In this sermon Father Nicholas Karipoff sheds light on the meaning of the joyous feast of the Annunciation. It is full of hope and anticipation, he explains, because it is the beginning of the coming Salvation.
The composition of the Annunciation is one of the most widely depicted in Christian art and the icon is always on the Royal Doors which lead to the altar in an Orthodox Church. In it you will see the archangel Gabriel facing the young ascetic, the Virgin Mary, who has reached the ultimate level of God-pleasing humility and who is to give the Lord Jesus Christ His humanity.
Saint Gregory of Palamas reasoned that it was only through a virgin birth that the Saviour, the New Man could be conceived.
"She is the place wherein was accomplished the co-uniting of natures, wherein was affirmed the counsel of salvific reconciliation."
Saint Proclus of Constantinople on the Holy Mother of God.
The Royal Doors for the church of St Helena in Saint Petersburg showing the Annunciation.