Learn more about this novena here: The Annunciation Novena.
Day 4 Reflection: Becoming Handmaids
From Praying the Angelus (pp. 72-73).
When we meditate upon the Angelus, we put ourselves into the stories and prayers that we recite. We imagine ourselves as Mary as we speak her words: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord. . . . Be it done unto me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). This is the only phrase of the Angelus in which we recite an actual person’s words. Elsewhere, we tell parts of the Annunciation and Incarnation and pray with one another for Mary’s intercession.
It is fascinating that we take on Mary’s persona in our prayerful journey to become more like her. Each time we pray her ancient words, we make them new and unite our current thoughts, troubles, hopes, dreams, and worries to them.
Each time we declare ourselves to be God’s handmaids and proclaim our openness to his will, we invite his presence into our lives in a new and different way—and we are called to serve him and those around us in a new and different way.
How is God calling you to be a handmaid today? Is it as a parent or a spouse? Are you to be a handmaid to your boss at work or to the customers you serve through your job? Are you to be a handmaid in your parish? Are you to be a handmaid to the strangers you see or meet today? Or are you to be a handmaid directly to the Lord? Consider who God is calling you to serve today, and make a special effort to serve with joy.
The Annunciation Novena
O most holy Virgin Mary,
to whom God sent the Angel Gabriel
to announce that you should be the mother of his only-begotten Son,
pray for us who have recourse to you.
Holy, lovely Mary,
We give our all to you
What is past and present,
And the future, too.
Blessed be the holy and Immaculate Conception of the most blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.
(State your intention here . . .)
V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with Thee;
Blessed art thou among women,
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of our death. Amen
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done to me according to thy word.
Hail Mary. . .
V. And the Word was made flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary. . .
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.