The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

The handmaid of the Lord

For today, the Feast of the Annunciation…

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the Child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.”


Luke 1:26-38



1. “The Annunciation” by John Collier.

2. “The Annunciation” by Henry Ossawa Tanner

Comments read comments(7)
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Holly Hansen

posted March 25, 2010 at 8:21 am

I love this art ! Thank You !

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posted March 25, 2010 at 9:16 am

I am so comfortable with the Tanner picture of the Annunciation, the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary. Collier’s rendition reminds me that God chose a very ordinary young woman with an extraordinary openness to His will.

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posted March 25, 2010 at 10:55 am

I like both these works. The Collier work, however, makes me think that people have changed quite a bit in 2000 years… I seriously wonder if the young woman answering the door would take Gabriel seriously or would just say, “Come on, no way! Is this American’s Funniest Videos?” Or would her parents threaten to call the police?

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posted March 25, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Tom, I just read a great line in the Magnificat today regarding Mary.
“Suprised by nothing; prepared for anything!”
That was/is certainly Mother Mary, and if we are all smart, it will also be the motto for all us, especially considering the perilous times in which we live.

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posted March 25, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Oh, how I love this day, in the middle of Lent, a starburst erupts and the priests and deacons wear white (or gold), the Gloria is said, and people are confused at Mass to hear two readings before the Gospel, like on a Sunday. It is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord! The celebration of Mary’s FIAT, exactly 9 months to Christmas, when Baby Jesus was conceived! The BEGINNING of our Salvation!
My favorite painting you have never seen. It was done by a friend of mine, a Georgian classical artist, an orthodox Christian, named Nicolo. His painting of the Annunciation hung at the LaSalle University Museum in Philadelphia. Oh, I so wanted to buy it at all costs! It shows the Blessed Virgin standing just a moment after her “fiat” and the Angel Gabriel PROSTRATE ON HIS KNEES in adoration–not to the Blessed Mother–but to our Lord conceived in her womb just moments before. The angel is enormous with great wings. The Virgin is in a state of reflection.
Oh, think of the Happy Birthday song, but change it to: Happy Conception Day, dear Baby Embryo Jesus, Happy Conception Day to You!”
I must stop as my hands are shaking and I’m about to cry.
Happy Conception Day to you all! Love, your brother in Christ, Joe

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posted March 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm

I absolutely *love* Tanner’s Annunciation. I saw it in the Philly Art Museum and it was one of two works that were the absolute highlight for me.
This reminds me that I need to get a print of it.

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John Collier

posted March 25, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Dear Deacon
Thank you for displaying my painting on your blog. It is very gratifying to look around the internet and see people discussing it. Blessed Feast of the Annunciation,
John Collier

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