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Marian feasts

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There is a myriad of special events, feast days, periods, and occasions in the liturgical calendar, each of which has its own special significance in the church and its own specific way of celebrating. Alongside the most well-known holidays such as Easter and Advent, there are several lesser well known - but no less important feast days that are observed by clergy and parishes worldwide. Here today we take a look at one of them - the Marian Feasts. For special vestments that represent Marian Feasts, visit vestment.co.uk.

What Is A Marian Feast?

The Marian Feasts are not just one day, but several that are scattered throughout the year. These are specific days that recognize and celebrate the events in the life of Our Lady Mary and her veneration. In fact there are over twenty feast and memorial days that feature prominently in the Roman Catholic calendar. Consisting of several main feast days alongside some optional extras.

As there are so many days in the Marian feasts, we will focus on the five most important:

  • The Solemnity of Mary, Mother God (January 1st) - This is a celebration of the Virgin Mary being the mother of Jesus, celebrated on the 8th day of Christmastide.
  • The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary (February 2nd) - Also known as the Presentation of Jesus, this feast describes Jesus’ presentation to the temple in Jerusalem as a child, as his firstborn status ensured that he would serve as a priest.
  • The Annunciation of the Lord (March 25th) - Celebrates the visit of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, during which he informed her that she would be the mother of Jesus Christ.
  • The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15th) - Celebrates the ascension of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her life.
  • The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (December 8th) - Celebrates the belief in the sinless life of the Virgin Mary alongside the belief that she was free from original sin at the moment of her conception.

Marian Garb

The appropriate vestment choice for Marian feast days depends on the particular clergyman's role in the church, and also the type of celebration. For this reason, almost every type of liturgical vestments has specific Marian categories and produce special clothing for each level of dress. For instance, a priest would require a chasuble, a bishop a cope, a deacon a dalmatic and so on. This can become quite confusing, as on top of the standard options for dress available to members of the clergy, they will also need specific vestments on top of this in order to honor the Marian feasts.

The purpose of this is to present to the congregation a solid and unified colour scheme, which usually contains blue, to honor the Virgin Mary. This not only shows the importance of vestment colours but also signifies to the parish the observation of a special feast day. The attire of the clergy is often matching - priests will often wear chasubles made from the same materials as the deacons' dalmatics, and this helps to create cohesion during Mass.

To Conclude

Marian feasts are key liturgical events in the calendar of the church and should be celebrated as such! They are widely celebrated across the planet and are even designated as official holidays across several countries. These are the events in the life of the Virgin Mary that led to the birth of Jesus Christ and beyond, as such they are extremely notable and important events. This is why there are so many options available for Marian vestments. After all, it's only appropriate for the brevity of the celebrations, and every clergyman is sure to have an item or two in their wardrobes.

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