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Celebration of the feast: kyriopascha & calendar
[[Image:Annunciation.jpg|right|frame|The Annunciation to the Theotokos]]
The '''Annunciation''' (or ''Evangelismos'' in Greek) to the [[Theotokos]] is one of the [[Great Feasts]] of the [[Orthodox Church]], celebrated on [[March 25]]. Greeks also celebrate [[Greek Independence Day]] this day. This is one of only two days during [[Great Lent|Lent]], the other being [[Palm Sunday]], when fish is permitted.
According to the [[Gospel of Luke]] 1:26-38, the [[Archangel Gabriel]] appeared to [[Theotokos|Mary]] to announce to her that she would conceive and bear a son, even though she "knew no man." According to holy tradition Mary had come home to her parents when she was only fifteen when she was visited by Gabriel.
This date was selected by the [[Church Fathers]] to be exactly nine months ahead of the [[Nativity|Christmas]]of Our Lord (or vice-versa?), indicating that Christ was conceived in perfection at that time "of the [[Holy Spirit]] and the [[Theotokos|Virgin Mary]]," as stated in the [[Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed]].
Many men and women in Greece are named for this event and celebrate their [[name day]] on this date.
In Arabic traditions, the names ''Bechara'', ''Beshara'', or ''Bashar'' (all of which mean "good news") are used by men for whom this feast is also their name day.
==Celebration of the feast==
The feast of the Annunciation normally falls during the season of [[Great Lent]], but it is still a joyous day. Many lessen their The [[fast]] is lessened, with fish allowed on this day.
If the feast comes on a weekday of Lent, the [[Divine Liturgy]] of the feast is served in the evening with [[Vespers]](in some traditions). When this happens, the fasting rules for the [[Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts]] are followed. The Divine Liturgy of the Annunciation is the only celebration of the [[Eucharist]]ic liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom allowed on a weekday of Great Lent.
If the feast falls on the same day as [[Pascha]], the resultant festival is called [[Kyriopascha]] and is celebrated with special [[rubrics]]. Presently, Kyriopascha is possible only among the churches that observe the old style or traditional [[Julian calendar]] or the [[Gregorian calendar]] (that is, [[Finland]] and [[Estonia]]). == Greek Traditions traditions ==Many people make a [[pilgrimage]] as a special tribute to the [[Theotokos]] on the island of Tinos. Thousands of pilgrims jam the docks and city streets to visit the [[Church of Evangelistria (Tinos, Greece)]] that safeguards a miraculous healing [[icon]] of the [[Theotokos]]. Revealed in a vision, it was found buried in a field in 1823, and the church was built to house it. Pilgrims bring items of precious metals and other gifts to leave at the church. On [[August 15]] ([[Dormition]] of the Theotokos) and [[March 25]] the icon is carried through town in a grand procession.
== Hymns ==
:Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos:
:Rejoice, O Full of Grace,
:The [[Lord ]] is with You!
[[Kontakion]] (Tone 8)
:As you possess invincible might, set us free from every calamity
:So that we may sing: Rejoice, O unwedded Bride!
===Forefeast hymns===
Troparion (Tone 4)
:Today is the prelude of joy for the universe!
:Let us anticipate the feast and celebrate with exultation:
:Gabriel is on his way to announce the glad tidings to the Virgin;
:He is ready to cry out in fear and wonder:
:Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with You!
Kontakion (Tone 8)
:You are the beginning of salvation for all of us on earth, Virgin Mother of God.
:For the great Archangel Gabriel, God's minister,
:Was sent from heaven to stand before you to bring you joy:
:Therefore, we all cry to you: Rejoice, O unwedded Bride.
==See also==
*[[Magnificat]] - also called the ''Song of the Theotokos''
==External links==
*[ The Annunciation of our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary] - [[OCA]] web site
*[ The Annunciation of our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever Virgin Mary] - [[GOARCH]] web site
*[ Annunciation] - ''The Orthodox Faith'', by the V. Rev. [[Thomas Hopko]]
*[ Icons of Annunciation]
*[ Texts when Annunciation falls on Holy Saturday]
[[Category:Great Feasts]]
[[el:Ευαγγελισμός της Θεοτόκου]]
[[mk:Свето Благовештение]]

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