Chancel Window – The Festivals of The Church
In memory of R. Edgar Benson, Junior
The Chancel window was created by Willet Studios of Philadelphia around 1960. While it contains spectacularly brilliant stained glass of deep blues and reds, the interior sections of the glass feature leaded sculptural overlays finished in gold leaf. As the natural light outside the window diminishes in evening, the “sculptured gold” elements come to life inside the meetinghouse. The window presents the Christian seasons:Left, bottom to top:
Advent is seen at the bottom of the left lancet. This is symbolized by the Annunciation scene when the news of Christ’s birth was imparted to the Virgin Mary by the Angel Gabriel.
Next above is the Christmas nativity scene showing the Holy Family in the stable at Bethlehem.
Epiphany, or the showing of Christ to the Gentiles, is represented by the three gift-bearing kings being led by the star.Center, bottom to top:
Ash Wednesday begins the center lancet at the bottom, being symbolized by Christ’s Temptation in the wilderness. Satan is seen offering Him a crown, bread, and the cities of the world. Christ is seated upon the highest point of the Temple from which He was asked to cast Himself down.
Palm Sunday is next above showing Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
Maundy Thursday is represented by Christ washing Peter’s feet.Right, bottom to top:
The bottom right lancet shows the crucified Christ flanked by Mary and John on Good Friday.
Next above, the risen Christ on Easter emerges victorious from the empty tomb carrying a banner.
Pentecost is at the top. Peter is seen standing in the center of the assembly of the faithful, while tongues of fire over their heads symbolize the descent of the Holy Spirit which is depicted in its typical form, a dove.
The traceries*, along the top, between Alpha and Omega, contain symbols of the four apostles. They are characterized by the four beasts mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel, as well as in the fourth chapter of Revelation.
The winged man is the symbol of St. Matthew because that Evangelist begins his Gospel by tracing the human descent of Our Lord.
The lion denotes St. Mark, because that writer opens his inspired Gospel by describing St. John the Baptist as a voice crying in the wilderness.
The ox represents St. Luke because he gives a detailed account of the sacrificial death of Our Lord.
The symbol of St. John is the eagles’ wings to the very throne of Heaven.
At the apex of the window appears the Chi Rho (XP) ancient monogram for Christ.
(* tracery – a pattern of interlacing ribs, usually of stone. This stonework is at the top of a large stained glass window to help reduce the weight of the glass in the tracery on the glass in the main window below.)