Here, we commemorate the visit of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, during which he announced she would be the mother of Jesus. This feast day forecasts Jesus’ birth at Christmas and illustrates how the liturgical year is an interwoven and continuous cycle of time.

Here am I, the servant of the Lord: let it be to me according to your will.

(from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals)

    • Plant (or plan to plant, if it’s too early) seeds and watch them grow
    • Celebrate this feast day by breaking your Lenten fast on purpose with foods shaped in rings or circles such as angel food cake, coffee rings, or wreath-shaped cookies in honor of the eternal cycle of liturgical time

    The central image is a vase which represents Mary as God’s willing vessel, set before an open book which symbolizes the good news of the coming Messiah. The rose, lily, and violet represent Mary’s charity, chastity, and humility. Behind them stands the mandorla, an almond-shaped aureole of light used in antiquity to represent the convergence of humanity and divinity in Jesus. Seven rays of light suggest the Holy Spirit descending to envelope Mary.

    “My soul magnifies the Lord,
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
    for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
    Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
    for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
    His mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
    He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
    He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
    and lifted up the lowly;
    he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and sent the rich away empty.
    He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
    according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
    to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

    (from Luke 1:46-55)