Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $39,825 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catholic Activity: Annunciation Tableau

The ideas for an Annunciation Tableau can be applied throughout the year, but particulary in Advent, the feast of the Annunciation and on St. Gabriel's feast day, September 29. This was written to accompany the Ember Wednesday of Advent. The Mass for Ember Wednesday in Advent was referred to as "The Golden Mass," also Missa Aurea. This Mass has now been transferred to the Fourth Sunday of Advent.

DIRECTIONS

The students at Grailville offer some interesting suggestions for a re-enactment of the Gospel story of the Annunciation:

As at Christmas, the Nativity is simply re-enacted in many Christian homes, why not on Ember Wednesday in preparation for Christmas re-enact the Gospel of the angelic message of Redemption? No scripts are needed, no elaborate costume, no long rehearsals. The family or group could gather together and in a prayerful spirit simply relive the words of the Gospel. The play could be in two parts: (1) Prophecy and (2) Fulfillment.

The first part is the reading of Isaias from the (Lesson and Epistle of Wednesday) morning's Mass prophesying the virgin birth of Jesus Christ (Isaias, 2: 2-5 and 7: 10-15). This might be done to illustrate the foreshadowing of the advent of Christ in the Old Testament. The song "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" could be sung as an interim. In the next part of the presentation the fulfillment takes place. As a reader speaks the words of the Gospel (Luke 1: 26-38) Mary is seen praying in her chamber, and the angel appears to her. The play could be concluded with everyone singing "A Rose Sprang Up Unheeded" or another Advent song.3

This little tableau could easily be performed either at school or at home in the evening.

As dinnertime approaches, it is often difficult to find an appropriate menu for a fast day. This need not be the case for this Ember Wednesday, for we recall that on the feast of the Annunciation the Swedish people serve excellent waffles. We could anticipate the Vaffeldagen by about three months and make a fitting fast day repast. It would be more than we could expect to be able to use the little heart-shaped irons which Swedish ladies have to make the waffles an even more enticing delight.

After dinner, with the singing of the Magnificat and the "O antiphon," we may teach the children the last great Advent psalm, number 18 since it fits in so perfectly with the Mass of the day. The Introit of Ember Wednesday and the fourth Sunday of Advent both employ this beautiful psalm:

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims the work of His hands There He has set up His tabernacle for the sun, which goes forth like a bridegroom from his chamber and rejoices like a giant, to run the course. From one end of the heaven is its rising, and its course ends at the other, nothing is hidden from its heat. — Frey translation

Activity Source: True Christmas Spirit by Rev. Edward J. Sutfin, Grail Publications, St. Meinrad, Indiana, 1955

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Cardinal Kasper's unsubtle threat 3 hours ago
When Catholics are less Catholic than non-Catholics 24 hours ago
Cardinal Kasper's nose is growing again October 18
Challenge Grant Begins as Synod Ends October 17
What's wrong with this Synod, IV: Unprepared for marriage October 17

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6