Gabriel is the announcer of the Incarnation of the Son of God. He is one of the seven archangels who stand before the Throne of God. He appeared to Zacharias about the birth of the Forerunner. Gabriel said of himself, “I am Gabriel, who stand before God” (St. Luke 1:19). His name Gabriel means “Man-God.” The Holy Fathers, in speaking about the Annunciation, interpret that an archangel with such a name was sent to signify who and what He would be like, who must be born of the All-Pure One. Therefore, He will be Man-God, mighty and powerful God. Some of the Fathers understood that this same Gabriel appeared to Joachim and Anna concerning the birth of the Virgin Mary and that Gabriel instructed Moses in the wilderness to write the Book of Genesis. The Holy Fathers think that Gabriel has pre-eminence in the first and greatest order of heavenly powers, that is, the Seraphic Order, since the Seraphims stand closest to God. He is, therefore, one of the seven Seraphims, closest to God. The names of the seven are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salathiel, Jegudiel, Barachiel. To this number some even add JEREMIEL. Each one has their own particular service and all are equal in honour. Why did God not send Michael? Because Michael’s service is to suppress the enemies of the Faith of God while Gabriel’s is the mission of announcing the salvation of mankind.
The Prologue from Ohrid
[The Commemoration of St. Climacus is omitted]
“Blessed is the man…” is sung.
At Psalm 140
In Tone 4
- Lead my soul forth from prison* that I may give thanks to Your name.
We never cease to adore Your life-giving Cross, O Christ our God,
And we glorify Your resurrection on the third day.
For You, Almighty One, have thereby restored the corrupted nature of all
and reopened the way to heaven,
since You alone are gracious and You love mankind.
- The just shall gather around me* when You have been good to me.
O Saviour, You have absolved the penalty of disobedience,
committed through the tree of Eden,
by willingly being nailed to the tree of the Cross.
As Almighty God, You descended into Hades
and broke asunder the bonds of death.
We, therefore, venerate Your resurrection from the dead,
and joyfully cry out to You:
Almighty Lord, glory to You!
- Out of the depths I cry to You, O Lord;* O Lord, hear my voice!
O Lord, You have battered down the gates of Hades,
and by Your death You have dissolved the realm of death.
You have freed mankind from corruption,
bestowing life, incorruption, and Your great mercy upon the world.
- Let Yours ears be attentive* to the voice of my prayer.
Come, all you people,
let us sing the praises of our Saviour’s resurrection on the third day.
For we have, thereby, been delivered from the invincible bonds of Hades,
and we have received incorruption, together with eternal life.
Therefore, we cry out to You
after Your crucifixion, burial, and resurrection:
Save us by Your resurrection, for You love mankind.
In Tone 4
- If You mark iniquities, Lord, who can stand?* But with You forgiveness is that You may be revered.
In the sixth month, the archangel was sent to the pure Virgin.
Telling her to rejoice, he announced the good tidings
that the Savior would be born of her.
Having accepted his greeting, she conceived the eternal God
who ineffably deigned to become incarnate
for the salvation of our souls.
- I have waited for You as You have commanded; my soul patiently relies on Your promise,* for it has trusted in the Lord.
The Mother of God, upon hearing, did not understand
the message of the archangel
because he was speaking the words of glad tidings to her.
She accepted his greeting with faith
and conceived You, the eternal God.
Therefore, we joyfully sing to You:
O God, You became incarnate, without change, from her;
and You grant peace and great mercy to the world.
- From the morning watch until night* let Israel trust in the Lord.
Behold, the promised One now manifests himself to us.
It is beyond comprehension that God unites himself to the human race.
At the word of the archangel, deceit is cast out
because the Virgin receives the Joy.
The things of the earth become like heaven;
the world is freed of the original curse.
Let creation rejoice,
and may voices cry out:
O our Creator and Deliverer,
O Lord, glory to You!
In Tone 1
- For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him there is plentiful redemption;* and He shall redeem Israel from all its iniquities.
The archangel Gabriel, the spirit who sees God face to face,
gazes upon the brilliant, saving, and gleaming Light.
He sings heavenly and awesome hymns with the ranks on high.
He implores God to grant peace and great mercy to our souls.
- Praise the Lord, all the nations;* proclaim His glory, all you people.
The great mystery, previously unknown to the angels and hidden from eternity,
is made known to you alone, O Gabriel.
When you came to Nazareth, you told it to the pure One.
Together with her, implore God to grant peace
and great mercy to our souls.
- Strong is the love of the Lord for us;* eternally will His truth endure.
O prince of angels, all-perfect Gabriel,
you are filled with the divine brightness.
You fulfill the wishes and commands of the Almighty.
Save those who lovingly venerate you.
Always ask God to grant peace and great mercy to our souls.
In Tone 6, Glory…
The archangel Gabriel was sent from heaven
to bring to the Virgin glad tidings of her conception.
When he came to Nazareth,
he marveled at the miracle and thought to himself:
How is it that He whom the heavens cannot comprehend
is now being born of a virgin?
The One who has heaven for a throne and earth for a footstool
is being enclosed within a virgin’s womb.
He, upon whom the six-winged Seraphim and the many-eyed Cherubim cannot gaze,
wills to become incarnate of her by a single word.
The Word of God is at hand.
Then why do I stand by and not say to the Virgin:
Rejoice, O Full of Grace; the Lord is with you!
Rejoice, O pure Virgin and maiden bride!
Rejoice, O Mother of the Life!
Blessed is the fruit of your womb.
In Tone 4, Now…
O Mother of God, because of You David the Prophet
became an ancestor of God;
he foretold and sang a joyous hymn of praise
and cried out to Him who worked wonders in you:
“The Queen stood at your right hand.”
