Today is the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, an occasion to honor â€œMaryâ€™s yesâ€ and celebrate Christâ€™s incarnation. The Church typically celebrates this feast on March 25, but given it fell on a Sunday this year, the Annunciation was transferred to Monday.
Last year the feast fell on a Friday during Lent so the requirement to abstain from meat was waived. That resulted in much chatter about whether people would or would not be enjoying a nice, big steak (readÂ Turning Maryâ€™s â€œYesâ€ Into a Pork Chop on a Stick). At least all that chatter brought attention to the specialness of the day. I can’t remember doing anythingÂ particularly extraordinary to celebrate the Annunciation the prior year. But Mary’s yes is a rather big deal in salvation history; don’t allow the day to pass by without doing something in honor of the feast. Here are some ideas.
- Celebrate Life!Â This feast is very important in the defense of the life of unborn children. Even with small children, this is a good day to begin teaching about the high value God places on human life.
Practical idea: It’s day 35 in theÂ 40 Days for Life prayer campaign to end abortion. Daily prayers andÂ reflections are provided on their website. Help the campaign end strong by offering up a daily prayer for an end to abortion.
- Waffles!Â â€œLady Dayâ€ or Annunciation, is the only feast of Mary that Sweden still celebrates since the Lutheran faith became the state religion in 1593. On the feast of the Annunciation in Sweden this is THE â€œWaffle Day.â€
Practical idea:Â Stand inÂ solidarityÂ with our Swedish Lutheran brothers and sisters. Heat up the waffle iron and have breakfast for dinner tonight! And if you have children, don’t forget to make the connection of why you’re eating the waffles.
Finally, hereâ€™s something from the bookÂ Celebrating Saints and SeasonsÂ by Jeanne Hunt that resonated with me.
- Your Fiat?Â â€œWhat is God asking you to say yes to in your life? What quiet hope, impossible dream, do you keep deep within? Write the word YES on a piece of paper. On the other side write a statement of your dream. Now, spend some time with Mother Mary, and pray for her help in saying yes to your dream and Godâ€™s dream for you.â€
Practical idea:Â Are you praying for the ability to say â€œYes!â€ with enthusiasm and â€œNo!â€ with conviction? This practice can only happen for me through prayerful discernment and frequent two-way communication with Jesus. Jeanneâ€™s suggestion is very specific and purposeful. Tape your prayer in a place where you will frequently see it as a tangible reminder to keep praying about the â€œyesâ€.
That’s just a sampling of ideas I found. What are your ideas and plans for celebrating the Annunciation?