25 March 2021

Praying in Lent and Easter 2021:
37, Saint Mary’s Church, Tagoat, Co Wexford

Saint Mary’s Church, Tagoat, is the last of Pugin’s churches in Co Wexford … many regard it as his most important parish church in Ireland (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

During Lent and Easter this year, I am taking some time each morning to reflect in these ways:

1, a photograph of a church or place of worship that has been significant in my spiritual life;

2, the day’s Gospel reading;

3, a prayer from the prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel).

This week I am offering photographs from seven churches that were designed by Augustus Welby Pugin (1812-1852), the architect singularly responsible for shaping and influencing the Gothic revival in church architecture on these islands.

Today is the Feast of the Annunciation, and my photographs this morning (25 March 2021) are from the Saint Mary’s Church, Tagoat, Co Wexford.

Many regard Saint Mary’s as the most important of Pugin’s parish churches in Ireland, and it has been has been described as ‘an example of Pugin’s best work on a small church.’

Pugin’s great Irish patron, John Hyacinth Talbot, inherited Ballytrent House, the ancestral home of the Redmond banking family, when he married Ann Eliza Redmond, a 19-year-old heiress, on the day of her father’s death, 10 May 1822. She died four years later in 1826, and in 1843 Talbot commissioned Pugin to design Saint Mary’s Church in Tagoat as both his parish church and as a memorial to his late wife.

Pugin depicted in a stained-glass window in Saint Mary’s Church, Tagoat, Co Wexford (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Luke 1: 26-38 (NRSVA):

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’ 29 But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. 30 The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. 31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 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 ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ 34 Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I am a virgin?’ 35 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 holy; he will be called Son of God. 36 And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.’ 38 Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary:

The Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (25 March 2021), prays:

Let us pray for an end to all forms of modern-day slavery in the world.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

JH Talbot commissioned Pugin to design Saint Mary’s Church in Tagoat as both his parish church and as a memorial to his late wife (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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