Monday, April 26, 2010

The Annunciation and the Angelus

Mondays and Saturdays are the traditional days to pray the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary.  I could spend my entire life meditating on just the First Joyful Mystery, The Annunciation, and only scratch the surface of this pivotal event in human history.  Maybe that's why I love praying the Angelus every day at noon.

I memorized this beautiful prayer long ago while attending Catholic school, but over the years it became a vague memory.  It was recently called back dramatically while my children and I were walking outside on an Air Force base on a sunny Friday.  We heard a long shrill blast on the loudspeaker known as the "noon whistle," a test of emergency communications.  I was suddenly compelled to start praying the Angelus, perhaps because I had done this as a child growing up on military bases or maybe it was a reminder of the Angelus Bells that still ring in some churches today.  I taught my children what I could remember of the prayers and looked them up online so that we could memorize them.  From then on, the Friday noon whistle was our reminder to remember how the "Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us." (John 1:14) 

The Angelus is traditionally prayed at 6 am, noon and 6 pm, but I am content with trying to pray it every day at noon or at least sometime during the 12 o'clock hour.  On Fridays, I am especially aware of the connection of the Angelus with the Crucifixion: " His Passion and Cross [may we] be brought to the glory of His Resurrection..."

Related links:

GORGEOUS audio and video of the Angelus in Latin with English/Latin subtitles
Another beautiful Angelus video on youtube
More about the Angelus painting above
Short history of the Angelus
MP3 download of the Angelus

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