The Feast of the Annunciation, which is celebrated on March 25 every year, goes by many names. It is known as the Solemnity of the Annunciation, the Feast of the Incarnation, Conceptio Christi, or Lady Day. It is a Christian holiday commemorating the visit of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, where he announced that she would give birth to Jesus Christ.
The Feast of the Annunciation cuts across many factions of Christianity, but it is specially celebrated in Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran churches. The holiday is counted as one of the eight great feasts of God in Orthodox Christianity, and it is a major Marian feast.
History of Feast of the Annunciation
The Feast of the Annunciation was celebrated as far back as the 4th or 5th century, but the first certain mention of the feast was in the “Canons of the Councils of Toledo” and Constantinople. In 656 A.C., the Feast of the Annunciation was said to have been celebrated throughout the church in Toledo.
The Feast of the Annunciation is celebrated on March 25 every year in the Roman Catholic Church, except when the day falls during the Easter Triduum – Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday – in which case the feast is transferred to the most suitable day during Easterside. However, the date never changes in Eastern Orthodoxy and Eastern Catholicism, even if it falls during Easter. When Easter and the Feast of the Annunciation fall on the same day, it is called Kyriopascha.
The Annunciation is narrated in the Bible in the Book of Luke Chapter 1, from verses 26 to 38. According to the Bible, the angel Gabriel was sent to meet Mary, a virgin in Nazareth, Galilee. Mary was betrothed at the time to a man named Joseph.
Angel Gabriel hailed Mary and told her not to fear because she had found grace with God. He told her she would give birth to the Son of God. When she replied that she was a virgin, he reassured her that the Holy Ghost would come upon her. He also informed her that her barren cousin, Elizabeth, would conceive a son as well, even in her old age. Mary responded, “be it done to me according to thy word.” Joseph also received an annunciation later, as detailed in Matthew 1:18.
The Feast of the Annunciation celebrates God’s entrance into the human world through Jesus and Mary’s willingness to accept God’s command.
Feast of the Annunciation timeline
The Priscilla Catacombs in Rome contain the oldest known Marian paintings, including a depiction of the Annunciation.
The Council of Constantinople in Trullo forbids the celebrations of any festivals during Lent except the Feast of the Annunciation and the Lord’s Day (Sunday).
The Synod of Worcester in England declares that the Feast of the Annunciation should be a day of rest and no servile work should be done on it.
This year, March 25 falls within the Holy Week of Easter, so it is moved to the Monday after the Octave of Easter.
Feast of the Annunciation FAQs
What is the most popular Marian prayer that came from the Annunciation?
The Hail Mary is probably one of the most popular prayers in the Catholic church. It is based on two biblical episodes, the first being the Annunciation of Jesus’ birth to Mary, and the second being the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s mother.
What are paintings of Mary called?
A representation of Mary, whether with baby Jesus or alone, is called a Madonna. If the painting has baby Jesus in it, it is called a Madonna and Child.
What is the difference between solemnity and a feast day?
Feast days and solemnities are important celebrations, especially in Catholic churches. However, while a solemnity is of the greatest importance, a feast day is only of secondary importance in the liturgical calendar. Most solemnities also have their own Vigil Mass that begins the prior evening, which feasts do not have, except for the feasts of the Lord.
How to Celebrate Feast of the Annunciation
The color white is worn at church services during the Feast of the Annunciation. The color is used because it represents purity, virtue, and holiness, traits that the Virgin Mary embodied. You can dig out your favorite white outfit and join in the celebrations.
Say a Hail Mary
The Hail Mary is one of the prayers that were created from the Annunciation. The Hail Mary is a prayer to Saint Mary to act as an intercessor with her Son, Jesus Christ. If you’re Catholic, you can celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation by reciting the Hail Mary.
Help a pregnant woman
Pregnancy can be a very trying period for many women. In honor of Saint Mary, you can find a way to help or take care of a pregnant person around you.
5 Facts About Saint Mary And The Annunciation
It happened in a house in Italy
Interestingly, the house where Mary grew up and where she received the annunciation is currently in Loreto, Italy
The name ‘Jesus’ was given to Mary’s promised son following Angel Gabriel’s instructions to Mary.
The Catholic Church claims that Mary remained a virgin throughout her life despite being married to Joseph.
The Day of Jesus’ death
The early church chose March 25 as the day for the Feast of the Annunciation because they believed that people died on the same day they were conceived, and they believed that was the day Jesus died.
Leonardo Da Vinci painted it
Da Vinci was one of many artists to depict the story of the annunciation, which he did in his detailed painting “The Annunciation.”
Why We Love Feast of the Annunciation
It is a day of hope
For many Christians, the Feast of the Annunciation represents the coming of hope to the world. The birth of Jesus Christ was a symbol of the restoration of the broken relationship between God and humans.
The Feast of the Annunciation is a holy day. The pregnancy of the Virgin Mary is one of the greatest miracles to happen in Christian history. The Feast of the Annunciation celebrates divinity and otherworldliness.
It brings people together
On the Feast of the Annunciation, millions of people around the world forget any differences and come together to celebrate the announcement of the coming of Jesus Christ. It is beautiful to imagine millions of people reciting the Hail Mary together on this special day.
Feast of the Annunciation dates