The Feast of Annunciation with a Jordanian aroma

The Feast of Annunciation with a Jordanian aroma

By Fr. Rif'at Bader

The first celebration observing the Feast of the Annunciation has been celebrated at “Al-Hussein” Cultural Center, a name dear to Jordanians, with a Jordanian aroma. It was observed under the patronage of Deputy Prime Minister His Excellency Jamal Sarayra and included representatives of Christian and Islamic institutions. This celebration unveils five lessons:

First: This initiative aims at giving a new flavor to the Islamic-Christian encounter, or rather an original flavor. There are common denominators between the two religions based on sacred texts in both the Holy Bible and the Noble Koran. These texts transcend, or rather complement and beautify, speeches and popular stories on altruism and brotherhood being disseminated by generations that take roots in minds. Bur, what is written in the holy books is indelible over the days as it sets the ground for a more solid and steady stage.

Second: The official attendance at the ceremony has given a new impetus so that this day would be observed as a comprehensive national feast. The Lebanese brethren have succeeded in observing this day as an official holiday, thus becoming an official holiday for all institutions. This feast is characterized as being a religious holiday associated by the two religions, whereas there is a concomitance between the Bible and Koranic texts with relevance to Angel Gabriel's annunciation to Blessed Virgin Mary. When we say “a common feast’’ we do mean what we say. That is why the celebration included a simultaneous recitation of the two texts from the Holy Gospel and the Noble Quran, an event happens for the first time in our country. It was followed by hymns performed by the Fountain of Love Choir and Al Falah Choir.

Third: The presence of the Lebanese delegation was a milestone with regards to associating the sublime initiatives that had earlier been achieved in Lebanon with what has been achieved in Jordan. The patron of the even shed light on the Amman Message, the Common Word Initiative, the World Interfaith Harmony Week, the Conference on "The Challenges Facing Arab Christians" as well as on hosting the forcibly displaced Christians from Mosul. The presence of ambassadors from a number of foreign friendly countries was an opportunity to disseminate Jordan's sublime message of brotherhood and harmony.

Fourth: A number of young people took part in the event. This is an aberration to the tradition followed in dialogue events which are usually confined to those with long experience. But, the participation of young people in holding similar events instills optimism and indicates that the world is on a right course, that Jordan is in good shape, and that the future to be shouldered by these young people is safe since they are trained to deal with brethren--rather than by referring to the them as the others—and to entrench the common denominators and maintain them.

Fifth: The leader of the country, His Majesty the King, the patron of the marc. He was shown in a short film prepared by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media addressing the plenary session of the 71st United Nations General Assembly on September 20, 2016, where he said: “Jesus, whom we call 'Christ Messiah', is named 25 times. His mother Mary, called the 'best of all women in creation', is named 35 times. And there is a chapter in the Qur’an called ‘Maryam’.” Based on this Royal vision, the “first’ celebration of the Feast of the Annunciation emerged on the holy Jordanian land.

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