Daniel Mitsui  ~  Religious Drawings  ~  Deacon Ordination



This is an ink drawing on Bristol board. I drew it using fine-tipped pens and calligraphers’ inks applied with brushes.

I created this on private commission to commemorate the ordination of several deacons; the text that fills the center part of the design (Emitte in eos...) are those spoken by an ordaining bishop, which are essential to the valid form of the sacrament.

Within the large capital E that begins the text appears an angel blowing a trumpet. This refers to a passage in the Rationale Divinorum Officiorum, a 13th century liturgiological encyclopedia compiled by William Durandus, Bishop of Mende. In his chapter explaining the mystical significance of the deacon, he wrote:
In the New Testament, this order was instituted by the Apostles, who chose seven men of good repute, filled with the Holy Spirit, to be deacons.... In the Apocalypse, they are called seven angels blowing trumpets, since they are charged with making the highest mysteries resound through divine inspiration.
I split the upper and lower arms of the capital E each into three trumpets, making seven total. A seven-tongued flame emerges from the middle trumpet, which refers to the septiformis gratiae mentioned in the prayer.

In the lower left corner is an image of St. Stephen, one of the seven men of good repute, and the most highly exalted deacon among the saints. He is identified by his dalmatic and the stones he holds, the instruments of his martyrdom.

In the ornamental border that stretches around the text appear a number of newts. My use of them here is based on the Bestiary, a popular medieval book of animal symbolism, which states: [The newt] is such an enemy of scorpions that the very sight of it strikes terror into them and they are transfixed. and also: The scorpion signifies the devil or those who serve him. Thus, the newts symbolize the enemies of the devil and his servants; this is fittingly applied to the clergy.

The original drawing included episcopal coats of arms and other details specific to the ordination commemorated. The doves I drew separately and edited into the print file in their places. The print file is shown here; it measures 5" × 7".

An open-edition giclée print of this drawing is available for $33. You may use the button below to pay via PayPal, debit card or credit card. Be sure to confirm the shipping address.

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all works copyright Daniel Mitsui / danmitsui at hotmail dot com