1. Students should be able to identify the characters in the icon and tell the story.
  2. Students should know the date of the feast, March 25
  3. Students should know that Mary is the Theotokos and what that means.


Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.


  1. Review the icon: See how much the students already know.  There are only two participants, Mary and the Archangel Gabriel.  Mary carries a spool of yarn, Why?  Because just as sheep give their wool to clothe humanity, Mary gave her body to clothe the eternal Son of God in a garment of humanity.  What’s on the scroll in the center?  Whose prophecy does it depict? (Isaiah)


  1. Scripture readings:

Gospel: Luke 1: 24-38 (also read 6-55)

Epistle: Hebrews 9:1-7

Old Testament: Genesis 28:11-17, Ezekiel 43:27 and 44:14, Proverbs 9:1-11


  1. Songs of the feast:

Troparion: Today is the beginning of our salvation, and the manifestation of the mystery from the ages; for the Son of God becometh the son of the Virgin, and Gabriel proclaimeth grace.  Wherefore, do we shout with him to the Theotokos, Hail, O full of grace, the Lord is with Thee.

Kontakion: Verily, I, thy city, O Theotokos, inscribe to thee the banners of conquest, O defending soldier, and offer thee thanks as a deliverer from tribulations.  And since thine is the unconquerable might, deliver me from sundry oppressions, that I may cry unto thee, Rejoice, O groomless bride.

Prosomia of vespers: Then the bodiless Angel replied: when God so wishes the order of nature is overcome, and what is beyond man comes to pass, believe that my sayings are true, O All-Holy Lady, utterly without spot.  And she cried aloud: Let it be to me according to your word, and I shall bear Him that is without flesh, Who shall borrow flesh from me, that through this mingling He may lead man up to His ancient glory.

Oikos of matins:    Hail, restoration of fallen Adam:

                              Hail, consolation of Eve…

                              Hail, you through whom creation is renewed;

                              Hail, for through you the Creator becomes a newborn child.

                              Hail, you Bride unwedded.


  1. Discussion questions:

What is a mother?  Role? Why did Jesus, God Himself, need a mother? (One cannot be born without one!) Who is the Mother of God?  What do we call her?  What does “Theotokos” mean? 

What word does “annunciation” come from? (“announce”) What is announced?  Who does the announcing? From Whom does the message come? Where is the announcement made? Is Mary free to make a choice to accept or not accept what God wishes from her? Would you have accepted and why or why not?

What is the Incarnation? (God taking flesh) In what way was it not only the work of the power of God, but also the work and will and faith of the virgin Mary? This is called the “Fiat” – in Latin “so be it” – the union between the wills of the 3 persons of the Trinity (How was each involved?) and with humanity through the agreement of Mary. Why is Annunciation exactly 9 months before Christmas? (Discuss the concept of pregnancy and how it occurs with older students; younger students may want to discuss their own mothers’ pregnancies with a younger sibling, etc.) With older students, a careful discussion of virginity would be appropriate, not however descending into a sex-education class! What is the point of the reading from Ezekiel – that only God entered the tabernacle, which remained closed? (as Mary becomes the earthly Tabernacle of God)

What is the relationship between Mary and Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist?  How long had Elizabeth been pregnant when the Annunciation occurred? Compare and contrast the responses of Mary and of Zachariah when each heard from the angel. What is the Magnificat? (Luke 1:46-55) What are the circumstances where Mary sings this great song of praise and thanksgiving? (She’s visiting Elizabeth) What is the Rosary, spoken by Roman Catholics the world over and where does it come from? (Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus)

What does the burning bush (reading from Exodus) have to do with the Annunciation? (the bush was filled with God and not consumed, so was Mary) How is Mary the restoration of Adam and the consolation of Eve? (Genesis reading)


  1. Make a felt banner or icon as before; see overview.


            7.   Close with prayer.