The Importance of the Solemnity of the
The Catechism of the Catholic Church
“The coming of God’s Son to earth is an
event of such immensity that God willed to prepare for it over
centuries. He makes everything converge on Christ: all the rituals and
sacrifices, figures and symbols of the ‘First Covenant.’ ”
The Incarnation is the turning point in all of human history (BC
This Solemnity offers the Church a rich and
powerful means of evangelization. However, in the liturgical calendar
of the Roman Rite the Christological feasts of Lent and Easter “out
rank” this “Marian” feast. And so the Solemnity of the Annunciation is
always pushed to a weekday celebration. (For example see calendar for
2007 AD.) And this is sad when we consider that only a few Catholics
attend daily Mass. The Annunciation/Incarnation is intrinsically tied
to Good Friday and to the ultimate feast of Easter. Christ could not
have risen if He hadn’t died, and He couldn’t have died unless He had
been Incarnated into a body.
WORD BECAME FLESH
Pope John Paul II
“The mystery of the Incarnation constitutes
the climax of this giving, this divine self-communication.
The conception and birth of Jesus Christ are in fact the greatest
work accomplished by the Holy Spirit in the history of creation and
salvation: the supreme grace "the grace of union," source of every
other grace, as St. Thomas explains.200
The great Jubilee refers to this work and also-if we penetrate its
depths-to the author of this work, to the person of the Holy
Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church and the World, [#50])
Pope Benedict XVI
The coming of the
Messiah, foretold by the Prophets, is qualitatively the most
important event of all history, on which it confers its ultimate and
full meaning. It is not historical and political coordinates that
condition God's choice, but on the contrary, the event of the
Incarnation that “fills” history with value and meaning.
of December 31, 2006)
Saint Thomas Aquinas
… it was no small
usefulness which the Incarnation mentioned brought to the universe
…To be sure, the power of the divine Incarnation is equal to the
salvation ‘of all men, but the fact that some are not saved thereby
comes from their indisposition: they are unwilling to take unto
themselves the fruit of the Incarnation; they do not cleave to the
incarnate God by faith and love.
(Contra Gentiles, Book Four: Salvation, Chapter 55:10)
Byzantine Catholic Church in America
states the following on their
In the Syrian Church, the Feast of the Annunciation (25 March) is an
absolute priority. Even if 25 March is Good Friday, the services of
Good Friday aren't allowed to proceed until after the Holy Qurbana
is celebrated for the Annunciation.
This year, 25 March is Monday of Holy Week (for those of us
following the Gregorian calendar). The Syrian Church will of course
celebrate Holy Qurbana on this day, even though it's normally
forbidden except for Sundays, Mid-Lent, Fortieth day, Lazarus
Saturday, Holy Thursday, and the Saturday of Good Tidings. …
The Annunciation as one of the Twelve Great Feasts must be honored
with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, even if it coincides
with Great Friday. If it coincides with Pascha, which I believe can
only happen with the Julian Calendar, both Annunciation and Pascha
texts are taken.
The importance of the Incarnation is also demonstrated when we adore God
with the Divine Praises. Notice how near the top it is. Notice the
glorious truths that we proclaim after it.
The Divine Praises.
Blessed be God.
Blessed be his holy name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the name of Jesus.
Blessed be his most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be his most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the most holy sacrament of the altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, virgin and Mother.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in his angels and in his saints.
Placing this all important Solemnity in a role
of Sunday prominence in our sacred liturgical calendar would have
numerous benefits. However, it seems to deserve to be placed there
on its own merit.
Solemnity of the Annunciation the Church call us to worship God with a
genuflection when we profess the creed at the words “and by the Holy
Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.”
The Paschal Mystery
requires that God become a Man. A person might suppose that God
could have come into our physical world without being born, since He
could have come as a fully grown man. And so, Christmas is not
inherently essential to our having the most important feasts of Good
Friday and Easter Sunday. However, the Incarnation - in some form
- is indispensable and is therefore more important than Christmas.
At Christmas Mass the Holy
Father Pope Benedict XVI kneels during the Creed when the
following words are prayed:
“and by the Holy Spirit was
incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.”
As soon as
he kneels so do all the other priests, bishops, cardinals, and
the laity as well. It is quite moving to see the Supreme
Pontiff honor God and go to his knees as we profess our faith in
this awesome mystery of the Incarnation.
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