Hear our voice, O Lord, according to your faithful love.
Ivanka Demchuk (Lviv, 1990– ) Annunciation. 2019.
What was Mary's life like up to the time of the Annunciation? Undoubtedly a life of quiet fidelity. But a fidelity to the ordinary. So ordinary that she herself did not perceive its absolute uniqueness … So when Gabriel swept in, she did not know what to make of his expression of God's particular favour in her regard. Holiness, for almost all of us almost all of the time, lies in the ordinary. The moments of annunciation, the call to the extra-ordinary, are rare. If we are destined for such a moment, we can be sure that we are going to be ready for it only if we are, here and now, day in and day out, faithful to the ordinary. Monastic life, spiritual life, Christ-life, consists in the everyday stuff, not living out some fantastic ideal we have conceived. By being really with what is going on around us, by being present to each person who walks in our door, by being who we really are, we experience the presence of God here and now. Mary was ready: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord." …
—M Basil Pennington OCSO. Engaging the World with Merton, (Brewster, Mass.: Paraclete, 2005) pp. 103-4.
Morten Johannes Lauridsen (USA, 1943– ). O Magnum Mysterium. (1994). Chamber Choir of Europe, cond by Nicol Matt.
A breathtaking contemporary setting of an ancient Christmas text. Yet it is the miracle of incarnation that is adored.
O magnum mysterium,
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
iacentem in praesepio!
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera
Dominum Iesum Christum.
O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the newborn Lord,
lying in a manger!
Blessed is the virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear
the Lord, Jesus Christ.
May God our Redeemer show us compassion and love. Amen.