This Feast is the event recorded in the where the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce to her that she would conceive and bear a son, despite the fact that she had not known a man (i.e. was a virgin). According to our tradition, Mary had come home to her parents from the temple at fifteen when this occurred.
This date was selected to be exactly nine months ahead of the Nativity of Christ (or vice versa), indicating that Christ’s conception – ‘of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary’, as we say in the Creed – was a perfect conception.
In addition to our parish, many people also celebrate their nameday on this day. The etymology of the names are a derivation of ‘Good News’.
- Males: Evangelos, Evan, Angelo (some), Bechara, Beshara or Bashar.
- Females: Evangelia, Evangeline.
It should be noted that this feastday is one that touches on the Orthodox beliefs about abortion. It was from the moment of Christ’s conception that He was on earth; though not born, though not visible to many, it was from this point that he had taken on human nature. In the same way, we believe that, from the moment of conception, that which is within a mother is a child – and that which we call ‘abortion’ is, in actuality, murder.
Troparion of our church:
Today is the beginning of our salvation,
The revelation of the eternal mystery!
The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin
As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace.
Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:
Rejoice, O Full of Grace,
The Lord is with Thee!