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The Angelus (Latin for Angel) is a Christian devotion in memory of the Incarnation. The name Angelus is derived from the opening words: Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ and is practiced by reciting as versicle and response three Biblical verses describing the mystery; alternating with the salutation "Hail Mary!" The Angelus exemplifies a species of prayers called the prayer of the devotee.[1][2]

The devotion was traditionally recited in Roman Catholic churches, convents, and monasteries three times daily: 6:00 am, noon, and 6:00 pm (many churches still follow the devotion, and some practice it at home). The devotion is also used by some Anglican and Lutheran churches. The Angelus is usually accompanied by the ringing of the Angelus bell, which is to spread good-will to everyone on Earth. The angel referred to in the prayer is the Angel Gabriel, a messenger of God who revealed to Mary that she would conceive a child to be born the Son of God. (Luke 1:26-38).

Contents

History

The Catholic Encyclopedia states that "The history of the Angelus is by no means easy to trace with confidence, and it is well to distinguish in this matter between what is certain and what is in some measure conjectural."[3] This is an old devotion which was already well established 700 years ago. The Angelus originated with the 11th century monastic custom of reciting three Hail Marys during the evening bell. The first written documentation stems from Italian Franciscan monk Sinigardi di Arezzo (died 1282).[4] Franciscan monasteries in Italy document the use in 1263 and 1295. The Angelus is included in a Venecian Catechism from 1560.[4] The older usages seem to have commemorated the resurrection of Christ in the morning, his suffering at noon and the annunciation in the evening.[4] In 1269, St Bonaventure urged the faithful to adopt the custom of the Franciscans of saying three Hail Marys as the evening bell was rung.[5]

The Angelus (1857–59) by Jean-François Millet is one of the most celebrated and reproduced images of prayer. [6]

The Angelus is not identical with the "Turkish bell" ordered by Pope Calixtus III (1455–58) in 1456, who asked for a long midday bell ringing and prayer for protection against the Turkish invasions of his time. In his 1956 Apostolic Letter Dum Maerenti Animo about the persecution of the Church in Eastern Europe and China, Pope Pius XII recalls the 500th anniversary of the "Turkish bell", a prayer crusade ordered by his predecessors against the dangers from the East. He again asks the faithful throughout the World, to pray for the persecuted Church in the East during the mid-day Angelus.[7]

The custom of reciting it in the morning apparently grew from the monastic custom of saying three Hail Marys while a bell rang at Prime. The noon time custom apparently arose from the noon time commemoration of the Passion on Fridays. The institution of the Angelus is by some ascribed to Pope Urban II, by some to Pope John XXII for the year 1317.[5] The triple recitation is ascribed to Louis XI of France, who in 1472 ordered it to be said three times daily. The form of the prayer was standardized by the 17th century.[5]

The manner of ringing the Angelus—the triple stroke repeated three times, with a pause between each set of three (a total of nine strokes), sometimes followed by a longer peal as at curfew—seems to have been the norm from the very beginning. The 15th century constitutions of Syon monastery dictate that the lay brother "shall toll the Ave bell nine strokes at three times, keeping the space of one Pater and Ave between each three tollings".[8]

In his Apostolic Letter Marialis Cultus (1974), Pope Paul VI encouraged the praying of the Angelus and confirmed its importance.[9]

Modern usage

Roman Catholic Mariology
A series of articles on

Marian Prayers

Magnificatio.jpg

Alma Redemptoris Mater
Angelus
As a Child I Loved You
Ave Maris Stella
Ave Regina Caelorum
Fatima Prayer
Flos Carmeli
Hail Mary
Hail Mary of Gold
Immaculata prayer
Immaculate Mary
Magnificat
Mary Our Queen
Memorare
Regina Coeli
Rosary
Salve Regina
Stabat Mater
Sub Tuum Praesidum
Three Hail Marys

In most Franciscan and contemplative monasteries, the Angelus continues to be prayed three times a day. In American Trappist monasteries and convents, the Angelus is often combined with midday prayers or Vespers and prayed together in the Church. In Italy since Pope John XXIII, every Sunday at noon the pope has an address broadcast by public television (Rai Uno) and Eurovision network. At the end of the address the Pope recites the Angelus. In Ireland, the Angelus is broadcast every night at 6:00 pm on the TV channel RTÉ One, before the Six-One News, and on the radio station Radio 1, at noon and 6:00 pm. There has been very occasional debate about whether to end the Angelus broadcasts as the station is run by an authority appointed by the Irish Government and this may constitute state support of one faith over others. Critics of this view reply that it is the ringing of a bell, not the broadcast of a prayer, and in any case nobody is compelled to take part. The Angelus, however, is one of Ireland's most watched television programmes, with an average of 318,000 viewers every day [10]. In the city of Monterrey, Mexico, the Angelus is broadcast daily on radio at 6:00 am, noon, and 6:00 pm. In the Philippines, radio and television stations run by the Catholic Church and some religious orders broadcast the Angelus at 6:00 am, noon, and 6:00 pm. In some shopping malls, the devotion is broadcast over the public address system at noon and 6:00 pm, while in schools run by Catholic religious orders, it is broadcast over the public address system at noon on schooldays. In the United States and Canada, some Catholic radio stations run by laity broadcast the Angelus daily. In Germany, particular dioceses and their radio stations ring the Angelus. In addition, each Roman Catholic church throughout the republic (and some Protestant churches) rings the Angelus bell thrice daily.[8]

It is common practice that during the recital of the Angelus prayer, for the lines "And the Word was made flesh/And dwelt among us", those reciting the prayer bow or genuflect. Either of these actions draws attention to the moment of the Incarnation of Christ into human flesh.

