Friday, March 25, 2011

Solemnity of the Annunciation, the Non-Fasting Friday of Lent

Today is the Solemnity of the Annuciation!

On the Solemnity of the Annuciation we celebrate the Angel Gabriel's visit to the Holy Mother. Gabriel appeared to Mary in Nazareth and :

 26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”
 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:26-38, New International Version, ©2011)

So, today we celebrate the Holy Mother Mary saying "YES" to God and taking on this huge undertaking and later suffering her child's tourture and death. The thing to meditate on today is saying "YES" to God. Too often we deny him, most people probably deny him everyday in some small way (me included).  Today, we focus particularly on just saying "yes" to what God demands of us and try to continue it for the rest of the year.

Fasting and Abstinance:
Do Catholics fast or abstain from meat on the Annunciation?

No, you are not required to fast or abstain on the Solemnity of the Annunciation.

The reason is that Solemnities are condsidered the "feasts of feasts". Solemnities are Holy Days and we are not required to fast or abstain on Holy Days, we are to celebrate on holy days.

Canon 1251  Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless (nisi) they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ. 


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