On Wednesday the 6th and Thursday the 7th of April, the great feast of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Theotokos, His Grace, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Luke of Syracuse, officiated the divine service for the feast in Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, co-served by monastery clergy.
The feast of the Annunciation and the rubrics on how to serve it are very interesting, since the feast can fall on any number of days during Great Lent and Bright Week, including, howbeit very rarely, on Pascha itself.
The Typicon of the Church is a great treasure for Orthodox Christians. Nothing is left to chance, and there is great meaning in the services, on how they are put together. Suddenly, as it were, in the midst of the sorrowful, penitential services of Lent, one has the joy of a great feast. Nevertheless, we are not allowed to forget that it is still Great Lent. The same applies for when Annunciation occurs during Bright Week. The joy of the Incarnation is united to the joy of the Lord’s Resurrection.
In the Russian tradition, blue vestments are worn on feasts of the Mother of God. Even though there is a forefeast of one day as well as an afterfeast, it is swallowed up in the black of Great Lent, thus showing, in a way, the humility of the Most Holy Virgin before her Son.
This year, since Annunciation fell on a weekday, Vespers for the feast were part of Presanctified Liturgy on Wednesday. All-Night Vigil on Wednesday evening consisted of Great Compline and Matins, which, since it was on a weekday, had three kathismae, the doxology was read, and the Prayer of St. Ephraim was read at the end. The Hours were served separately on Thursday morning, since they all had kathismae and the Prayer of St. Ephraim. Divine Liturgy was a vesperal liturgy, but with the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, not the usual, more Lenten liturgy of St. Basil.