Today is the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, an occasion to honor “Mary’s yes” and celebrate Christ’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 (read Turning Mary’s “Yes” 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 anything 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! 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 the 40 Days for Life prayer campaign to end abortion. Daily prayers and reflections are provided on their website. Help the campaign end strong by offering up a daily prayer for an end to abortion.
- Waffles! “Lady Day” 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 “Waffle Day.”
Practical idea: Stand in solidarity 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, here’s something from the book Celebrating Saints and Seasons by Jeanne Hunt that resonated with me.
- Your Fiat? “What 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 God’s dream for you.”
Practical idea: Are you praying for the ability to say “Yes!” with enthusiasm and “No!” with conviction? This practice can only happen for me through prayerful discernment and frequent two-way communication with Jesus. Jeanne’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 “yes”.
That’s just a sampling of ideas I found. What are your ideas and plans for celebrating the Annunciation?