(Mary’s house. Before they go to bed, Mary brushes Anna’s hair.)
ANNA: You’ll live in Joseph’s house when you’re married, won’t you?
MARY: Yes, Anna. He’s building it right now, and when he’s finished, we’ll go live there.
ANNA: Is that when we have the big wedding party and he comes and gets you?
ANNA: And will you put on a beautiful dress like Hannah did when she was married?
MARY: Of course.
ANNA: And then what?
MARY: Well, people in the neighborhood will come out carrying their lamps and they will join the procession—
ANNA: Oh yes! And they’ll surround you with their lights and carry you off in the chair like a queen. And you’ll be married under the canopy, and live with Joseph forever.
MARY: Yes! That’s the way it’s done! I can hardly believe it’s me.
ANNA: Mary, do you have to go?
MARY: Don’t worry, Anna. This is how Mother and Father began, and look at them now. They say Joseph keeps his covenants, just like Father, and that will make him a good husband.
ANNA: I don’t understand.
MARY: You will someday.
ANNA: Someday when I’m older, like you?
MARY (suddenly emotional): Oh, Anna.
ANNA: What’s wrong, Mary?
MARY: I don’t feel very old. I don’t feel any older than you are. I don’t even know if I’m ready. Come now, run along.
(Anna runs off. Mary kneels and prays. The angel Gabriel enters behind her. The light grows around them. Mary becomes aware of his presence and turns, frightened.)
GABRIEL: Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women... Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
[Music cue: “Jesus, Once of Humble Birth” underscore , ]
GABRIEL (cont’d): And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.9
MARY: How can this be? I am not yet married.10
GABRIEL: Thou shalt be carried away in the spirit.11 And the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore that holy child which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.12
MARY: Elisabeth . . .
GABRIEL: For with God nothing shall be impossible.13
MARY: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.14
[Music cue: Segue into “Look on Me This Day” , ]
Who am I, that this day
He should come to me?
Dressed in white, filled with light,
What wonder did I see!
And he spoke words divine,
Words I cannot say.
So I’ll praise His name, I will praise His name,
I will praise His holy name,
Praise His name from day to day.
(While underscore continues, the scene is transformed into a street in Jerusalem. Ezra runs onto stage and bumps into Mary.)
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