Q: Why doesn't the Angelus prayer correspond to chronological biblical texts?

A: The three verses of the Angelus do not follow a logical and chronological construction but a thematic-theological one based on the triad of Incarnation, Passion and Resurrection. These three aspects of Christ's life and mission are explicitly mentioned in the concluding prayer of the Angelus. They are not as clearly spelled out in the three double verses.

[Millet's painting of The Angelus] Nonetheless, the first one (based on Lk 1, 26-28) highlights the fact of the incarnation. The second verse (Lk 1, 38) anticipates the whole of Christ's destiny, namely his passion, to which Mary consents and in which she will participate. In the third verse, taken from John's Prologue (1.14), past history is intended. Jesus lived among us but is no longer, for he is risen from the dead and reunited with the Father. He thus becomes a sign of hope and promise for us. There is no chronological logic in the use and arrangement of these scripture texts. They allude at theological realities and organize them thematically abstracting thereby from literal meaning and chronology.


Further information on the Angelus:
Angelus Prayer
Angelus Article


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