Meditation on Our Stained Glass Windows

The Stained Glass Windows

The eighteen magnificent stained glass windows are memorials dating from 1865. The windows and banners in Christ Church are all designed to lead you through the major events of the life of Christ as a teaching cycle. The windows are a microcosm of the liturgical cycle of the church. Every year the church follows Christ by remembering the events of His life by marking them with festivals and fasts such as Christmas and Lent. We believe that through this yearly cycle we engage more and more deeply with our story and thereby grow steadily in our faith throughout our lifetime. We seek to learn to love. To read the windows you will need to start with the South Nave window (Right Hand window next to the Organ) and move around the church clockwise.

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast,* but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly,* but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.  

The First Letter of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. Chapter XIII

“Follow Me”

Given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of George Mason (1845-1911).

Here you see Christ shouldering the Cross. You are being invited to meditate on the life of Christ through the stained glass windows of the church. It reminds all Christians that the only way to live the faith is to engage God and his world. Taking up the Cross and following him means that we must live our lives in reference to God and for something greater than our own small lives and comforts. This means embracing the joy of others as well as the suffering of the world. We open our hearts to love God and our neighbor as ourselves. This is how we follow him.

Then he said to them all, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words, of them the Son of Man will be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

The Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Blessed Luke the Evangelist. Chapter IX; Verses 23-26

“Alms Deeds Which She Did”

Given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Jane Herbert (1842-1916).

This window depicts a woman following the commandments of Christ. It shows the effect of a life lived by following Christ. It depicts the good deeds that flow out of discipleship. Once we engage in the sorrows and joys of our lives and in the lives of those around us our hearts are opened and we learn to love. It is because we love that we perform acts of compassion. The work of the church comes directly from our commitment to follow Christ that we make at Baptism and Confirmation. The response of our willingness to follow him is the receiving of the gifts of the Spirit. This window is a direct response to the previous window.

For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.

The Letter of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Galatians. Chapter V; Verses 13-14 & 22-25

The Annunciation

Given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Robert Smith (1845-1916).

This window depicts the beginning of the Incarnation, The Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary by the Archangel Gabriel. Here we see the example of Mary’s submission to the divine will and her openness to God. We should reflect that it is only by opening ourselves to God that we become vehicles of grace, peace and love. Mary’s openness allowed the Messiah to enter into the world. St Paul tells us that we must die so that Christ will live in us. As Christians we are all to be like Mary so that, our will being given over to God’s will, may allow Christ to be born in us.

Then Mary said, ‘Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.’ Then the angel departed from her.

The Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Blessed Luke the Evangelist. Chapter I; Verse 38

The Nativity of Christ

Given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Susanna Boyce (1850-1930).

We then see The Nativity of Christ, commonly called Christmas, when the light of truth was born into the world. The creator of the universe was born into a world that did not know him. His presence in the manger, surrounded by his mother and Saint Joseph, reminds us that the power of God does not conform to our standards. He did not come with strength or earthly power, he came in poverty and weakness and vulnerability. “My ways are not your ways, saith the Lord”.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth

The Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Blessed John the Apostle. Chapter I; Verses 1-14

The Presentation of Christ in the Temple

Given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of John Herbert (1829-1918) and Ann Hamilton (1836-1922).

This window depicts Saint Simeon recognising the Messiah when Christ was brought to the Temple of Solomon to be presented according to Jewish law. Saint Simeon was promised by God that he would not die until he had beheld the Christ. The window emphasises the Christian virtue of patience and holy hope. We pray that we too will see the Christ before we pass from this fold. We pray that our hearts may be opened by love so we can see the face of Christ in those around us. “Beloved, Let us love one another, for all who love are born of God and know God. Those that do not love, do not know God for God is Love.”

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’ Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace,  according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’ And the child’s father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’

The Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Blessed Luke the Evangelist. Chapter II; Verses 22-35

The Childhood of Christ

Given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of John Kirkwood (1844-1914) and Suzanne Parkinson (1851-1919).

This is an interesting window as it does not depict any particular scene in the life of Christ as a youth, such as the finding in the Temple. It reflects the innocents and joyfulness of youth. The lack of many stories about Christ in his younger days helps us reflect that it takes many years to grow in the faith and that the years we spend wrestling and learning are only the preparation for the engagement in the life of faith reflected through our actions. It also helps us realize how important it is to raise our children in love and without fear so that they may comes to the “full stature of Christ”.

The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knitted together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.

The Letter of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians. Chapter IV; Verses 11-16

The Baptism of Christ

Given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Esther Elizabeth Sharpe (1868-1913).

On the right hand side at the back of the Church you see The Baptism of Christ by Saint John the Baptist. The window is placed near the traditional place of the Font. The Font is near the entrance to the church to symbolize that it is through the waters of Baptism that we enter into the Church, the body of Christ on earth. We are baptised into the death and Resurrection of Christ in which we die to the life lived for our own pleasure, power and desires and rise again to a life lived for the greater plan of the Kingdom of God.

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For whoever has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

The Letter of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Romans. Chapter VI; Verses 3-11

“He Was Tempted”

Given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Francis Morgan (1811-1901).

On the opposite side of the nave we see a depiction of Christ in the Wilderness. These two windows compliment one another well as they point to the fact that immediately after his Baptism Christ was driven into the wilderness by the Holy Ghost to be tempted before he began his public ministry. It is a spiritual truth that new birth and growth is beset by temptation and trial. We reflect on this window during the penitential season of Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday. We begin the season with the words “remember man that thou art dust and unto dust shalt thou return, repent and believe in the Gospel.” This is the message that the church has proclaimed to the world throughout the centuries. Remember you only live this one life and therefore every day is important and precious. We will all one day die so we must make our lives count. Turn again from fruitless paths of seeking power, riches and the desires of the flesh and turn to the Good News (Gospel) of life and live.

