Friday, March 25, 2016


"For he hath regarded
the loneliness / lowliness of his handmaiden."

The Wash House, 1905
by Sir William Orpen (1878 - 1931)
At first glance, I saw this painting as a somewhat out of the ordinary depiction of the conventional Annunciation, with Mary going quietly about her business and the angel Gabriel appearing on the stairs to announce Mary's momentous role in the upcoming birth of Jesus.

But, no! This lowly, lonely, and no doubt tired handmaiden is scrubbing clothes on a washboard and the "angel" in white has not wings on her back but comes bearing yet more laundry!
P.S. June 2019
Angels or Laundry
"Because unlike when the men looked in
and saw only laundry,
when Mary Magdalen looked in the tomb,
SHE saw angels

Pastor Nadia
Bolz - Weber


For today's Feast of the Annunciation,
here are some beautiful lyrics from
The United Methodist Hymnal (# 274):

Women in the Night
Woman in the night,
spent from giving birth,
guard our precious light;
peace is on the earth!

Come and join the song,
women, children, men;
Jesus makes us free to live again!

Woman in the crowd,
creeping up behind,
touching is allowed:
seek and you will find! (Refrain)

Woman at the well,
question the Messiah;
find your friends and tell:
drink your heart's desire! (Refrain)

Woman at the feast,
let the righteous stare;
come and go in peace;
love him with your hair! (Refrain)

Woman in the house,
nurtured to be meek,
leave your second place;
listen, think and speak! (Refrain)

Women on the road,
welcomed and restored,
travel far and wide;
witness to the Lord! (Refrain)

Women on the hill,
stand when men have fled!
Christ needs loving still,
though your hope is dead. (Refrain)

Women in the dawn,
care and spices bring,
earliest to mourn;
earliest to sing! (Refrain)

Text: Brian Wren, 1982
Music: Charles H. Webb, 1987
or Ron Klusmeier

See previous posts:
Annunciation ~ Blessed ~ Feast or Peace?

The Annunciation
Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones

Annunciazione ~ Leonardo da Vinci


  1. Also By Brian Wren:

    Bring many names, beautiful and good,
    Celebrate, in parable and story,
    Holiness in glory, living, loving God.
    Hail and Hosanna! Bring many names!

    Strong mother God, working night and day,
    Planning all the wonders of creation,
    Setting each equation, genius at play:
    Hail and Hosanna, strong mother God!

    Warm father God, hugging every child,
    Feeling all the strains of human living,
    Caring and forgiving, till we’re reconciled:
    Hail and Hosanna, warm father God!

    Old, aching God, grey with endless care,
    Calmly piercing evil’s new disguises,
    Glad of good surprises, wiser than despair:
    Hail and Hosanna, old, aching God!

    Young, growing God, eager, on the move,
    Saying no to falsehood and unkindness,
    Crying out for justice, giving all you have:
    Hail and Hosanna, young, growing God!

    Great, living God, never fully known,
    Joyful darkness far beyond our seeing,
    Closer yet than breathing, everlasting home:
    Hail and Hosanna, great, living God!

  2. In a related observation for Advent Season, Peter Bunder said, "Jesus did not come so that we could spend the entire month of November and December racing around like crazy, getting ready for Christmas. He came to give us the same message that the angel Gabriel brought to The Virgin Mary: Blessed Are You Among Women!"

    See also:
    Monday, September 2, 2013
    Labor Day: Don't Work Too Hard