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The spring season is celebrated by Christians with observances of Lent and Holy Week: Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. However, one event sometimes gets lost. The event recorded in the New Testament and in early Christian literature called the “Annunciation” is the announcement by the Angel Gabriel to Mary at the Well of Nazareth, that she shall bear a son. The Annunciation is seen by many as the birth announcement that changed the world, and has at its core two timeless elements that make it a favorite for religious celebrations: the promise of life, and the central role of the mother and her unconditional love. The Feast of the Annunciation is celebrated by Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics on March 25, and this year corresponds with Palm Sunday. Here at AHCC, the Annunciation will take center stage throughout the month of April, highlighted by three events.

*A Photography Exhibition – Drew Hall Art Gallery | March 25 - April 30 Nazareth is a village mentioned nearly 23 times in the New Testament. The Annunciation is one of the central events in the history of Christianity, and according to early Christian sources, the event took place either at the Well of Nazareth and/or in the house of Mary and Joseph. Nazareth has two major Churches of the Annunciation, one belonging to the Greek Orthodox Church and other to the Roman Catholic Church. Both figure in early Christian accounts of the Annunciation. The exhibition in Drew Hall will take the viewer through the present structures in and around the Well and the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, the state-of-the-art geo-science and archaeological technique used by the University of Hartford research group to map the sub-surface of the area, the discovery of the mosaic floor of the 5th century church, and will explore the rest of the famed basilica and house of Mary and Joseph enshrined in the Roman Catholic Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth.

*Lecture – Drew Hall | April 16, 4:00 - 5:30pm As part of his Presidents’ College lecture series, University of Hartford Professor Richard Freund will speak on the photography exhibition and the significance behind the city of Nazareth. For the last 15 years, Dr. Freund and Maha Darawsha have co-directed the excavations at Mary’s Well and the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth. This is a model excavation with Jews, Christians and Muslims working on a common history in one city. The lecture is free and open to the public; no registration required.

*Music for Humanity Concert | April 22, 4:00pm | Tickets ($20) To purchase online CLICK HERE. Also available by calling 860.278.0785 (Students price with valid student ID: $10 at the door only) The final concert in our 2017-18 Concert Series, entitled Music for the Soul: A Celebration of Philip Glass will feature the East Coast premiere of the famed Jewish composer’s new work for piano and string quartet, entitled Annunciation, performed by pianist Paul Barnes and the Chiara String Quartet. Drawing upon Barnes’ and Glass’ mutual love of ancient traditions, Glass based the melodic material on the Greek Orthodox Byzantine Hymn for the Annunciation. This new work will add to the numerous musical arrangements over the centuries that have celebrated Mary. Additional selections on the program by Philip Glass include Pendulum, featuring violinist Hyeyung Yoon and pianist Paul Barnes, as well as solo piano works arranged and edited by Barnes. The Chiara String Quartet’s performance will include Nico Muhly’s Diacritical Marks, written for them in 2011. Rounding out this celebratory concert, the AHCC’s Sanctuary Choir and the Cathedral of St. Joseph Schola Cantorum will combine forces to sing Franz Biebl’s Ave Maria, Kevin Siegfried’s Annunciation, Ēriks Ešenvalds’ Magnificat, Bob Chilcott’s So Fair and So Bright, and Paul Basler’s Alleluia. As a Music for Humanity concert, all ticket proceeds will go to benefit a Hartford Charitable Agency. For this concert, our Agency beneficiary is Hartford Habitat for Humanity

 

*These events are sponsored by the Asylum Hill Congregational Church Music for Humanity Concert Series, and by the University of Hartford’s College of Arts and Sciences Board of Advisors, Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, and the Presidents’ College.