The Angelus is a devotion in memory of the Incarnation. Originally prayed in Latin, it has its name from the opening words, “Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ.” It consists of three texts describing the mystery, recited as versicle and response alternately with the salutation “Hail, Mary!”
This devotion is recited three times daily, about 6am, noon and 6pm. At these hours a bell known as the Angelus bell is rung. This is still rung in some English country churches, and has often been mistaken for and alleged to be a survival of the curfew bell.
Click here to hear an example of the Angelus Bell, as well as a video from Irish radio RTE1.
The institution of the Angelus is by some ascribed to Pope Urban II, by some to Pope John XXII. The triple recitation is ascribed to Louis XI of France, who in 1472 ordered it to be said thrice daily. Sunday High Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle, concluding usually at about 12 noon, is concluded with the praying of the Angelus.
The Angel of the Lord brought tidings unto Mary.
And she conceived by the Holy Ghost
Hail, Mary, full of grace
the Lord is with thee:
blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the Fruit of thy Womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
Behold the handmaid of the Lord!
Be it unto me according to thy word!
Hail, Mary . . .
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…
Hail, Mary . . .
Pray for us O Holy Mother of God,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.
We beseech thee, O LORD,
pour Thy grace into our hearts;
that as we have known the
Incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ,
the message of an Angel,
so by His + Cross and Passion
we may be brought unto the
glory of His Resurrection,
through the same Christ, our Lord
A M E N.