The Angelus

We recite the Angelus from the Sunday after Trinity Sunday until Easter Day. After the Recessional Hymn ends, the clergy and servers return, go to the Lady Chapel, and we recite the Angelus.

The name, Angelus, (like the traditional names of most Roman Catholic prayers) comes from its first word(s) in Latin—in this case, Angelus domini nuntiavit Mariæ… (The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary…). This devotion began in monastic communities and then spread to the laity among whom it became very popular; it remains much beloved. The final form, reached by the second half of the sixteenth century, consists of three repetitions of the Hail Mary, each introduced by two short phrases from Scripture (called the Versicle and Response) on the Annunciation and Incarnation, followed by a Collect. It is traditionally said at six in the morning; at noon; and at six in the evening. The Angelus has long been associated with the ringing of a bell in a particular way: this is (almost always) as three groups of three strokes each, followed by nine strokes.