Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, Linglestown, Pennsylvania, USA
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph . . . And he came to her and said, "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" . . . And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus" . . . And Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no husband?" And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the son of God. . . . And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
St. Luke 1.26.
The celebration of the angel's announcement to Mary that she was to become the mother of the Savior seems to have originated in the East in the fifth century. The festival was introduced in the West during the sixth and seventh centuries, and was universally celebrated by the late seventh century. The date of March 25 (nine months before the nativity) is practically universal.
Since this feast day almost always falls in Lent, when joyful celebration seems out of place, the day is infrequently noted in worship.
In the Middle Ages, it was thought that March 25 was the day on which creation began, the day on which the incarnation began, and the day on which Christ was crucified; so, the great doctrines of creation, incarnation, and atonement were brought together in a single festival day.
Although this festival is often associated with Mary (it is called "Lady Day" in England), in its origins, the day is a festival of the Lord. The Moravian church observes this date as the Festival of All the Choirs.
-- from Festivals and Commemorations by Philip Pfatteicher
Pour your grace into our hearts, O Lord, that we who have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ, announced by an angel, may by His Cross and Passion be brought to the glory of His Resurrection; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. AMEN
O Lord, grant us Your Peace. AMEN
-- Pastor Stickley