This prayer is a wonderful way to bring our hearts and minds to the Lord during the day. It has long been traditional to pray this prayer at 6am, 12pm, and 6pm: literally at morning noon and night! It has had the effect of sanctifying our day as we begin it (with the daybreak), during the course of the day (by pausing to pray at midday), and by ending our day in thanksgiving, at 6pm, which would equate to sundown. It is a prayer which focuses on the mystery of the Incarnation of the Lord and reaches its climax with the breathtaking proclamation of St. John, "The WORD became flesh and dwelt among us. As St. John tells us elsewhere, "God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life."
When we pray this prayer, we pray that the implications of the Incarnation, of Jesus becoming one with us to save us, may be fully realized in our lives. In the Angelus, Our Lady is held up to us as a model, for her prompt and wholehearted response to the Lord. "Be it done unto me according to your word". We request her prayers to help us to respond as she did. Then we pray that the Lord would pour forth His grace into our hearts, so that by the power of His passion, we may be brought to the glory of His resurrection. We conclude by glorifying the Trinity three times in the "Glory be to the Father".
V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit
The "Hail Mary" Prayer
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to thy word. ("Hail Mary")
V. And the Word was made flesh
R. And dwelt among us. ("Hail Mary")
V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ
Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into ourhearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was madeknown by the message of an angel, may by His passion and cross bebrought to the glory of His resurrection, through the same Christ OurLord. Amen. May the divine assistance remain always with us and maythe souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. "Glory be to the Father" (3 times)