Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sanctuary Sights and Senses: Stained Glass I

The following is from the tenth installment of my bulletin insert series:

Stained Glass Symbols I - There are eight different symbols in the nine windows in the sanctuary.

The Stone Tablets with Roman Numerals I - X represent the Ten Commandments as found in Exodus 10:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21. The first four set forth the duties of a holy people to a holy God; and the last six assert the ethical duties of people to their neighbors.

The Wheat symbolizes the Bread of Life, who is Jesus (Mark 14:22). When paired with the chalice or grapes, it also symbolizes the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

The Lily is a symbol of Easter and immortality. The lily is pictured in the center of the front and the back of the sanctuary. Located, as the front window is, behind the cross, we are reminded of Christ’s death and resurrection for us.

The Chalice (cup) in the front of the sanctuary and the Grapes in the back are symbols of the Blood of Christ and the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

The Keys stand for the Keys of Kingdom of Heaven. They often are seen as a symbol of St. Peter, upon whose confession of Jesus as “. . . the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” Jesus replied, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven . . .“ (cf., Matthew 16:13-19).

The Anchor (Cross) is the symbol of Christian Hope (cf., Hebrews 6:19).

The Cross and Crown symbolize both Christ our King, as well as the reward of the “crown of life” for the faithful who have trusted in Christ as Savior (cf., Revelation 2:10).

Information gathered from the following resources:

McGee, Ratha Doyle. Symbols: Signposts of Devotion. Nashville. The Upper Room. 1962.

W.T. Purkiser, Ed. Exploring the Old Testament. NPH.

Whittemore, Carroll E., Ed. Symbols of the Church. (Revised Ed.). Abingdon P. 1987.

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