Feast of the Annunciation
The Feast of the Annunciation, also known as Annunciation of the Lord, Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, or Lady Day, celebrates the visit of Angel Gabriel to Virgin Mary and his announcement that Virgin Mary would get pregnant to be the mother of Jesus Christ, the son of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Normally the celebration of Annunciation is held on March 25 which is nine months before the birthday of Jesus (December 25). If the date of Annunciation falls on Holy Week or the Octave of Easter, most religions will reschedule the celebration to next Monday. Others will have two celebrations on the same day.
In the New Testament of the Holy Bible, the Annunciation is only mentioned a few times. St. Luke is one of these mentions in the story of Annunciation. According to St. Luck, God sent angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city of Galilee, to find a virgin named Mary who had espoused to a man called Joseph. The angel appeared to Virgin Mary, then told her that don’t be fearful, the Lord is always with her and she is the blessed woman who was chosen to conceive a son named Jesus. St. Matthew, the only other mention regarding Annunciation in the Bible, also, in chapter 1, telling the story after Mary’s pregnancy. It points out that Joseph, in this situation, could not decide what he should do until an angel told him that Jesus, Mary’s son, is a Holy Ghost that would save people from suffering. Even though there are only a few records in the New Testament of the Holy Bible, the significance of Annunciation is much more than narrative. The artistic expressions of Annunciation have an especially significant place in church decorations on Early Christianity, Middle Ages as well as the Renaissance. Moreover, for Christian churches, the Feast of the Annunciation is one of the main feasts.
The origin of the Feast of Annunciation can be ascended to the early fifth century. To celebrate Annunciation, Eastern Churches had a solemn ceremony in 431 AD. Western Churches didn’t serve a celebration until fifty years later, approximately. However, comparing with the modern feast, the preceding ceremony has a different focus. Eastern Churches focused on the power of God which used the Holy Spirit to birth Jesus to protect people from suffering. Nowadays, the Feast of Annunciation is a solemn feast in honor of the Virgin Mary. In celebration, white, which represents holiness, purity, virtue, and excellence, is the major color to decorate churches. During the ceremony, disciples will pray to Virgin Mary begin with praising her grace. There are some other ways to celebrate Annunciation at home with family, which includes reading the Bible story of Annunciation and singing Magnificat.
Match 25th is the memorable day that the son of God becomes the son of human. Jesus, the son of God, leads mankind to move forward. Match 25th should also be the day for people to reflect on what God is asking of us and give god your response or assent.