Stained Glass Windows Explanation

Word and Sacrament (Altar) Window

Beginning in the left-hand corner you see a baptismal font. Here is where the Christian life begins. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ (Galatians 3.27). The water of the baptismal font flows through the entire picture just as baptism in Christ is something we always remember. A clean robe of righteousness rises out of the font reminding us that righteousness comes as a gift, by faith I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61.10). A young plant rises symbolizing the young Christian life. And He said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how (Mark 4.26-27). On the right side there is a chalice and piece of bread reminding us of the Lordís Supper The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? (1 Corinthians 10.16). On this side the plant is stronger, heavier, and bearing fruit, just as the Bible tells us that Christians bear the fruit of faith, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law (Galatians 5.22-23). Both the younger and mature plants are enlivened by the swirl of orange and red at the top. There Christ is symbolized as the light and life of the world. But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings (Malachi 4.2). In Him was life, and the life was the light of men (John 1.4).

Lutherís Seal Window

The stained glass window on the West wall of the sanctuary is a representation of Martin Lutherís famous seal. While he was a professor at Wittenberg, Luther devised this seal which he declared was meant to be "expressive of his theology." Below is the gist of his explanation for the seal expressed in a letter to his friend, Herr Spengler, town clerk of Nuremberg.

The first thing expressed in my seal is a cross, black, within the heart, to put me in mind that faith in Christ crucified saves us. "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness."

Now, although the cross is black, mortified, and intended to cause pain, yet it does not change the color of the heart, does not destroy natureói.e., does not kill but keeps alive. "For the just shall live by faith," Ė by faith in the Savior.

But this heart is fixed upon the center of a white rose, to show that faith causes joy, consolation and peace. The rose is white, not red, because white is the ideal color of all angels and blessed spirits.

This rose, moreover, is fixed in a sky-colored ground, to denote that such joy of faith in the spirit is but an earnest and beginning of heavenly joy to come, as anticipated and held by hope, though not yet revealed.

And around this ground base is a golden ring, to signify that such bliss in heaven is endless, and more precious than all joys and treasures, since gold is the best and most precious metal. Christ, our dear Lord, He will give grace unto eternal life.

Luther Rose Window

Good Shepherd Window

This window emphasizes the many facets of the beautiful image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. St. John records Jesusí own description of Himself: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep (John 10.11). The Good Shepherd is pointing to the sheep that He carries on his shoulder reminding us of Jesusí words in the Gospel of Luke, What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing (15.4-5). The picture also presents a dove anticipating the promise Jesus would later give But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you (John 14.26). This picture is different from the other two in that it required much more detailed painting. The painting and firing process used to produce this window required much more time that the first two windows.

Good Shepherd Window

The Artist and Artisans

All three windows were designed by artist Brother Steve Erspamer. Br. Erspamer, of the Society of Mary, has dedicated is life to ecclesiastical art. He is well-trained in the history of art and has shared his gift of art with many churches world-wide.

Frei Studios in St. Louis produced the windows. The Frei family has been involved in stained glass manufacturing for many generations. All the glass used is hand blown. Most of it is made in Germany. The glass is blown into large cylinders and allowed to cool slightly. The cylinder is cut and the glass in gently allowed to lie flat. This process preserves the beautiful textures which can vary substantially from piece to piece. Adding metallic oxides produces the colors.

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