In a recent article in Christianity Today the author explores the reasons why Pro-Life Protestants ignore the Annunciation. It is a good question and it seems the answer is that the Annunciation is “too Catholic” .
I think that as a Catholic, we too are falling away from the importance of the Annunciation in our liturgy and theology. The Annunciation is a Holy Day of Obligation. It is just not a Holy Day of Obligation in the United States. One of the many reasons why it is not a Holy Day of Obligation is because it is considered a “Marian Feast”. Because it is considered a Marian Feast and that it always occurs during Lent, or in the Holy Week, the U.S. Bishops in 1887 decided not to include it as a Holy Day of Obligation. However, throughout the Universal Church, not only is it a Holy Day of Obligation, it was also considered a Feast of Christ.
In any event, the Annunciation is not widely celebrated in the Catholic Church. Why? There are too many answers for that question, so I will pose another. Why not? Why not celebrate the Annunciation as if it were a Holy Day of Obligation. There is little doubt about the powerful affect celebrating this Feast day would have in our Parishes: Not only would we be celebrating the Paschal mystery of our Lord, but we would also be celebrating and educating our parishioners about the importance of God becoming man, Mary’s “yes” to be a mother unconditionally, and the upfront fact that from the moment of conception, one is a human being and is precious.
So let us start being Catholic, and celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation as if it were a Holy Day! And maybe even bring a Protestant friend along as well.