Stained Glass Windows:
Symbolism Description

 

Creation

Creator Star with circle represents God separating light from dark and earth from water.  Note vegetation, bird, and fish.

Stain glass window titled "Creation"

 

Fall of Man

Tree of Knowledge, Serpent, and Apple. Apple is supposedly the fruit that was forbiddingly eaten.

 

The Sword represents the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden.

Stain glass window titled "Fall of Man"

 

Word of God

 

The two stone tablets formed for Moses on the mountain as the Word of God, meaning the Ten Commandments or sometimes referred to as the Decalogue. (Exodus 20:2-17; Deuteronomy 5:6-21).

Stain glass window titled "Word of God"

 

Nativity

 

The three crowns refer to the three kings present at the birth of Christ. XP again used as a symbol of Christ, this is also called the Chi Rho.

 

The manger symbolizes Christ’s birth and the star that was present the night of the birth.

Stain glass window titled "Nativity"

 

Crucifixion

 

The three crosses. The middle cross represents Christ and the red on the cross represents His wounds. Crown of Thorns with INRI refer to His suffering and the initials INRI are the abbreviation for the Latin words Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaerum, translated into English they mean, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” These initials were placed above Christ’s head on the cross.

 

The spear and sponge on reeds refer also to His suffering. (John 19:19).

Stain glass window titled "Cruifixion"

 

Resurrection

 

The Lamb with banner represents the Lamb of God and his victory over death (resurrection). The open tomb is where Christ was buried. On Easter morning the stone was found rolled back and Christ was gone.

 

The butterfly is the symbol of the life of Christ. The life of a butterfly is often paralleled to the life of Christ and the life of a Christian. The butterfly goes from larva stage to the pupa of chrysalis stage in which it is dormant and appears lifeless. Then it comes forth a soaring butterfly.

Stain glass window titled "Resurrection"

 

 

The Lord’s Supper

Stain glass window titled "The Lord’s Supper"

Left Panel

  1. Andrew: Saltire Cross.
    He was a fisherman and was bound to the cross rather than nailed in order to prolong his suffering.
  2. James, the Greater: Three Scallop Shells.
    He is often referred to as Boanerges, was one of the closest friends of Jesus. The three scallops refer to the long pilgrimage he made to newly founded churches in Spain.
  3. Thaddeus: (Jude) Sailboat.
    Bible records but one question he ever uttered (John 12:22). Tradition has it that he traveled with Simon as a missionary, thus the sailboat symbolizes his many ventures.
  4. James, the Less: Saw.
    The apostle who at the age of 96 was thrown from the temple by Pharisees and was stoned and repeatedly clubbed, symbolically represented by a saw (handle uppermost).
  5. John: Jesus’ beloved disciple, Serpent in a cup.
    The serpent refers to the unsuccessful attempt to poison him. It is said the poison escaped the cup in the form of a serpent.
  6. Matthew: Money Bags.
    He was a tax collector when Jesus called him (Matthew 9:9). The bags refer to his previous occupation.

Center Panel

 

The draped cloth and water pitcher symbolize Pontius Pilate cleansing his hands after declaring Christ’s sentence of death. (Note: I would think this could also refer to the foot-washing to denote the service, which our Lord gave to man.)

 

The chalice with Crux Acuta or cross of agony symbolizes the agony of Christ in Gethsemane. The XP, wheat stalks and grapes – XP is most commonly used when referring to Christ when early Christian manuscripts were written in Greek capital letters or uncials. Thus we use the first two letters of the Grecian spelling XPICTOC (Christos).

 

The wheat and the grapes stand for the fruit of the vine and the bread of live. (Matthew 26:29, Mark 14:25, Luke 22:18).

 

Right Panel

  1. Peter: Leader of the apostles, Crossed Keys.
    It was he who denied three times that he knew Jesus. The keys refer to (Matthew 16:19) where Jesus offered him the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
  2. Bartholemew: Three Flaying Knives.
    Refers to King Polymus’ brother beheading Bartholemew in anger using a flaying knife.
  3. Thomas: Carpenter’s Square and Spear.
    He is known for doubting Christ’s resurrection. He was also known for his carpentry which is symbolized by the square. The spear refers to his death by King Midsai for converting Queen Tertia, his wife, to Christianity.
  4. Simon: The Fish.
    The fish refers to his success in fishing for men thorough the gospel.
  5. Phillip: Loaves of Bread, Staff, and Cross.
    The loaves symbolize Philip and the staff and cross refer to his successful missionary journeys among the barbarians in upper Asia.
  6. Judas Iscariot: Coiled Rope and Thirty Pieces of Silver.
    Treasure of the twelve. The silver refers to the money he took for the betrayal of Jesus. The rope refers to his suicide by hanging (Matthew 26: 14-16).

 

Baptismal Window

Left Panel

The scallop shell with water droplets refer to Christ’s baptism by John (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11).
Some say that John used a shell to pour water over Christ’s head at the river. The bottom XP (Chi Rho) is the universal symbol for Christ.

 

Center Panel

The Hand of God. (Exodus 15:6; Joshua 4:24; Isaiah 11:11).
The Lamb refers to (John 1:29) when John the Baptist saw Jesus.
“Behold the Lamb of God” symbolizes Christ. Descending Dove.
The Holy Spirit is descending upon Jesus in the form of a dove from heaven. (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10). The dove represents the Holy Spirit.

 

Right Panel

Seven flames. This is used to depict the Holy Spirit. This is based on the story of Pentecost. (Acts 2).