Stained Glass Windows

The overall theme of the symbolism in the faceted glass windows in St. Therese Church is the Liturgical Year.  Seven of the windows represent particular events and seasons of the liturgical year.  The eighth is a USA window.

The Advent Window is inspired by the prophecy of Isaiah (45:8) “Let the skies rain down the just one…”  As the rain falls from the clouds, the earth comes to life and new growth appears in the form of a rose, the Messianic Rose, Christ.  In the other panel, the root and tree of Jesse is based on the prophecy of Isaiah (11:10).  The Messiah was to be a descendant of Jesse, the father of King David.

The Christmas Window:  Angels are suggested by the wings; Christ’s humble beginning is suggested by the crib and the straw from which rises the symbol of Christ, the Chi-Rho, the first two letters of the name of Christ in Greek.  The Savior was first seen by the shepherds, symbolized by the sheep.

The Epiphany Window:  Magi symbolized by three crowns.  The mysterious star is depicted in the right-hand panel; from the star, rays of light are emitted over the world (globe) to indicate Jesus is Savior of the whole world.

The Lenten Window is represented by two Passion symbols; the cup and the cross, on the left panel recalling the words of Christ: “My Father, if it is possible let this cup pass from me…” (Mat 26:39).  The design on the right, the Crown of Thorns, speaks for itself.

The Good Friday Window:  With Christ’s death on the cross, the cross becomes the sign of our redemption and the symbol of our Christian faith.  Above the cross are shown the hands of God the Father who has accepted the sacrifice of His Son.  (The stained glass window in the sanctuary, illustrating the same idea in figure work, deals with the Holy Eucharist as the renewal of Christ’s sacrifice.)  The Lamb standing on the book depicted in the right-hand section refers to Jesus as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world…” (John 1:30)  He is the Lamb that has been slain and is worthy to open the seven seals of the scroll (Apocalypse, Chap 5).

The Easter Window:  The rising sun in the left panel expresses the triumphant message of Christ’s victory over death.  As the sun is the life-giving element in nature, so is Christ our supernatural life.  The lily, depicted on the right side, growing out of a tomb, is a familiar Easter symbol.  It has pierced the ground and suddenly appears in its white splendor, signifying the glory of Christ who was able to burst the tomb on Easter.

The Pentecost Window:  The Holy Spirit is symbolized by a dove and the tongues of fire.  Missionary work began with the First Pentecost and this is suggested by the globe and the cross.

The Trinity Window:  The symbols of the Three Divine Persons, appearing separately in other windows, here appear as One:  the hand of the Father and Creator, the Chi-Rho as the symbol of God the Son and the descending dove, symbol of the Holy Spirit.

The USA Window:  This window is dedicated to our country and its discoveries of God’s world and His planets.  The spaceship circling the moon is but a symbol of the many scientific advances made in our twentieth century.