April 7, Orthodox Christians celebrate the Annunciation – one of the 12 major (twelve) holidays. On this day the virgin Mary appeared the Archangel Gabriel and told her of the coming birth of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
In ancient times the feast of the Annunciation gave different names: the conception of Christ, the Annunciation of Christ, the Beginning of redemption, the Annunciation of the angel to Mary. About where and how first appeared feast of the Annunciation, is not known. We only know that in 560, Emperor Justinian indicated the date of the celebration of the Annunciation — March 25 (April 7, new style).
The name of the holiday — Annunciation — conveys the main meaning of the related events: the proclamation of the virgin Mary the glad tidings of the conception and birth of Christ child.
Annunciation means “good” or “good” news.
To 14 years virgin raised in the temple, and then, by law, had to leave the temple, as of full age, and either to return to her parents or to marry. The priests wanted to marry her, but Maria decided to dedicate herself to God. Then the priests betrothed her to a distant relative, eighty-year old Joseph that he cared about her. Living in the Galilean town of Nazareth, in the house of Joseph, the blessed virgin Mary led a modest and retired life, as in the temple.
Four months later, at the betrothal, the angel appeared to Mary and said “Hail full of grace! The Lord is with Thee! Blessed art Thou among women”. The Archangel Gabriel announced to her that she was chosen to become the mother of God.
Maria in perplexity asked the angel, how may a son who does not know the husband. And then the Archangel said to her: “the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most high will overshadow you; therefore and birth Sacred it will be called the Son of God.”
The prophecy of Isaiah, the virgin Mary meets the acceptance message of the angel: “be it unto me according to thy word.”
“The event which is named “Annunciation” means the birth of Jesus Christ, reminds the Professor of theology deacon Andrei Kuraev. – The action of the grace of God in the womb of Mary began to develop a new human life. Not from God the Father begot Mary, not of the Archangel Gabriel and not from her betrothed husband Joseph. Cynical “physiological” arguments are best left to themselves — Christians are not worse than the skeptics know the laws of biology, and therefore I speak about a miracle. And the miracle is not so much a virgin, knowing no man, was to bear a child, but that God himself identified himself with this child and with all that happens in his life. God doesn’t just dwell in the virgin Mary. Through the angel Gabriel, he (the Almighty, the Lord and the Lord) humbly requests the consent of the damsel. And only when he hears the human’s consent. “Be it unto me according to thy word” — then the word becomes flesh.
Without this, the voluntary consent of God could not become man. He could not be incarnated, because God does not act by force, does not compel us to anything. Man is given complete freedom to respond to God’s acceptance and love.
Church tradition says that at the moment when the virgin Mary appeared the Archangel Gabriel, she read the book of the prophet Isaiah, just those words about the birth of the Messiah. “I’m ready to be the last servant who would merit to give birth to the Messiah,” she thought.
So begins the gospel story. Ahead of Christmas and the flight into Egypt, the temptation in the wilderness, and healing of the possessed, the last Supper and the arrest, Crucifixion and Resurrection…”
With the Annunciation in the people are some ancient customs. They say that in the Annunciation “bird nest is not Vietnamese, girl braids weaves”, that is, all work is considered a sin.
See also: the Annunciation: what not to do in this day
The celebration of Annunciation is not deposited even on Easter day, if these holidays are the same, and if the celebration falls on the day of the post, the post is weakened.
According to the materials: pravmir.ru, calend.ru, wikipedia.org