'God dwells among men, God, to whom no space can set limits, is borne in the womb of a virgin. From hence human nature derives the prelude of its joy, and obtains the first beginnings of its union with the Godhead. From hence our first creation is renovated, and puts off its old apparel. "Therefore let the heavens above rejoice, and the clouds rain down justice" (Isa. xlv. 8). "Let the mountains distil sweetness, and the hills joy" (Joel iii. 18). For the Lord hath had mercy on His people. The "mystery that was concealed for ages is now made manifest" (Eph. iii. 9), and all things are taken up again, and restored in Christ as the Head (Eph. i. 10). This is the counsel of God at which the angels rejoice, and men share their joy; the whole world is renewed, and is again restored to itself. What mind, what tongue can worthily conceive of these things? Words cannot utter them, and the ear cannot comprehend them. With reason, therefore, do we hold our joyous festive solemnity, and meet together to celebrate with rejoicing the wonderful mercy shown to the whole human race.'

St. Andrew of Jerusalem, 'Sermon on the Annunciation'