“The Annunciation,” by American artist Henry Ossawa Tanner is on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Courtesy photo
“The Annunciation,” by American artist Henry Ossawa Tanner is on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Courtesy photo

Today, March 25, commemorates the Solemnity of the Annunciation, and not only is today the last day of the diocesan daily novena, the Solemnity is also being recognized in song.

In a video that can be seen on diocesan media outlets, Gez Ford, musician and retreat leader from St. Raphael-Holy Angels Parish, Hamilton, covers the Basque folk carol "Gabriel's Message." This song is often heard at Christmastime, even though the majority of lyrics reflects on the Annunciation.

“Gez jumped at the opportunity to record a cover of this beautiful hymn – at 6 a.m.! – so that it could be available for prayerful contemplation on the Solemnity of the Annunciation. Gez’s version of this deeply moving song is just extraordinary,” said Rachel Hendricks, diocesan Respect Life coordinator.

The diocesan Department of Evangelization and Family Life has been holding a daily novena in English and Spanish from March 17-25 on diocesan social media outlets in recognition of the Solemnity of the Annunciation. The Solemnity commemorates when the angel Gabriel visited the Virgin Mary and informed her she would be the mother of the savior.

The song’s lyrics, Hendricks said, tell the story of the angel’s appearance to Mary, a young Jewish girl, the “most highly favored lady.” Then “gentle Mary meekly bowed her head” and gave her humble consent to conceive the Lord, Jesus.

To view all of the daily novenas, visit YouTube.com/trentondioceseFor Spanish, visit facebook.com/catolicosdetrenton.

Each novena includes daily prayer led by faithful from around the Diocese and a reflection intended to spur further conversation. Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., gave a brief reflection on the first day of the novena.