A is for Annunciation

#atozchallenge A for Annunciation @fillpraycloset on TwitterHere we are friends, kicking off the #AtoZChallenge Catholic style with your resident convert. I will be blogging Catholic through the alphabet for all of April (save Sundays). For my regular readers, some of these topics may be old hat. This is a daily series for everyone – so whether you are Catholic, know one, or want to see through the eyes of one, this is for you! If you want to laugh, grab a bit of inspiration, you’re in the right place too!

Today we will be talking briefly about the Annunciation.

What is it?

The Annunciation, in it’s most digestible format, is the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she would conceive and bear a Son, and that his name would be Jesus.

A is for Annunciation #atozchallenge #catholic
Henry Ossawa Tanner – The Annunciation, oil on canvas, 57 x 71.25 in., Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Annunciation is also a mystery of the rosary. The first mystery of the Joyful mysteries, in fact. As a Catholic, I pray the rosary – a set of prayers over a string of beads. It’s truly more than that. It is a meditation on the mysteries of Christ’s life, death and resurrection. It’s scriptural, as in every mystery comes right from the Bible. If that sounds singular, as in – all about Jesus, it is, and it isn’t. Mary the Mother of God is also a big part of this. But, as she just reflects Jesus, so too, does the rosary.

Why did I choose to share this particular “A” with you?

Because I love this mystery. It’s one of my favorites – particularly with this painting. Can you imagine what it must have been like for her? To be visited by something ethereal, in a time such as hers, where the normal, every day, was what was expected? The fear? I AM the Mother of Jesus?

“Where is the fear, Cristina because I can’t see it?”

Look at her hands. See how tightly clasped they are. Look at her wide eyes, the tilt of her head. She is leaning away from the angel Gabriel, see the fear now? *shivers*

But what does she say ultimately?

Luke 1: 38

Let it be done unto me according to thy word

And coincidentally my favorite scripture in the whole wide world.

I also chose this as a play on words – I am announcing this series with the Annunciation. Good, right?

Come back tomorrow for a funny look at the letter B. I am blogging my way through the alphabet with others who are doing the same. 

Please support the bloggers of the #AtoZchallenge by visiting, sharing or commenting. We have all worked long and hard to prepare these posts, some prepping for a couple of months, as we posted our regular schedule, took care of our children, went to work, had the flu…well, you get the idea.

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77 thoughts on “A is for Annunciation

    1. If I told you how many rosaries I had, you’d have me committed. I wear a bracelet one every day, one in the glove compartment, three in my purse, one in my coat pocket, three at my bedside table and one hanging from my rear view mirror!!!

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      1. The beads are placed according to the prayers said. So, we have ten beads where the Hail Mary is prayed. Then a different color bead (usually not always) where you pray the Our Father, that pattern happens 5 times, then you have what’s called a center – where the beads (or if you think of it in a chain) come together and the center (can be a medal of your favorite saint, or the Virgin Mary, etc) where the Hail Holy Queen prayer is said, then there are three beads where the intentions of the Pope are prayed for, and another bead where the Memorare is prayed, all leading to the crucifix.

        And a rosary should always be blessed. I was under the impression that it should be blessed by a priest or deacon, but read a great book full of short stories called The Thorny Grace of It: And Other Essays for Imperfect Catholics by Brian Doyle. In one essay he shares how he got his rosary blessed by all different kinds of people, in effect, iterating that we’re all holy. Loved that!

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      2. Wow. That is much more intricate than I thought. I just assumed the beads would be placed on the string, with the saint’s medal, and then the entire rosary would be blessed (which I assumed by a priest).

        I didn’t realize each section meant something in particular. So glad I asked!

        Thank you for explaining this. xoxo

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  1. Terrific choice for beginning the A to Z Challenge. I love the picture you chose to illustrate the Annuciation and Mary’s reaction to the announcement. I am number 506 on the sign-up list and am visiting you as the first blogger after me! Aloha to you. Gail visiting for AtoZ

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    1. Hi Bhavya! I know! There are tons of them. I decided that it wouldn’t be fair (completely) for me to choose – there are over 2100 of them now! So I headed over to random.org and let it choose for me!

      See you around the challenge!

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    1. Hi Sunila, I almost couldn’t use Annunciation for A – it was easy! When I got to X and Z – those were tough! Thanks for coming over!

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  2. Loved the painting and the description of the Annunciation. I find it so fascinating to learn about the Catholic faith as it seems so different from Protestant in rituals and ceremony. Thanks for enlightening us. Look forward to hearing more about your faith.

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    1. Thank you Cathy! If you have any questions – I had to be SUPER brief. It was really tough actually, let me know. I am sure there could be holes?!

      Thanks for coming by!

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  3. It is a interesting post. Having studied in a missionary school, I grew up with Christianity in my life. Really looking forward to learn from your posts.

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    1. Always great to have a missionary around! My brothers are Mormon. They just got back from their mission, one in California where he learned to speak Khmer, and the other to Mexico, where he learned Spanish (more fluent than I am!). I have such a respect for them!! To travel so young, amazing! Glad to have you here!!

