Last night in the Bigorski monastery an all-night Vigil was performed in honour of the Holy Annunciation. Around 250 faithful from
The great duke of immaterial angels, in the city of Nazareth did descend, to proclaim the King of the ages and the Lord to You, Most Pure, crying out ‘Rejoice, blessed Mary, - unreachable and ineffable miracle: renewal of people!’
The archangel proclaimed to the Virgin the first Divine intervention in the line of penetrating events of condescension that would comprise what we call today Divine Dispensation and Plan for man’s salvation. Onwards, according to the good tidings, the power of the Holy Spirit overshadowed the womb of the God-seeker Mary, who had known not of a man, previously devoted to virgin life with a husband chosen to protect Her perfect spiritual struggle under the guise of a marriage. By this the womb of the God-chosen received within it the incarnation of the Only-begotten Son of God, so that He becomes the Son of Man, and in a body like ours, with the properties of His Divine nature, in our human nature to do away with the consequences of the fall into sin of our first-created Forefathers, in order to bring it to deification.
Today Gabriel proclaims to the graceful One: ‘Rejoice unwedded Mother Who knows not of a man, do not admire my heavenly splendour, do not be afraid, I am an archangel; once the serpent deceived Eve, now I am proclaiming to You the joy that You will remain a virgin and will give birth to the Lord, Most Pure.’ (stichera from the Lity)
For the life of the Most Pure Virgin this event meant an ineffable change, and for the history of mankind – a sovereign revolution in the spiritual and eschatological dimensions of existence, restoration of the broken union with God with a new and inalienable opportunity for perfection.
The All-Pure Virgin lived completely different from Her ideas of fervent devoutness: instead of living in solitude and undisturbed exile, She lived as a mother and wife, still with the quality of an incomparable bearer of God’s word for the road full of sufferings in this earthly life that finally brought Her to the perfect grace of a Heavenly Queen.
Mankind by this got the chance to give ‘gods by grace’. After the accomplishment of Christ’s Dispensation of salvation, the people who desire fervently to follow the teaching of the Son of Mary and in accordance with this unshameful doctrine with God’s grace to transform themselves purifying their hearts from passions, will experience deification of their person, to the extent of Christ’s gift. And, also entry into the heavenly Kingdom already here on earth, having the Most Pure Sovereign Lady the Theotokos and Evervirgin Mary as a permanent Intercessor, to Whom joyously in awe we cry out:
“Our brave victorious Commander, we, Your servants delivered from evil, are singing hymns of praise to You, Theotokos, and You Who has invincible strength, free us from every affliction, so we can cry out to You ‘Rejoice Bride Unwedded!’”
The established tradition of the Annunciation Vigil in the Bigorski monastery follows the piety of the Miyak women from these parts, especially from Galičnik, who come to the monastery every year on the eve of the feast. This custom together with the historical findings which reveal that in Bigorski at one time there was a chapel the altar of which was dedicated to Holy Annunciation, inspired the building in of a new such chapel in the recently reconstructed quarters.
The devout God-seekers who arrived to venerate the Most Holy Virgin with the monastic brotherhood in Bigorski began Vigil with the Small Compline, and finished the course of the festive worship at , in order to have some rest before the Divine Liturgy in honour of the great feast, which started after some two hours of rest. This time, at the Vigil, the magnificence of the choir was enriched with the voice of the protopsaltist Georgiy Sekuloski. In the spirit of the Hagiorite tradition on such feasts, the guests and monastics in the end gathered at the common table, to return afterwards in the cathedral for a thanksgiving prayer.