Faith in Glorious Color

09-22-2019Pastor's LetterFather Gregory Wilson

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
By now a great number of you have seen the three newly installed stained glass windows. We are indebted to the generosity of the donors, who have made this project of beauty possible. These are three of eventually sixteen windows depicting various scenes from the life of Christ. We should receive three more every three to four months as they are made. These were the choices of the first donors of the windows. They are created by the Mayer of Munich in Germany, the same company and artist that created the three windows we already have above the doors of the church.

The Nativity takes place in a cave. The center is the Child Jesus. The Virgin Mary’s position holding Jesus in her lap is throne-like. Saint Joseph holds a lighted lamp symbolizing Jesus as the Light of the world. One shepherd holds the shepherd’s staff/crook, denoting Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Another holds a lamb since Jesus is the true Lamb of God. Another shepherd has removed his sandals as Moses did in the presence of God at the burning bush. Near the ox and the ass we find wheat, symbolizing Jesus, the Bread of Life. The Star of Bethlehem fills the sky, shedding its light on the city of Bethlehem. The scripture verse is from the message of the Angels to the shepherds, “To you is born this day a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (St. Luke 2:11).

Next we have Palm Sunday, Jesus’ Triumphal Entrance into Jerusalem. The scripture verse echoes the cry of the crowds as well as part of the Sanctus we sing at every Mass: “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest!” (St. Matthew 21:9). Jesus rides into Jerusalem with His hand extended in blessing. The people joyfully strew their cloaks and palm branches before Him. Looking carefully, you’ll notice that the branches are actually palmetto, the state tree of South Carolina. In the pediment above the scene, you will find a tear vial with two tear drops on either side. As Jesus came into Jerusalem, St. Luke tells us He wept over the city (19:41). Today, a church marks this spot called Dominus Flevit – Jesus Wept. Tear vials were commonly carried by women in ancient times and used to collect their tears. This church includes these vials as decoration on its top.

The Last Supper window depicts the deeper, spiritual significance of the scene. Jesus is dressed in priestly vestments since He is the Great High Priest. They are red because of His Blood to be shed. The Holy Mass brings us to Calvary – His sacrifice. The Apostles are asking who it is that will betray Him. All have halos except one, Judas. His is the only face we cannot clearly see, and he holds a money bag behind his back. Saint John reminds us that Judas “was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions” (12:6). In the right corner we find a ewer and basin that Jesus has used to wash the feet of the Apostles. The scripture passage proclaims Jesus’ words from John’s Gospel, “My Flesh is true food, and my Blood is true drink” (6:55).
Enjoy these splendid works of art!

Yours in Christ,
Father Wilson