As the beginning of the Incarnation of the Son of God, the Annunciation to the Mother of God belongs to the Christian circle of images from the very beginning; it opens the cycle of images with the life of Jesus. Gabriel, the messenger of God, announces the child who is to be born as Emmanuel (“God with us”): He shall be great, and Son of the Highest he shall be called, and the Lord God shall give him the throne of David his father, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob to the ages; and of his reign there shall be no end. The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee, therefore also the holy-begotten thing shall be called Son of God.
On the icons of the Annunciation, a silent dialogue of the eyes and hands takes place between the angel and the Mother of God. She can raise her hand and reach out to Gabriel and thus express restraint and distance; but she can also put her hand on her chest and thereby express approval and devotion; the scene can be animated when the angel walks towards her, who is seated on a royal throne. The motif of the Annunciation at the fountain, also known as the pre-announcement, is taken from the Proto-Gospel of James, as well as when the angel enters the room in which the Mother of God is weaving the curtain for the temple.
The archangel holds a lily, the symbol of virginity. Feast day: March 25.