Praying with Sacred Scripture is always a good idea. Praying Sacred Scripture with the entire Church in the Divine Office is even better. Today is the Solemnity of the Annunciation. It is days like this that I like to explain (to anyone who will listen!) why we do what we do! Today is a Solemnity (the state or quality of being serious and dignified), and is therefore a day of celebration! In the Office of Readings the Te deum is added, and in Morning Prayer we pray the hymn of thanksgiving and praise found in the book of Daniel, Dan 3:51-90. I’d like to add that this prayer of thanksgiving and praise was offered to God through extremely grave circumstances that could be compared to our own today. (You will understand if you read the entire chapter).
We all know of other important Solemnities: Christmas and Easter. We celebrate the Incarnation (the Word made flesh, cf. Jn 1:14), on Christmas.
But is that the only celebration of the Incarnation? No, because we as Christians know the truth of our beginnings. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” (Jer 1:5). The Lord is speaking to Jeremiah, but He is speaking to all of us. We exist as human persons because we were a thought of our heavenly Father first. We were formed into flesh by His loving will, and he placed His life-giving spirit within us.
Today we celebrate the Word becoming incarnate in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.”
—Jn 1:1-5; 14
You see, Sacred Scripture tells the truth about God, us, and how we are made for relationship with Him. And today we celebrate the day the Lord became God with us, Emmanuel. As part of this celebration, I share a prayer video of the Te deum, which means “an expression of thanksgiving or exultation.” This hymn is sung within the Office of Readings, as a part of the prayer of the entire Church, on Solemnities and Sundays.
“Lord, show us your love and mercy, for we place our trust in You. In You, Lord, is our hope: And we shall never hope in vain.” (Te deum)