Why isn’t the Annunciation Celebrated Today?

The Annunciation by Fra Angelico (public domain) via Wikimedia Commons.

Every March 25, the solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord is celebrated in the Catholic Church, but this year Holy Week supersedes that observance.

The Annunciation of the Lord commemorates the archangel Gabriel’s announcing to Mary that she would become the mother of the Savior. With her “yes,” or “fiat,” the Son of God became incarnated in the womb of the Virgin Mary (cf. Lk 1:26-38).

The Annunciation holds the rank of a solemnity, which means its celebration takes precedence over all the feast days and memorials for saints or blesseds. However, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops explained why it cannot be celebrated on March 25 this year.

“Since March 25 is Monday of Holy Week this year, the solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord is moved to Monday, April 8,” the liturgical calendar for American dioceses states.

Holy Week (this year March 24–30) commemorates the passion, death, and resurrection of the Lord as well as the institution of the Eucharist, events that infinitely surpass any other solemnity or feast day of any saint or blessed.


In addition, after Holy Week comes the Easter Octave, during which the Church continues to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Easter is “the ‘Feast of feasts,’ the ‘Solemnity of solemnities’” (No. 1169).

The Easter Octave, which begins on Easter Sunday and concludes with Divine Mercy Sunday, runs from March 31 to April 7 this year.

Thus for 2024, the solemnity of the Annunciation has been moved to April 8, two weeks after March 25, so it can be celebrated with the recognition it deserves, this great mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God, which prepares us for Christmas.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.