The Angelus

The Angelus is a prayer of devotion to the Blessed Mother commemorating the announcement of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. The name “Angelus” comes from the opening words in Latin: Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ (“The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary”) and refers to the Angel Gabriel, the messenger of God who revealed to Mary that she would conceive a child named Jesus who would be called the Son of God. (Lk 1:26-35).  The Angelus is prayed by reciting three verses from Luke’s Gospel, and alternating with the “Hail Mary.” In a Catholic tradition dating to at least to the 14th century, the Angelus is prayed in churches, convents, and monasteries three times daily – 6:00 a.m., noon, and 6:00 p.m. – and is usually accompanied by the ringing of the Angelus bell.

As stated in the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy released several years ago by the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments:

The Angelus Domini is a recollection of the salvific event in which the Word became flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, through the power of the Holy Spirit in accordance with the salvific plan of the Father.

The recitation of the Angelus is deeply rooted in the piety of the Christian faithful, and strengthened by the example of the Roman Pontiffs. In some places changed social conditions hinder its recitation, but in many other parts every effort should be made to maintain and promote this pious custom and at least the recitation of three Aves. The Angelus “over the centuries has conserved its value and freshness with its simple structure, biblical character […] quasi liturgical rhythm by which the various time of the day are sanctified, and by its openness to the Paschal Mystery.”

Since our neighbors might not appreciate the early morning wake-up, we ring the Angelus bells daily at noon and 6:00 p.m.  The Angelus bell is a triple set of chimes to correspond to the three Hail Mary’s.

Although the praying of the Angelus may have tapered off since the Second Vatican Council, it is still prayed daily in many parts of the world.  In the Vatican, virtually all of the different offices gather together to pray the Angelus daily at noon.  Further, each Sunday at noon, the Holy Father presides over the public recitation of the Angelus at St. Peter’s, and the Piazza and surrounding streets are filled with thousands of people.

The Angelus

  1. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
  2. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

  1. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
  2. Be it done unto me according to thy word.

Hail Mary…

  1. And the Word was made Flesh.
  2. And dwelt among us.

Hail Mary..

  1. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
  2. 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.