Annunciation of the Lord 9 April 2018

The feast of the Annunciation of the Lord celebrates Angel Gabriel’s appearance to the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-38) and his announcement that she had been chosen to be the mother of the savior of the world. Also being celebrated during this feast was Mary’s fiat, which means “let it be” in Latin—her willing acceptance of the news.

The Annunciation, which means “the announcement,” is observed almost universally throughout Christianity, especially within Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Catholicism, and Lutheranism.

March 25 is the date of the feast unless that date falls on a Sunday in Lent, at any time during Holy Week, or at any time in the octave of Easter (from Easter Sunday through Divine Mercy Sunday, the Sunday after Easter). In that case, the celebration is transferred either to the following Monday or to the Monday after Divine Mercy Sunday. The date of the feast, which is determined by the date of Christmas, is nine months prior to Christmas. This date was set by the seventh century.

The Feast of the Annunciation is a solemn feast in Catholicism in honor of the Virgin Mary. Common prayers recited include the “The Hail Mary,” and “The Angelus.” This feast is also called the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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Image: The Annunciation by Johann Christian Schröder, c. 1690