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The Angelus is recited at three particular times during the day; 6 am, 12 noon, and 6 pm. Traditionally it is recited kneeling while a bell is rung. During the Easter Season, the Angelus is replaced by the Regina Coeli (Queen of Heaven), a practice first instituted in 1743. The Angelus has roots in the eleventh century. Pope Gregory IX (d. 1241) decreed that a bell should be rung each evening to remind the faithful to pray for the Crusades. The Franciscans adopted the custom of saying three Hail Marys when they heard the evening bell, and in 1269 St. Bonaventure recommended the three Hail Marys for all the faithful. The morning recitation came from a monastic tradition of saying three Hail Marys in response to a morning bell. The noon recitation came from the Friday noontime Passion remembrance. By the sixteenth century the Angelus was standardized in its present form.
Pope Paul VI wrote about the Angelus in Marialis Cultis #41: "What we have to say about the Angelus is meant to be only a simple but earnest exhortation to continue its traditional recitation wherever and whenever possible. The Angelus does not need to be revised, because of its simple structure, its biblical character, its historical origin which links it to the prayer for peace and safety, and its quasi-liturgical rhythm which sanctifies different moments during the day, and because it reminds us of the Paschal Mystery, in which recalling the Incarnation of the Son of God we pray that we may be led through his passion and cross to the glory of his resurrection. These factors ensure that the Angelus despite the passing of centuries retains an unaltered value and an intact freshness."
A partial indulgence is granted to those who devoutly recite the Angelus according to the seasons of the Church.
V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived by the Holy Spirit. Hail Mary, etc.
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to thy word. Hail Mary, etc.
V. And the Word was made Flesh.
R. And dwelt among us. Hail Mary, etc.
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 our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.