Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lady Day and New Beginnings

I discovered - late - that yesterday was the Feast of the Annunciation. In England it is known as Lady Day and it used to be the start of the new year until the Gregorian calendar was adopted. It is still a quarter day in Great Britain. It is interesting to me that this feast falls in Lent, I have thought of it as part of Christmas but in fact having it fall during Lent demonstrates the link between Christmas and Easter.

'In my beginning is my end'   (T.S. Elliot. Four Quartets . East Coker.)

The Annunciation  Henry Ossawa Tanner.

'The two cycles are never truly separate. However, they are distinct and the distinction may lead us to lose sight of their fundamental unity. In fact, both cycles are about beginnings. The Christmas cycle is about God's life among us as a man. That life is the life of the new Adam, born of the new Eve, a new beginning for all mankind, and that cycle begins with the Annunciation. The Paschal cycle is about the new Passover, the new springtime of redeemed humanity who, through the sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb, is raised from the death of sin to new life in the the risen Lord.' 

The above quotation from the website Fully Homely Divine puts it well and better than I could. I admire Mary greatly , she was a remarkable  young woman and her words to the angel never fail to inspire and challenge me.

'I am the Lord's servant ' Mary answered 'Let it be to me as you have said'


I was too late to plan a real celebration at home but I thought that tonight , before bed, we would read the story of the Annunciation and the beautiful song of Mary - The Magnificat. There is some beautiful music and art work inspired by this event. I found a meditation on the stunning painting by Henry Ossawa Tanner at this site

Next year I aim to be prepared ahead.

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