Annunciation of the Virgin Mary: History and traditions of the holiday When and how to celebrate the Annunciation, what can and cannot be done on this holiday 03.28.2024, 15:43

When to celebrate the Annunciation in 2024 History and essence of the holiday Annunciation Traditions What can and cannot be done on the holiday What does the icon of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary look like folk signs on the Annunciation

When will the Annunciation be celebrated in 2024?

The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a Christian holiday that believers celebrate every year on April 7. It has immutable status: its date does not change and always falls on the same date. In 2024 it falls on Annunciation Sunday.

The Annunciation is celebrated exactly nine months before the Nativity of Christ. According to church doctrine, the beginning of a person’s life is determined not by the moment of birth, but by the moment of conception in the womb.

The peculiarity of the celebration is that it cannot be postponed even if it coincides with Easter. When the dates of the Annunciation and Easter coincide – it’s called Kyriopascha. This event happens rarely: the last time was in 1991, and the next one is expected only in 2075.

History and essence of the holiday

The Gospel holds an important place in the Christian tradition, representing the connecting link between the Old and New Testaments. According to Abraham’s writings, his wife Sarah doubted her ability to be the mother of God’s chosen people. She was barren.

In contrast, in the New Testament the Virgin Mary demonstrates an unwavering faith in the divine. It was through her purity that the miraculous pregnancy and birth of her son, the Savior and Messiah of humanity, took place. Additionally, the Annunciation heralds the beginning of Jesus Christ’s earthly journey.

The importance of the Gospel is emphasized in church texts as the first good news after the fall of Adam and Eve. After all, Eve was cursed, and Mary received a blessing with the words of the Archangel Gabriel: “Rejoice, full of grace! The Lord is with you! “Blessed are you among women.”

According to legend, Mary was born in one of the suburbs of Jerusalem. Religious scholar Yulia Kovaleva said in an interview with socialbites.ca that when she was three years old, she was sent to a church orphanage and grew up there. She explained that it was there that she was taken to the temple.

After Mary came of age, she had to return to her parents’ home or get married, but she wanted to dedicate herself to God. And he had nowhere to return – by that time his parents were dead. Later, having reached an advanced age and being unable to fully discharge her marital duties, she became engaged to the righteous Joseph, who was not actually her husband, but her mentor.

They lived in Nazareth. Adil Yusuf was a carpenter and went to work often. During her absence, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary. After Joseph’s return, he also descended from heaven to dispel pregnant Mary’s doubts about her purity.

Archangel Gabriel called the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary a true miracle: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow You.” (Gospel of Luke, chapter 1, verse 35).

prophecy of Isaiah “Then the Lord Himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will call Him Immanuel.” It found its embodiment in Mary’s consent to the divine plan. The young girl, a little frightened by this news, answered the messenger who came down from the sky: “Let it be done to me according to your word.” It is his voluntary consent that allows Jesus to appear in human flesh – after all, God acts not through coercion but through love and freedom of choice.

According to church teachings, Mary’s role is particularly important in divine salvation. Her pure and selfless willingness to give birth to God’s child led her to dedicate herself to God and bring into the world the Savior that people had been waiting for.

In addition, the Blessed Virgin’s consent to the birth of Jesus – God in the flesh – symbolizes the atonement for the ancient sin of Adam and Eve. This made Mary the “second Eve.” But if the first did not obey God, the second completely surrendered himself to His will and humbly accepted Gabriel’s message.

Among Christians the Gospel spread in very distant times. This day was celebrated in the 3rd century, but believers called it differently: the Nativity of Christ and the Beginning of Salvation.

In the 7th century, a single name – Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – was established in the East and the West. And the full name of the holiday is the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary and the Virgin Mary.

Gospel Traditions

On the day of the Annunciation, all-night vigils are held in churches, including the reading of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. On this holiday, clergy wear blue robes, which are a symbol of connection with the Mother of God. Temples also hold tutorials explaining the meaning of the holiday and detail the appearance of the Archangel Gabriel to Mary.

A special feature of the celebration is the tradition of releasing white birds after the service. This signifies the beginning of spring and the adaptation of ancient pagan traditions to Christian values. This tradition also recalls the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove into the Jordan River at the Baptism of Jesus, according to the New Testament.

Depending on the calendar, the holiday may also be accompanied by fasting breaks. This emphasizes the special nature of the day, the believers’ desire for inner purification and spiritual renewal.

What you can and cannot do on holiday

On the day of the Annunciation, which falls during the period of Lent, the Church provides special concessions to believers. However, provided that the holiday does not coincide with Holy Week.

On this day, Orthodox Christians can add fish to their diet and also drink wine, but do not overdo it. It is also customary to prepare homemade portioned Lenten breads – prosphora; these can then be blessed in the church during the service and distributed to family members. In the past, our ancestors even blessed grain on this holiday so that the future harvest would be rich.

The Gospel reminds us of the importance of sincere help and support to those who are suffering and in need. On this day, it is important to show mercy and give to those in need.

As on other church holidays, believers come to services, devote time to prayer and spiritual reflection, and thank God for his help. In the Annunciation, you can turn to the Virgin Mary and ask her for protection or send a child.

On the day of the Annunciation, the Church abandons funeral prayers and wedding ceremonies, inviting believers to focus on joy and mystery.

What does the icon of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary look like?

The main figures of the Annunciation icon are the Virgin Mary and the Archangel Gabriel. Mary is captured in a moment of profound wonder combined with her humility before the omnipotent power of God.

Archangel Gabriel appears as a traveler and messenger holding a staff symbolizing his mission. Other attributes may also be present in the symbols: a candle or mirror, emphasizing Gabriel’s role as the messenger of secrets, or a lily, a sign of blessing.

The mandorla, a special form of the halo, is found above the main characters of the icon and symbolizes the divine presence and miraculous conception of Jesus. The red thread that Mary holds in her hand is associated in church tradition with what Our Lady knitted that day, creating a symbolic connection with the body of Jesus.

Additional elements on the icons (the book of the prophet Isaiah or the branch of heaven in the hands of Gabriel) emphasize the depth of the symbolism of the Annunciation. The ray of light represents the Holy Spirit, and the well represents the purity of Mary. All this emphasizes the depth and importance of the sacred event.

Folk signs associated with the Annunciation

  • The snow on the roofs did not melt; will stay for at least another month.
  • The night of this day is warm – spring will be the same.
  • The sun is shining and cloudless; Storms are expected in the summer.
  • If the birch leaves have already bloomed and the alder is not yet bare, the summer will be sunny and warm.
  • The wind is cold; Summer will be like this.
  • The holiday comes with warmth, then a cold autumn awaits you. And if the opposite happens, it will be a warm autumn.
  • Wet Announcement – it’s going to be a mushroom-filled summer.

What are you thinking?

The Annunciation of the Virgin Mary is generally a day spent with joy. As a matter of fact, on this holiday, Christians remember the happy news that the Archangel Gabriel brought to the Virgin Mary, the birth of the Savior. socialbites.ca looked at the history and traditions of the holiday.



Source: Gazeta

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