Dear Friends of the Charlotte Latin Mass Community (CLMC),
Laudetur Iesus Christus and blessed feast of St. Gabriel! Today March 24, is the traditional feast of St. Gabriel the Archangel, which is appropriately placed to herald tomorrow’s solemn feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, spoken by St. Gabriel to the Blessed Mother.
Tomorrow Saturday March 25, for the feast of the Annunciation, there will be an 8am Latin Mass at St. Ann parish. This will be the normal 4th Saturday Respect Life Latin Mass, followed by prayers for an end to abortion at Planned Parenthood, or a Holy Hour of Reparation in the church.
To learn more about these twin feast days we include excerpts from Dom Prosper Gueranger’s The Liturgical Year:
St. Gabriel the Archangel – March 24
Amidst the ineffable joys of Christmas night, we mingled our timid but glad voices with the hymns of these heavenly spirits, who sang around the crib of our Emmanuel. The very recollection brings joy to our hearts, saddened as they now are by penitential feelings and by the near approach of the mournful anniversary of our Jesus’ death. Let us, for a moment, interrupt our sadness, and keep the feast of the Archangel Gabriel. Later on, we shall have Michael, Raphael, and the countless host of the angel guardians; but to-day, the eve of the Annunciation, it is just that we should honour Gabriel. Tomorrow we shall see this heavenly ambassador of the blessed Trinity coming down to the Virgin of Nazareth; let us, therefore, recommend ourselves to him, and beseech him to teach us how to celebrate, in a becoming manner, the grand mystery of which he was the messenger.
Gabriel is one of the first of the angelic kingdom. He tells Zachary that he stands before the face of God. He is the angel of the Incarnation, because it is in this mystery, which apparently is so humble, that the power of God is principally manifested: and Gabriel signifies the strength of God. We find the Archangel preparing for this sublime office, even in the old Testament. First of all, he appeared to Daniel, after this prophet had had the vision of the Persian and Grecian empires; and such was the majesty of his person that Daniel fell on his face trembling. Shortly afterwards, he appeared again to the same prophet, telling him the exact time of the coming of the Messias: ‘Know thou and take notice: that from the going forth of the word to build up Jerusalem again, unto Christ the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks,’ that is, sixty-nine weeks of years.
When the fulness of time had come, and heaven was about to send the last of the prophets, who, after preaching to men the approach of the Messias, is to show Him to the people, saying: ‘Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world,’ Gabriel descends from heaven to the temple of Jerusalem, and prophesies to Zachary the birth of John the Baptist, which was to be followed by that of Jesus Himself.
Feast of the Annunciation – March 25
This is a great day, not only to man, but even to God Himself; for it is the anniversary of the most solemn event that time has ever witnessed. On this day, the divine Word, by whom the Father created the world, was made flesh in the womb of a virgin, and dwelt among us. We must spend it in joy. Whilst we adore the Son of God who humbled Himself by thus becoming Man, let us give thanks to the Father, who so loved the world, as to give His only-begotten Son; let us give thanks to the Holy Ghost, whose almighty power achieves the great mystery. We are in the very midst of Lent, and yet the ineffable joys of Christmas are upon us: our Emmanuel is conceived on this day, and, nine months hence, will be born in Bethlehem, and the angels will invite us to come and honour the sweet Babe.
The time has come for the fulfilment of this promise. The world has been in expectation for four thousand years; and the hope of its deliverance has been kept up, in spite of all its crimes. During this time, God has made use of miracles, prophecies, and types, as a renewal of the engagement He has entered into with mankind. The blood of the Messias has passed from Adam to Noe; from Sem to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; from David and Solomon to Joachim; and now it flows in the veins of Mary, Joachim’s daughter. Mary is the woman by whom is to be taken from our race the curse that lies upon it. God has decreed that she should be Immaculate; and has thereby set an irreconcilable enmity between her and the serpent. She, a daughter of Eve, is to repair all the injury done by her mother’s fall; she is to raise up her sex from the degradation into which it has been cast; she is to co-operate, directly and really, in the victory which the Son of God is about to gain over His and our enemy.
A tradition, which has come down from the apostolic ages, tells us that the great mystery of the Incarnation was achieved on the twenty-fifth day of March. It was at the hour of midnight, when the most holy Virgin was alone and absorbed in prayer, that the Archangel Gabriel appeared before her, and asked her, in the name of the blessed Trinity, to consent to become the Mother of God. Let us assist, in spirit, at this wonderful interview between the angel and the Virgin: and, at the same time, let us think of that other interview which took place between Eve and the serpent. A holy bishop and marytr of the second century, Saint Irenæus, who had received the tradition from the very disciples of the apostles, shows us that Nazareth is the counterpart of Eden.