The Angelus

annunciation.jpg

Annunciation by John Collier, 2000.

What is the Angelus?

 

The Angelus is a Catholic devotional prayer believed to have originated in the 11th century. The name Angelus is derived from its incipit—the first few words of the text: Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ ("The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary").

The Angelus is found in two popular twentieth-century Anglo-Catholic manuals of devotion. The Practice of Religion: A Short Manual of Instructions and Devotions by Archibald Campbell Knowles, first published in 1908, refers to the Angelus as "the memorial of the Incarnation" and notes that "In the Mystery of the Incarnation we worship and adore Our Lord as God of God, we honour and reverence Saint Mary as 'Blessed among women.' In honouring Mary, the Instrument of the Incarnation, we really honour Christ, Who became Incarnate."

The Angelus is also found in Saint Augustine's Prayer Book: A Book of Devotion for members of the Episcopal Church, first published in 1947 (Revised Edition, 1967).

Many of the CMJ incorporate this devotional into their daily prayer life as a means of reflecting on the relationship between Mary and the incarnate Word of God in Jesus Christ. 

The Angelus Text (Anglican Form)

℣. The Angel of the LORD brought tidings unto Mary,
℟. And she conceived by the Holy Ghost.

Hail Mary, full of grace; the LORD is with thee: blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

℣. Behold the handmaid of the LORD.
℟. Be it done unto me according to thy word.

Hail Mary, full of grace; the LORD is with thee: blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

℣. And the Word was made flesh.
℟. And dwelt among us.

Hail Mary, full of grace; the LORD is with thee: blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

℣. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
℟. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray,
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 Christ our Lord.

℟. Amen.