The Angelus is a traditional Catholic prayer that is over 700 years old. The Angelus draws us to reflect on the incarnation, starting with the annunciation. The Angelus is traditionally prayed each day at 6am, 12pm and 6pm.
During this time of uncertainty when many of us are spending our days isolated at home, the Angelus is a devotion that we can rediscover to unite ourselves in prayer and recall that God became man and came into the world to free us from sin and death.
Pope Paul VI wrote about the Angelus in his Apostolic Exhortation, Marialis Cultus;
What we have to say about the Angelus is meant to be only a simple but earnest exhortation to continue its traditional recitation wherever and whenever possible. The Angelus does not need to be revised, because of its simple structure, its biblical character, its historical origin which links it to the prayer for peace and safety, and its quasi-liturgical rhythm which sanctifies different moments during the day, and because it reminds us of the Paschal Mystery, in which recalling the Incarnation of the Son of God we pray that we may be led “through his passion and cross to the glory of his resurrection.” These factors ensure that the Angelus despite the passing of centuries retains an unaltered value and an intact freshness. It is true that certain customs traditionally linked with the recitation of the Angelus have disappeared or can continue only with difficulty in modern life. But these are marginal elements. The value of contemplation on the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word, of the greeting to the Virgin, and of recourse to her merciful intercession remains unchanged. And despite the changed conditions of the times, for the majority of people there remain unaltered the characteristic periods of the day-morning, noon and evening-which mark the periods of their activity and constitute an invitation to pause in prayer.
Below are the words of the prayer for your own devotion, as well as an image of the ‘The Angelus’ painting by Millet which Bishop Michael referred to when we first prayed the Angelus during one of our livestreams. The painting depicts two peasants pausing their work to pray the Angelus.