God revealed you as a life-giving mother,
when He chose to be incarnate of you without a father.
He renewed in man His image which the passions had corrupted.
He found the lost sheep in the mountains, carried it on His shoulders,
offered it to the Father, generously numbered it among the powers of heaven,
and saved the whole world, since He is Christ of great and rich mercy.
In Tone 4
In being lifted upon the Cross, O Lord,
You abolished the curse which we had inherited from our ancestors.
By going down into Hades,
You freed from eternal captivity those imprisoned there,
and granted incorruption to the human race.
We, therefore, praise Your life-giving and redeeming resurrection.
The Lord reigns, He is clothed in majesty. Robed is the Lord, and girt about with strength.
By hanging on the Cross, O Almighty One,
You shook the whole creation to its foundations.
When You Yourself were laid in the grave,
You raised to life those who had been lying in the graves,
and You granted life and incorruption to mankind.
We, therefore, praise and glorify Your resurrection on the third day.
For He has made the world firm, which shall not be moved.
O Christ, the lawless people showed their ingratitude to You, their Benefactor,
by delivering You to Pilate who condemned you to be crucified.
But You willingly suffered death and burial;
and, as God, You rose by Your own power on the third day,
granting us everlasting life and great mercy.
Holiness befits Your house, O Lord, for length of days.
The women, shedding bitter tears, came to see You in Your tomb;
and not finding Your body, they lamented, saying:
O Saviour and King of All, how were You stolen?
What place holds Your life-bearing body?
An angel answered them, saying:
Do not weep, but go and proclaim that the Lord is risen,
filling our hearts with joy;
for He alone is most compassionate.
In Tone 4, Glory… Now…
Today come forth glad tidings of joy:
It is the feast of the Virgin!
Things below are joined to things above.
Adam is renewed and Eve set free from her ancient curse,
and the tabernacle of human nature which the Lord took upon Himself
is consecrated as a temple of God.
The manner of His emptying is past knowledge;
the fashion of His conception is ineffable.
An angel ministers at the wonder; a Virgin womb receives the Son.
The Holy Spirit is sent down; the Father on high gives His consent;
and so the covenant is brought to pass by common counsel.
In Him and through Him we are saved,
and together with Gabriel let us cry aloud to the Virgin:
Rejoice, full of grace, the Lord is with you!
From you has Christ our God and our salvation taken human nature,
raising it up to Himself:
Pray to Him that our souls may be saved!
In Tone 4
When the disciples of the Lord learned from the angel* the glorious news of the resurrection* and cast off the ancestral condemnation,* they proudly told the apostles:* “Death has been plundered!* Christ our God is risen,*granting to the world great mercy.”
In Tone 4, Glory…
Princes of the heavenly hosts,* we, though unworthy, beg you to encircle us through your prayers* under the shelter of the wings of your spiritual glory.* Guard us as we come to you and sincerely cry:* “Deliver us from dangers,* O princes of the powers on high!”
In Tone 4, Now…
Today is the crown of our salvation,* and the unfolding of the eternal mystery;* the Son of God becomes the Virgin’s Son,* and Gabriel brings the tidings of grace.* With him let us also cry to the Mother of God:* Rejoice, Full of grace! The Lord is with you!
The Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is celebrated today.
Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 4: When the disciples of the Lord learned from the angel* the glorious news of the resurrection* and cast off the ancestral condemnation,* they proudly told the apostles:* “Death has been plundered!* Christ our God is risen,* granting to the world great mercy.”
Troparion, Tone 4: Today is the crown of our salvation,* and the unfolding of the eternal mystery;* the Son of God becomes the Virgin’s Son,* and Gabriel brings the good tidings of grace.* With him let us also cry to the Mother of God:* Rejoice, Full of grace! The Lord is with you.
Troparion, Tone 4: Princes of the heavenly hosts,* we, though unworthy, beg you to encircle us through your prayers* under the shelter of the wings of your spiritual glory.* Guard us as we come to you and sincerely cry:* “Deliver us from dangers,* O princes of the powers on high!”
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.
Kontakion, Tone 8: To You, O Mother of God,* the invincible leader,* we, your servants, ascribe these victory hymns* in thanksgiving for our deliverance from evil.* With your invincible power free us from all dangers* that we may cry out to you:* Hail, O Bride and pure Virgin!
Prokeimenon, Tone 4
How great are Your works, O Lord* You have made all things in wisdom.
verse: Bless the Lord, O my soul: O Lord my God, You are exceedingly great. (Psalm 103:24,1)
Prokeimenon, Tone 4
Proclaim from day to day* the good tidings of our God’s salvation. (Psalm 95:2)
Alleluia, Tone 4
verse: Poise yourself and advance in triumph and reign in the cause of truth, and meekness, and justice.
verse: You have loved justice and hated iniquity. (Psalm 44:5,8)
verse: He will descend like rain on a fleece, and like drops dripping on the earth.
verse: Let His name be blessed through the ages; His name exists before the sun. (Psalm 71:6, 17)
Hymn to the Mother of God
In you, O Full of Grace, all creation rejoices: the angelic ranks and all the human race. Sanctified temple and spiritual paradise, virgins’ pride and boast, from whom God is made flesh and became a little Child; and He who is our God before all ages, He made your womb a throne, and He made it wider that all the heavens. In you, O Full of Grace, all creation rejoices. Glory be to you.
Praise the Lord from the heavens;* praise Him in the highest. (Psalm 148:1)* For the Lord has chosen Sion;* He has chosen it for His dwelling. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. (Psalm 131:13)