      Any questions, shout!

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    1. Indeed! Thank you!!! This is one of my favorite paintings (I’m kind of an art nut). I’ll share…my favorite date when I was younger and lived in NY, was a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, a hot dog from the street vendor and after viewing the collections, ice cream from the truck waiting outside. Perfect. Cheap and rich in culture!

      🙂

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    1. You know, LadyJai, being poorly catechized is something that’s quite common in the Catholic faith (for those reading this that aren’t Catholic, catechize means to instruct (someone) in the principles of Christian religion by means of question and answer, typically by using a catechism.) So if you have any questions at all, shout! Happy to explain! Thanks for dropping by (and your very touching, real post!!!)

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  4. I have often thought of how frightening it would be to have an angel drop by for a visit. I can not imagine – she was so young, after all – and the task so unbelievable. The artist does a credible job here and I completely enjoyed reading what you observed as well, dear Cristina. Grand to see your words out here… and to know our #writingmarathon helped you cross over to completion! Woot!

    Julie Jordan Scott
    A to Z Challenge Participant/2011,12,13,14…..
    The Bold Writer from A to Z

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  5. That painting is so beautiful. I love my rosary and to have this picture to meditate upon the next time I say it is just wonderful. Thank you for the share! I am looking forward to following you this month. 🙂

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    1. It’s my favorite to meditate on. I actually created a flip book for myself with artwork that “put me in the mystery”. Anything to get the brain chatter to stop!

      XD

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  6. Amazing post Christina. This is one of my favorites too.
    I am a big rosary person, I always have my beads with me, rarely finish but I try:)
    Great start to the challenge.

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    1. Thank you! Well! You know what they say! If you don’t finish them, that’s ok, your Guardian Angel takes care of the rest. Isn’t that sweet?

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  7. I’m excited to follow along this month. My husband is Catholic but I am not. I’m looking forward to learning more about his faith through your blog!

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  8. Yay! So glad to see your first post. You chose the perfect illustration for this post!

    ~Tui Snider~
    Tui Snider
    I am also part of the #StoryDam team, a friendly writing community!

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    1. HEY! I know you #wordmongering buddy! That was SO awesome Saturday. Thank you so much for being a part of that. I’d never done it before and it was just – great! I know I said that! Excited. Can you tell!

      Making my way around all the blogs – I made myself a spreadsheet, can you believe it? #excelnerd

      🙂

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    1. I love the contrast! That’s the best part. You really see that there are so many varied perspectives. Get me to thinking about competition. You know? How could there be, we are so many thoughts, feelings and shades of soul, you know? Thanks for coming by!!!

      🙂

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  9. I can see the fear. I can understand her fear, but I can also see her bravery, “Let it be done unto me according to thy word”. They say bravery isn’t the absent of fear, but rather doing it afraid. We have alot to learn from such a brave woman.

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    1. Right! There is absolute strength in her “yes” to God, we, as Catholics call it Mary’s Fiat – Fiat from the Latin, literally meaning “Be it done;”. So cool, it grabs my heart. Every. Time.

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  10. I’m not religious, more spiritual, but the ritual of rosary and prayer/mediation beads has always intrigued me. Loved this post!

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  11. Nice post! I’ve known what it is but haven’t read any detailed explanations of this before. 🙂

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  12. You’re off to an excellent start, Cristina! 😀 Great post! The faith that Mary had – WOW! I was born and raised a Christian and I’ve always been blown away by Mary’s faith in that Bible passage – the way she just simply says what she said. You picked a great A. Loved it! 😀

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  13. Don’t know how I missed your blog yesterday! Anyway, I like the painting and your interpretation of it very much indeed. A deep look into the Catholic way. Good start!

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    1. Because it’s crazy and we’re up to our eyeballs in awesome #AtoZchallenge fun and goodness?

      That’s what happened to me anyway! Thanks for coming by!! 🙂

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  14. That is one beautiful piece of art. Catholicism has always been so interesting to me, as it is very similar to my Christian faith. Thanks for making this your topic for the month. I look forward to the rest of your posts!

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  15. I feel so out of my depth! I just learned in one post that there is tons of stuff to Catholicism that I know nothing about. Mysteries and prayers beads and titles for specific moments? Wow, I have a lot to learn. I had no clue what annunciation meant.

    I feel like a clown over here. You come on my blog and zing of witty one-liners that crack me up, and I’m walking through your stuff just gawking. I’m behind, so forgive my delayed comment here… but I’ll be reading and sharing all your posts henceforth! xoxo

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    1. We’re all clowns in this circus called life, doll face. Truly. You’re not behind. What this is, is meeting you where you’re at and where you are is right where you should be. xoxo

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  16. I’m reading through your AthoughZ posts today on Good Friday. I love the picture you chose. This is one of my favorite mysteries as well. Those tremendous words of the Fiat helped me get through my miscarriage. I love seeing everyones positive responses. You are doing a great job evangelizing through your blog. Love!

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