing its history as a term, but did find it simply used in three Catholic Encyclopedia articles from 1908-10 in a way in which it was assumed readers would know which Feast was being referred to – as well as in the 1920 translation of St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica in the same way. I wonder how much less frequent or common it has become since then?

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