Announciation angel with mary - smallWritten By: Fr. Jason Kuntz

This past Sunday, many Catholics would have recognized the prayer at the beginning of Mass called the ‘Collect.’  That is because it is the same prayer used by Catholics at the end of the Angelus:

Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord,
your grace into our hearts,
that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son
was made known by the message of an Angel,
may by his Passion and Cross
be brought to the glory of his Resurrection
.

Catholics have customarily prayed the Angelus every day at 6am, noon and again at 6pm.  Some Churches ring bells at these hours to remind the faithful that it’s time to pray.   In the Angelus we recall Gabriel’s message to Our Lady, her assent to God’s plan, and the mystery of the Incarnation – “The word became Flesh and Dwelt among us.” 

Since November, we have heard Christmas songs on the radio.  One that gets stuck in my head on occasion is “Christmas all the time” sung by Tom Cochrane.

As Catholics we commemorate the Mystery of the Incarnation each year at Christmas – but we could say that for those who pray the Angelus, it is “Christmas all the time” – throughout the year, a number of times each day we stop to recall the mystery of our Lord’s incarnation.[1]  We stop to remember that God became one of us – a little baby born of Mary.

The liturgical calendar has a specific time allotted to recall the different mysteries of our Salvation.  However, the devotional life of Christians allows us to extend the contemplation of these mysteries all year round.   By practicing abstinence and penance on Fridays, or by reciting the Stations of the cross we recall the Passion and death of our Lord.   Every time we dip our hands in Holy Water we recall His Resurrection, by which we received new life in baptism.  By praying the Rosary, we review the entire lives of our Lord and our Lady.   The devotional life of the Church allows us to continually re-connect with the mysteries of our Faith – no matter what time it is in the liturgical year.

For those who are unfamiliar, the full text of the Angelus is below.   Please join in “Christmas all the time!”

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V. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived by the power of Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your 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 done unto me according to your Word.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

V. And the Word was made flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R. 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.

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[1]  One exception is the Easter season where it is customary to recite the Regina caeli in place of the Angelus.

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