Meaning: "Don't worry, be happy," or more expansively, "May God give you not just calm, but may the Almighty grant you happy and pleasant relief from your fears."
Assignment: Try greeting someone, "God rest ye merry!"
Diction: Two out of three Americans do not distinguish Mary, marry, and merry in speaking. Try it. "Mary, pledged to marry Joseph, could rest merry." That pedantic non-comformist show-off will use the same respective vowel sounds as in, "ask", "met", and "air".
“Mary was shocked by the angel's message. She wondered what his words meant. The angel said to her,
‘Don't be afraid, Mary! God has been gracious to you. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. The Lord God will make him a king, as his ancestor David was. He will be the king of the descendants of Jacob forever. His kingdom will never end!’
‘I am the Lord's servant,’ said Mary.
‘May it happen to me as you have said.’”
“When the shepherds had seen him,
they spread the word
concerning what had been told them about this child,
and all who heard it were amazed
at what the shepherds said to them.
But Mary treasured up all these things
and pondered them in her heart.”