The Angelus Prayer for all of us

Last year I had coffee with a friend of mine just after she returned from serving as a Roman Catholic missionary for a year in Honduras. During the course of our conversation, when she was describing the devotion and worship habits of the little community of young people she lived with there, she told me about a tradtional Roman Catholic prayer called the Angelus.

Now, while I have some familiarity with Catholic history and official teachings of the Catechism and the Second Vatican Council, I am relatively ignorant when it comes to popular devotional practices. This one is said at convents and monasteries at 6am, noon, and 6pm.

This one intrigued me because it includes a call-and-response recitation of some Bible verses about the Incarnation, and because the closing prayer of the "Angelus", when my friend Emily told me the words, sounded very strong - and usable to a Protestant. I later discovered that it is actually in The Book of Common Prayer (1979) (for the feast of the Annunciation, March 25).

I've been looking to find a "convergence Mariology" (acceptable to Christians of all denominations) for the sake of Christian unity, and so, here is the Angelus prayer, slightly modified. I composed the short collect as an alternative to the tradtional "Hail Mary" between the responses, it is clearly rooted in language of the Bible and the Tradition, and covers some of the same ground as the "Hail Mary/Ave Maria":

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

Holy God, whose beloved Son became incarnate for us and for our salvation from the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Lord; hear the prayers of your faithful people: have mercy upon us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it unto me according to your Word.

Holy God, whose beloved Son became incarnate...

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

Holy God, whose beloved Son became incarnate...

V. Hear the prayers of your faithful people:
R. That, by your grace, we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: Pour your grace into our hearts, O Lord, that we who have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ, announced by an angel to the Virgin Mary, may by his cross and passion be brought to the glory of his resurrection; through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Blogger Brett said...

I am also particularly interested in restoring a balanced Marian piety of sorts to Protestantism. I am experimenting with saying the Rosary using the Hail Mary in it's "pre-tridentine" form:

"Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Amen."

I also replace the "Hail Holy Queen" with the Annunciation collect that you've already mentioned.

The 2 glorious mysteries that are based on piety, rather then Scripture (the Assumption, and Coronation)can also be replaced with any number of other Biblical events or a theological reflection of some sort.

12:31 PM, May 12, 2010  
Blogger Daniel McLain Hixon said...

Hi Brett,

I did not realize that the pre-tridentine form of the Ave Maria was shorter. That is quite interesting. And, except for the word "Jesus" it amounts to a recitation of Scripture from Luke chp. 1 (v.28; v.42) to which Protestants in general do not object.

Perhaps we might tag on v. 45 to get a distinctively Protestant emphasis as well:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord. Amen.

I'd go even farther and try to work the title "mother of my Lord" in there (v.43) as well. But certainly there is room for a Mariology that is pure Scripture, and therefore, less objectionable for those of us with Reformed sensitivities.

10:46 AM, May 17, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will be very helpful if you can also mention when to ring the bell.

11:11 AM, April 26, 2017  

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