Annunciation of Theotokos Icon (1)
Orthodox Icon of the Annunciation (1) . Copy of an icon of 14th cent. Ohrid.
Note: the sizes are not exact.
Commemorated March 25.
This icon presents the joy about the announcement of the coming of Christ. It depicts the Archangel Gabriel (left) and the Virgin Mary (right). The Archangel has his feet spread apart showing his joy and urgency of the good news he is bringing. In his left hand is a staff to symbolize that he is a messenger. His right hand is extended in blessing toward Mary as he delivers the message and announces the blessing being bestowed upon her by God. On the right side of the icon the Virgin Mary sits on an elevated seat, indicating that as the Mother of God she is greater in honor than the cherubim, and beyond compare more glorious than the seraphim, who without corruption gave birth to God the Word.
In her left hand she holds a spindle of scarlet yarn which depicts the task she was assigned of preparing the purple and scarlet material to be used in making the veil for the Temple in Jerusalem. Her right hand is raised in a gesture of acceptance in response to Gabriel's message. Her posture expresses her willing cooperation with God's plan of salvation. Mary's clothing also have the three stars commonly used to show her ever-virginity: before, during, and after the birth of Christ.
At the top of the icon the segment of a circle represents the divine realm, from which three rays emerge. This demonstrates the action of the Holy Spirit coming upon her. This icon marks the crowning of our salvation and the revelation of the mystery before all ages. For the Son of God becomes the son of the Virgin, and Gabriel proclaims to the ever-virgin Mary:
"Hail, O full of grace, the Lord is with you. Today is the beginning of our salvation, The revelation of the eternal mystery! The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace. Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos: Rejoice, O Full of Grace, The Lord is with You! "Troparion for the Fest.
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