18. St. Peter and Paul Church, East Harling, East window, Annunciation, 1480.
The Virginís initial reaction to the announcement that she will give birth to a holy child is sheer shock: she has not engaged in prior physical relations.  The angel Gabriel, understanding her confusion, reassures her on bent knee that it was through the divine will of the Lord that she was chosen to be the mother of the Son of God.  As he explains to her that the Holy Spirit will descend upon her and overshadow her with the power of the Most High, the dove floats down amidst the golden rays emitted from the pink cloud above.  The Virgin Mary, standing reverently behind the prayer desk and opened book, accepts her chosen role as the handmaid of the Lord with head solemnly bowed and arms folded complacently across her chest.