Procession, Concerts, Feasts Will Mark Feast of Annunciation in Ave Maria
Published on Wednesday, 22 March 2017 18:43
The Feast of the Annunciation has always been a special day in the town of Ave Maria and festivities planned to mark this year's feast are shaping up to be particularly memorable.
The name of the town commemorates the announcement by the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she was chosen to bear the Christ child, which the Bible says began with the phrase "Hail Mary," or in Latin, Ave Maria.
This year's celebration begins with a vigil procession beginning at the Ave Maria Catholic Church in the center of town, winding on a 1.6-mile route through the town and ending on the Ave Maria University campus at the shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Anyone wishing to participate should gather outside the church at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The first vigil procession last year drew hundreds of people. (left)
Many in town plan to gather Saturday morning to watch the sunrise. The distinctive church in town was oriented specifically so that it would be in a direct line to the exact point of the sunrise on March 25.
Following a Mass in the church at 11 a.m., Ave Maria University has invited everyone in town to a lunch on the university mall Saturday that will also mark the 80th birthday of the university's founder, Tom Monaghan. Following lunch, there will be a number of family activities, an art show, and, concurrently, an Ave Maria Development event called the Landshark Luau featuring music in the town center.
There is a dinner put on by AMU on the mall beginning at 5:30 p.m. followed by a concert by the popular group Sythian and culminating in a fireworks display.
The lunch, afternoon activities, concert and fireworks are free but there is a charge for dinner of $18 for adults and $7 for children. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.annunciation.sga.avemaria.edu/tickets/ and a schedule of AMU activities is available at https://www.annunciation.sga.avemaria.edu/schedule/.
The first celebration of the Feast of the Annunciation at the Ave Maria townsite occurred in 2003, before ground was broken on the project and when Ave Maria University was located at a temporary campus in North Naples that now houses the Ave Maria School of Law. A video available by clicking here shows that first Annunciation celebration. (above right, the sunrise on the Feast of the Annunciation, 2012)