Solemnity of the Annunciation
Special Vigil Mass Friday, March 24, in English and Latin
This Friday, March 24th, is the eve of the Feast of the Annunciation. To honor the Solemnity of the Christ's Incarnation, the 7:00pm Mass will be the Mass of the Feast, instead of the Mass of the Friday in Lent.
The Mass will end at around 8:00pm, and will be bilingual: English and Latin. Immediately following the Mass will be a Blessing for all expectant mothers, and then a light reception.
Come join us as we celebrate a Vigil Mass for the Solemnity of the Annunciation on Friday, March 24th at 7:00pm.
This Mass will be mostly in Latin (with some parts in the vernacular), and will be celebrated Ad Orientem. There will be a special blessing for all pregnant mothers at the end of Mass, and a light reception will follow immediately afterwards.
Why is this Mass for the Annunciation, instead of a regular Friday in Lent?
Some Feast Days in the Church are so significant that the "day" extends back to the night before. For example, a Sunday is so significant that a Mass on Saturday night is considered a Sunday Mass. These Feast Days are called "Solemnities", and each Mass celebrated on the evening before for a Solemnity is celebrated for the Solemnity itself, not the calendar date. So, since the 25th is a Solemnity, all Masses in the evening of the 24th are actually Masses for the 25th.
So, if I attend Mass on the evening of the 24th, will it "count" as a Friday Mass?
Technically no. It will "count" as a Mass of the 25th, or Saturday. If some wish to attend Mass every day in Lent, they should make an effort to attend Mass the morning of the 24th.
Will this Mass be in Latin? I don't know Latin!
About half of this Mass will be in Latin. The rest will be in the "vernacular". Most of the Latin will be said by the priest, although there will some parts where the people can respond in Latin. Specifically, the congregation will invited to chant the following parts in Latin:
In addition to a few other parts. For those who do not know Latin, do not worry! Just come anyway. Music and booklets will be provided which will help you follow along.
What does "Ad Orientem" mean?
Literally translated it means "Towards the East". It means that, during the more important parts of the Mass, the priest will be facing the front of the Church: the same direction as the congregation. You can read more about Ad Orientem here.
Why do Masses "Ad Orientem" at all?
During every Mass the priest says numerous prayers, but different prayers are directed to different people. If we listen carefully, we can tell when the priest is “speaking” to us (the congregation), when the priest is “speaking” to God the Father, and when the priest is “speaking” to Jesus Christ. Throughout the Mass the priest alternates between these, and thus makes the Mass a Holy conversation between the people and their God. These subtle changes, though, are easy to miss.
When the priest celebrates Mass “Ad Orientem”, his body will “show” us who he is addressing. Whenever the priest is facing the congregation he is speaking to the people on behalf of God, and whenever the priest is facing the Altar he is praying to God on behalf of the people.
Discover more about the Annunciation
- Watch Mary of Nazareth
- Listen to Mary: Handmaid of the Lord by St. Teresa of Kolkata
- Read The World's First Love: Mary, Mother of God by Fulton J. Sheen
"Mary said, 'Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.."