• 6:00 pmSanctuary

    Luke 1.26-38 is known in Christendom as "The Annunciation".  A prominent elderly Jewess named Elizabeth, who had been barren her whole life, was 6 months along when an angel visited her young cousin Mary.  The angel announced, "You will conceive and give birth to a son!"  Mary was a little upset by this.  "Wait!  What?" she protested.  "I'm still a virgin!"  (See Luke 1.34.)  There was no doubt strange things were happening!

    The angel assured her that all was well.  She wouldn't lose her virginity.  Yet she would give birth to a baby boy who would be called the Son of God.  These words terrified Mary, but she gulped and maintained her composure (see Luke 1.38).

    Mary said to the angel:
    Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord;
    Let it be done to me, according to your word.

    Dixit Maria ad angelum:
    Ecce ancilla Domini,
    fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.

    Composer Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612) put these remarkable words of Mary to music centuries ago.  And the Choir will sing them Christmas Eve in the Sanctuary.