Celebrating the Annunciation and Incarnation
Annunciation, Restoring the Liturgy.
The Center Point of Time
A thousand years from now historians will point back to this icon above as the icon that moved the liturgy forward into a deeper appreciation and expression of the Solemnity of the Annunciation and the Incarnation.
The Past is the Key to our Future
The Annunciation used to be a holy day of obligation and was celebrated by everyone in the universal Church. It is worth exploring the possibility of restoring to active participation the laity's role in this rich feast. The goal of this article is to explore some of the profound mysteries of this event and how it offers to us the answers to many of the challenges presented to us in the world today. We will also examine the opportunity we have to help Catholics better appreciate this most important solemnity.
By its own right it deserves special attention because it is one of the most important feasts of the calendar year. For example, it is more important than Christmas because strictly speaking Christ could have become incarnated as a grown man and still preached, died and rose from the dead. Being a baby and being born is not as intrinsically important as being incarnated.
The Incarnation not only implies Christmas, but it also implies the possibility of his death. And it also implies the resurrection because how could God Almighty lose in a battle with Satan. Read more about this Solemnity's Importance.
It would also behoove us to examines the feasibility of moving this Solemnity to a Sunday celebration during Lent.
See Objections Page
It fits perfectly into the season of Lent and it would enhance our observance of Lent by reflecting on the two most perfect examples who sacrificed worldly pleasures to do the will of our heavenly Father. And Jesus and Mary give us the perfect reason for their choice which was out of pure love for the Father.
Pope John Paul II called for a new evangelization for the third millennium. He invited the whole Church to focus on the 2000th anniversary of the coming of the Messiah. Surely, Karol Wojtyła (John Paul II), is in heaven praying for us to grow in our appreciation of that historic event.
In obedience to John Paul II’s call for a renewed evangelization Monsignor Anthony LaFemina painted the above Icon. (He also painted one on the Eucharist, which was a theme of the year 2000.)
We are in a
SpringTime of a new evangelization. And the goal of this web page
is to offer suggestions on how we can
The mysteries of the Annunciation and Incarnation are like dynamite waiting for us to tap into their awesome power. They offer us the opportunity to grow much more deeply in love with God by meditating on them because they are like spiritual goldmines.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son …”
Questions to Consider:
1. How important is the Annunciation/Incarnation and what are the spiritual fruits that can be drawn from it ?
2. What would be the benefits of moving the celebration of the Solemnity of the Annunciation to a Sunday observance, whereas now it is only celebrated on a weekday ?
3. And what are the obstacles and objections to the proposal of moving this Solemnity to a Sunday - and can they be overcome ?
Thanks to Rev. Fr. René Butler, M.S., for his help in research.
Original Feb 2007
Pope John Paul II invited us to enter a new Spring-Time of evangelization which focuses on the coming of the Messiah.
The Incarnation is the turning point in all of human history. (BC to AD) It is the event over which Satan rebelled against God and was cast into the eternal fire.
Benefits of Increasing our Emphasis on the Annunciation/Incarnation:
The Annunciation is the perfect opportunity to promote the most fundamental truth upon which all Pro-Life ideas are based. It is the ONLY feast in the year that un-mistakenly clarifies when human life begins. It also points to the fact that Life is good, holy and worthy of respect.
We honor Mary precisely because she is united to Christ. And this solemnity shows how intrinsically she is united to God and His plan for our salvation.
This Solemnity of the Annunciation / Incarnation enhances our understanding and participation in making our Lenten sacrifices to God. Instead of just giving external things to God, God desires to have a deeply personal relationship with each of us. Jesus and Mary gave us perfect examples of how we should give our very selves to God.
This feast offers us a perfect opportunity to reflect on how Jesus' coming into the world was the most decisive turning point in all of human history. It is the perfect opportunity for the catechumens to reflect on the significance of Jesus Christ coming into their world, and into their lives, as they contemplate the changes that only He can bring.
Pope Benedict XVI
Currently in the Latin Rite the Solemnity of the
Annunciation – recognized as a Marian feast –
I suggest that Catholic communities, in recognition of the Church's teachings on the Incarnation place more emphasis on it. Perhaps the Church would consider adding a feast honoring this event to her calendar and place it on the same day as the Annunciation. I believe this would be completely consistent with the model passed down to us by the early church. Read more on early church.
A solution for consideration would be to celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation/Incarnation every year on the Sunday closest to March 25. However if the closest Sunday is Passion (Palm) Sunday or Easter Sunday, then the Solemnity would be celebrated on the Sunday following Easter and so Divine Mercy Sunday would be pushed forward one week.
Proposed new Name for this Solemnity :
Annunciation to the Virgin Mary and
Or abbreviated as “Annunciation and Conception”
or “Annunciation and Incarnation”