Angelus bell

The Angelus, in all its stages of development, was closely associated with the ringing of a church bell. The bell is still rung in some English country churches and has often been mistaken for, and alleged to be a remnant of, the curfew bell. The Angelus is replaced by Regina Coeli during Eastertide, and is not used on Good Friday or Holy Saturday.

Where the town bell and the bells of the principal church or monastery were distinct, the curfew was generally rung upon the town bell. Where the church bell served for both purposes, the Ave and the curfew were probably rung upon the same bell at different hours.

Pope Benedict XVI during the Angelus prayer at the Vatican.

The ringing of the Angelus in the 14th century and even in the 13th century must have been very general. The number of bells belonging to these two centuries which still survive is relatively low, but a considerable proportion bear inscriptions which suggest that they were originally intended to serve as Ave bells. Many bear the words Ave Maria; or, as in the case of a bell at Helfta, near Eisleben, in Germany, dated 1234, the whole sentence: Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Bells with this Ave Maria inscription are also numerous in England, but in England the Angelus bells seem in a very large number of instances to have been dedicated to St Gabriel, the angel mentioned in the prayer (Luke 1:26-27). In the Diocese of Lincoln alone we find nineteen of the surviving medieval bells bearing the name of Gabriel, while only six bear the name of Michael, a much more popular patron in other respects. In France, the Ave Maria seems to have been the ordinary label for Angelus bells; but in Germany we find as the most common inscription of all, even in the case of many bells of the 13th century, the words O Rex Gloriæ Veni Cum Pace ("O King of Glory, Come with Peace"). In Germany, the Netherlands, and in some parts of France, the Angelus bell was regularly known as the Peace bell, and pro pace schlagen (to toll for peace) was a phrase popularly used for ringing the Angelus. In the Philippines, the ringing of church bells is still done for the Angelus every 6:00 pm. During the past, upon hearing of the bell, Filipino families knelt in their respecting homes before their altars and prayed the Angelus, which they called (and still do, in rural areas) the "Orasyon," based on the Spanish word oracion, (prayer/litany/recitation). In traditional Spanish-Filipino families, the Angelus is said in Spanish.

The Irish national broadcaster Raidió Teilifís Éireann broadcasts the angelus bells at noon and 6:00 pm every day on the national radio station RTÉ Radio 1 and at 6:00 pm on the national television station RTÉ One. This consists of a bell ringing for the duration of one minute and is accompanied by images of people pausing in contemplation (filmed in North Kildare) for the television version. The Foggy Dew, an Irish rebel ballad commemorating the Easter Rising, contains the line "the Angelus bell o'er the Liffey swell rang out through the foggy dew".

With regard to the manner of ringing the Angelus, it seems sufficient to note that the triple stroke repeated three times with a pause between seems to have been adopted from the very beginning.

Latin text

V. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ.
R. Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostræ. Amen.

V. Ecce Ancilla Domini.
R. Fiat mihi secundum Verbum tuum.

Ave Maria...

V. Et Verbum caro factum est.
R. Et habitavit in nobis.

Ave Maria...

V. Ora pro nobis, Sancta Dei Genetrix.
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

Oremus: Gratiam tuam quæsumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde; ut qui, angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui Incarnationem cognovimus, per passionem eius et crucem, ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur.
Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

English text

V. The angel of the Lord announced unto Mary.
R. And she conceived by 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.

V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to your 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: We beseech you, O Lord, pour your grace into our hearts, that as we have known the incarnation of your Son Jesus Christ by the message of an angel, so by his cross and passion we may be brought to the glory of his resurrection; through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Alternative English text

Annunciation by Botticelli, 1490, one of the many works of Marian art depicting the Angel and the Virgin Mary

V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.[11]

R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary...

V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.

R. Be it done unto 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.

or

Let us pray:

Lord, fill our hearts with Your love, and as You revealed to us by an angel, the coming of Your Son as man. So lead us through His suffering and death to the glory of His resurrection, for He lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(This text is slightly different. A shorter version consists of only the three verses and responses, followed by only one Hail Mary).

Basic English Text

V. The Angel of the Lord brought news to Mary,
R. And she conceived by the Holy Spirit.

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

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

V. Behold the servant of the Lord;
R. Let it be to me according to your word.

V. Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
R. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

V. And the Word was made human,
R. And lived among us.

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

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

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

We pray you, Lord, pour your grace into our hearts that as we have known through the message of an angel, that your Son, Jesus Christ, became human, so by his cross + and suffering we may be brought to the glory of his rising again, through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

May God’s help be with us always, and may the souls of those who + died in faith, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

See also

Sources

  • H Schauerle, Angelus Domini, in Lexikon der Marienkunde, Regensburg, 1967 pp 217–221

References

Quotes

  1. ^ Prayer: a history by Philip Zaleski, 2005 ISBN 0618152881 page 128
  2. ^ EWTN [1]
  3. ^ Angelus, Catholic Encyclopedia
  4. ^ a b c Schauerle 218
  5. ^ a b c Schauerle 220
  6. ^ Prayer: a history by Philip Zaleski, 2005 ISBN 0618152881 page 128
  7. ^ see Dum Maerenti Animo,
  8. ^ a b Schauerle 221
  9. ^ Pope Paul VI's Apostolic Letter Marialis Cultus http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_p-vi_exh_19740202_marialis-cultus_en.html
  10. ^ http://www.rte.ie/about/pressreleases/2009/0921/theangelus210909.html
  11. ^ The Teaching of Christ: A Catholic Catechism for Adults by Donald W. Wuerl, 2004 ISBN 1592760945 page 520

External links


1911 encyclopedia

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also angelus

English

Proper noun

Singular
Angelus

Plural
-

Angelus

  1. A male given name, a rare variant of Angelo.







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