Beauty Surrounds the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Paolo_de_Matteis_-_The_Annunciation

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord is a beloved feast day for it is the day we rejoice in Mary’s YES! 

It only stands to reason that we and the Church rejoice as it is the day that the “Word was made Flesh!” 

Yes, especially NOW at this critical time!

A very dear priest in our diocese was one of those singular individuals who inspired countless people with his unwavering trust in Divine Providence. Even in the most difficult and trying situations he consistently reminded us to trust. He loved the Blessed Mother and like her was transformed by his YES to a life in service to God and in turn transformed all of us! 

I remember nine months before he died that he cheerfully and enthusiastically reminded all of us that he reached his 100th year. You see he even counted his age from the time of his conception in his mother’s womb.

What a testimony to all of us and to the sanctity of life in the womb, the unborn!

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord is no ordinary day, but a great day to pause and take time to really celebrate this momentous event in all our lives!

Begin teaching your children

“In families with young children, this feast would be a good time to begin teaching youngsters important lessons about the inestimable value God places on human life. 

Mary with baby Jesus

First, that He loved us so much that He chose to become one of us — to take on our humanity so completely that he ‘became flesh’, as utterly weak and dependent as any human infant is.  

Second, God became ‘like us in all things except sin‘ at the moment of His conception in Mary’s womb, not at some later time.  The Feast of the Annunciation is a celebration of the actual Incarnation of Jesus Christ.

There is exactly nine months’ wait from March 25th to December 25th for Baby Jesus to be born. (God made no special rules for His own bodily development!)

What better way than reading the first chapter of Luke to gently begin teaching children about the beginning of each new human life?

Children can be told how important it is to every person that ‘the Word became flesh and dwelt among us’ (John 1), and parents can find this feast a valuable teaching moment. 

teaching-youth-religious-values.jpg.crop_display

Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 3 of the Creed, ‘He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the Virgin Mary’ (#436-511).

Thus adults get a timely review of Catholic doctrine, but it can be a great help to us in transmitting important truths of the faith to our children.” (EWTN-The Feast of the Annunciation)

The Culture of Life Studies Program offers FREE resources you can download that teach a variety of ages and uses a variety of themes that teach a Culture of Life to kids.

William-Adolphe_Bouguereau_(1825-1905)_-_Song_of_the_Angels_(1881)_edit

Music for the Unborn Lord!

As I started to research music inspired by this feast day and Mary’s Fiat, I had no idea of the veritable wealth of music giving Glory to the unborn Christ Child.

Plan on spending your quiet time this day listening to this beautiful music and hear the joy!

The Magnificat, Canticle of Mary, Song of Mary, Latin Hymn, Daughters of Mary:

https://youtu.be/SyXafdQogEo

J. S. Bach – Magnificat in D major

Antonio Vivaldi – Magnificat in G Minor RV  610:

https://youtu.be/kbUaT2k5n78

MOZART Vesperae de Dominica, KV 321 – [6] Magnificat KOOPMAN:

Franz Schubert – Magnificat in C major, D486:

Artwork inspired by the Solemnity of the Annunciation

This momentous event also inspired much beautiful and transcendent artwork.

Eight years ago, on our 25th Wedding Anniversary, Larry and I found a gorgeous print of the Annunciation by the artist Jan Van Eyck.

Or should I say it found us! Was it sent to us as a reminder of our YES to each other and to God on our wedding day?

The real painting is currently at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, a trip we will have to make soon to see the original!

Today you can explore the work here where you can take a closer look and explore its symbolism: http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/Collection/art-object-page.46.html?opensection=overview

Furthermore, that is not the only image of the Annunciation; visit the sites listed below to gaze at all the beauty.

You can get FREE prints too!!!

http://www.abcgallery.com/L/leonardo/leonardo36.html (Leonardo Da Vinci The Annunciation.  Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy)

http://www.abcgallery.com/B/botticelli/botticelli34.html (Sandro Boticelli Cestello Annunciation Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy)

http://www.abcgallery.com/virgin.html#Annunciation (many other masterpieces)

Coloring Pages for the Younger Set (and not so young ones too!)

I found several coloring pages that you can easily print for your family. All of them grant copyright permission  to print and use any original material or ideas for individual or families.

For a bit of fun that the kids can color online, changing the colors and printing off the version they like best:

  1. http://www.supercoloring.com/pages/annunciation
  2. http://www.thecolor.com/Coloring/simone-martini-the-annunciation.aspx

Here is a simple outline coloring page for the littlest ones: http://www.sermons4kids.com/mary_angel_colorpg.htm

Feast Day FOOD

Be certain to end the day with a delicious meal or special dessert. 

My favorite cookbook, A Continual Feast has a Swedish Waffles recipe. Indeed, the author explains that in Europe, beginning around the twelfth century, waffles were generally eaten on feast days and most certainly on the Feast of the Annunciation. You can use your own special recipe or this one:

Swedish Waffles (A Continual Feast by Evelyn Birge Vitz)

swedish waffles

1 3/4 cups heavy cream, well-chilled
1 1/3 cups flour
1-2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup cold water
3 tablespoons melted sweet butter

Whip the cream until stiff.  Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Stir in the water to make a smooth batter. Fold the whipped cream into the batter. Stir in the melted butter.

Heat the waffle iron. (If it is well seasoned, it will not need to be greased.) Fill the grid surface about two-thirds full of batter. Bake until golden brown.

Place on a rack to keep crisp while you make the rest of the waffles.

Yield: about 8 waffles

Share your feast day celebrations and “Way of Beauty” this Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord!

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1 Comment

  1. VAMama

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post; we will enjoy it greatly!

    Reply

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