Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Angelus

Many times one will see in the media that the Holy Father has made some statement or given a sermon on a subject during the Angelus at St. Peters. So what is the Angelus?
Saying the Angelus is a practice that originated in the middle ages, surrounding the use of the bells which were possessed by just about every medieval church. At 6 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. the bells were rung in three sets of three. The time between sets was just long enough for a Pater and Ave Maria to be said. The typical Angelus prayer does not consist of an Our Father and Hail Mary but rather a set of lines taken from the Annunciation reading in Gospel (Luke 1:26-27) and a recitation of the Hail Mary.

V/. The Angel of the Lord brought tidings unto Mary,
R/. And she conceived by the Holy Ghost.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among 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.

V/. "Behold the handmaid of the Lord."
R/. "Be it unto me according to thy Word."
Hail Mary, full of grace...

V/. And the Word was made flesh,
R/. And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary, full of grace...

V/. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R/. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Even though the reading is from the Annunciation the prayer is really a devotion in memory of the Incarnation.

The Angelus is said three times a day in many places in the old world, where the church bells still toll at the appointed times. In Rome, Ireland and even Britain, various radio and television stations interrupt programing at these times to broadcast the tolling of the bells, three sets of three, usually followed by a long peal of the bell originally associated with the ringing of curfew. In some places, like Germany, even the Protestant churches toll the Angelus, and some Lutherans and Anglo-Catholics pray the Angelus daily.

During Eastertide the Regina Coeli, (The Queen of Heaven) is said instead.

Queen of heaven, be joyful, alleluia:
The Son whom you merited to bear, alleluia,

Has risen, as He said, alleluia.
Pray for us to God, alleluia.

Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

The Regina Coeli is also said seasonally as part of the Liturgy of the Hours.

The Angelus is included in the Traditional Catholic Prayer section of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

1 comment:

Katherine said...

So it appears that both British Airways and the British court system believes that it's alright to wear religious artifacts, unless you're Christian

The Courts in the USA are no different. The boss has an absolute right to control employee attire when on the job unless the workers have a union.