Just nine days away now is that glorious feast day, that taste of Christmas in Lent, the Solemnity of the Annunciation! I sincerely hope you are planning something very special for this day (March 25th)! At Holy Mass we will sing the Gloria again, as well as genuflect/kneel during the Nicene Creed (and the ONLY other time we do that is at Christmas!). Rich with the prayers, music, and traditions of centuries, this is a day you cannot afford to simply let pass by, uncelebrated!
Food. The traditional food of this feast is waffles: waffles topped with mountains of fresh fruit! Yes, it’s still Lent, but spring is coming, and this joyful feast recalls the fruitfulness of Our Dear Mother’s “yes” to God’s messenger. Somehow I am going to have to get my hands on a Belgian waffle maker over the next few days–and I think strawberries are now in at the local grocery!
- Prayers. If you don’t know how to pray the beautiful prayer called the Angelus (after the first word of the prayer in Latin), now is the time to memorize it. Traditionally prayed at 6:00 am, noon, and 6:00 pm. every day of the year (except during Eastertide), this prayer keeps us focused on this most joyful mystery–the Incarnation of the very Son of God. And don’t forget the Hail Mary itself, which is even more beautiful in Latin, and the Holy Rosary!
- Music. With so many beautiful settings of the Ave Maria and other hymns in honor of Our Lady composed and recorded, you’ll be able to listen to Marian music all day today! I highly recommend that you learn the gorgeous hymn by St. Bernard of Clairvaux called the Ave Maris Stella (lyric and translation here, sheet music here). (From the Divine Office, it is sung this day at Verspers.)
Hopefully these ideas will inspire more ideas of your own. I’m very excited about what’s coming up!