The Angelus by Jean-Francois Millet (1859) is probably one of the most famous of his works. It is simply beautiful in it's representation of the faithful pausing for prayer during their work in the field. This beautiful devotion in honor of the Incarnation of Our Lord and veneration of his Blessed Mother as a form of commemorating the Annuciation is recited at morning, noon, and evening at the sound of a bell rung in many churches, religious houses and institutions. From early times the ringing of the bells consisted of nine strokes in groups of three with a pause between. However, nowadays, this is followed by a series of nine even strokes.
In so many countries the Angelus was, and is, particularly associated with peace arising in the tradition that the Annunciation took place in the peace of eveningtide.
"Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae" (The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary)
We have chosen a few of Millet's works for our April Artist study.
Also we are incorporating the Angelus prayer into our daily noon prayer time. If we are away from table time, then I will ring a little bell to commemorate the tolling in so many countries around the world for the call to prayer.
Violet and Matthias will copy this beautiful verse for their copywork notebooks:
I hear the Angelus ring out…Each
Morning, noon and night…And
Everything of life becomes…More beau-
tiful and bright…The Angel of the Lord
is there…And Mary bows her head
…In humble recognition of…The
message that is said…Each day I listen
to her words…And cherish every one
…”Behold the handmaid of the Lord
…And may Your will be done”…
And so the miracle was wrought…And
there was born a Child…While king
and shepherd knelt in awe…And holy
Angels smiled…I hear the Angelus ring
out…And softly fade away…And
in my heart I know The Lord…Has
blest another day.
(Poem courtesy of A Wreath of Flowers: Marian Activities for Children)