See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today, by loving the Lord your God, walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live and become numerous, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you do not hear, but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and holding fast to him; for that means life to you and length of days, so that you may live in the land that the Lord swore to give to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

The Book of Deuteronomy. Chapter XXX; Verses 15-20

“I Am The True Vine”

Given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Robert, Mary and Able by the Venerable R.C. Blagrave, D.D., sometime Archdeacon of Peterbourgh, Ontario.

This window depicts the first of Christ’s miracles at the wedding feast in Canna of Galilee;. his changing of water into wine. This miracle foreshadows the mystery of the Eucharist. In the Eucharist, the sacrament given to the church by Christ at the last supper, we fulfill his command to this in remembrance of him until he comes again. The word remembrance in Greek does not mean to remember something that has happened in the past but rather means to go back and make it real again. In the Eucharist the church wills itself to see beyond the normal barriers of space and time and to enter eternity, God’s time. Eternity is not something opposed to time but rather lies underneath it. When we sing the Sanctus at the beginning of the Eucharist we enter with the whole company of the Saints and angels to join our song with that of all of the creation to move from this perception of reality, in which everything changes, to the reality of God “who was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be world without end.” The bread and wine become for us the Body and Blood of Christ as we perceive the eternal incarnation of God in his creation in the sacrament he gave us.

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

The First Letter of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. Chapter XI; Verses 23-26

“This Is My Beloved Son, Hear Him”

Given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Charles Gray and Elizabeth Scroogie.

This depicts the Transfiguration of Christ. Depicted in the background are Moses and Elijah while in the foreground are Saint Peter, Saint James and Saint John. Here Christ is recognized and witnessed to by God the Father. The Transfiguration, like the Annunciation, reminds us that the goal of a Christian’s life is to be transfigured so that God will dwell in our hearts and uses all of our actions for his will. “God uses all things for the good of those who love Him.” The Transfiguration also helps us recognize that there are moments in life in which the world is illuminated and we see clearly. It also reminds us that we can not live on the mountaintop, that life is mostly made up of the simple recognition of God in our relationships to one another. The transfigured moments are given to suffuse our everyday life with meaning. We attend church week by week to remind us of why we do what we do and to continually remind us of who we are. The service end with a sending forth into the world. This reminds us that the real work of the church is lived out after we leave the church on Sunday.

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘this is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.  

The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Blessed Mark the Evangelist. Chapter IX; Verses 2-8

“She Hath Chosen That Good Part”

Given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Elizabeth Copping (1840-1900).

The window to the right depicts the teaching of Christ to Mary and Martha and contemplates the difference between serving and listening. Many people in this world spends too much of their time ‘doing’ instead of ‘being’. These must be balanced, but Christ reminds us that without the ‘being’ the ‘doing’ is not enough. We must take the time to be quiet and reflect on our actions and work. We need to keep a Sabbath day. If our lives are always rushed and anxious we lose ourselves in the chaos. We need to learn to stand still. We are saved through Grace and not works. It is not what is good that is important but what is best as Mary saw.

Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing.* Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.’  

The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Blessed Luke the Evangelist. Chapter X; Verses 38-42

“Lazarus Come Forth”

Given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of George Copping (1779-1849).

Then there is the raising of Martha and Mary’s brother, Lazarus, from the tomb. This window contemplates the power of God over sin and death. It also shows how resurrection is constantly shown forth in our own lives. Redemption, new life, is shown whenever we are able to forgive, to love, to find a way forward. Pain can be used to makes us take stock and begin again. Each new beginning, each breaking out of our personal prisons of fear and lethargy is freedom, resurrection, in our lives. “By raising Lazarus from the dead, before thy passion, thou didst proclaim the universal Resurrection of Christ, God”, from the Orthodox Liturgy of Holy Week

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

The First Letter of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. Chapter XV; Verses 20-25

“Obedience Even Unto Death”

Given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Elizabeth Saggers (1780-1852) and Henry Copping (1818-1894).

Christ’s passion begins with the agony in the garden which we remember every Maundy Thursday. Here Christ, like his mother, accepts the Divine Will of the Father. It is only by accepting the will of God, especially when it is not our will, that one is able to accept the peace of God which passeth all understanding. When we only do what we will we never grow and transform into someone else. By doing what we want we simply project our own minds and desires onto the world. The will of God leads us into areas that we do not know and transforms us into people that we could not even imagine at the beginning of our journey. The path of the church is that of transformation, to become what we are yet to be. We become people who see the world with different eyes. The kingdom of God has already come, for those with eyes to see it. “Not my will but Thy will O Lord.”

Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same intention (for whoever has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin), so as to live for the rest of your earthly life no longer by human desires but by the will of God. You have already spent enough time in doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry. They are surprised that you no longer join them in the same excesses of dissipation, and so they blaspheme. But they will have to give an account to him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead, so that, though they had been judged in the flesh as everyone is judged, they might live in the spirit as God does.  

The First Letter of Blessed Peter the Apostle. Chapter IV; Verses 1-6

“Behold The Man”

Given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Robert Brown (1838-1924), one of the builders of the present church.

This window depicts the trial of Christ by Pontius Pilate. Again we reflect on the difference between the power of the world and the power of God. What seems like strength to the world; wealth, power, influence, and physical might, are nothing in God’s eyes. The paradox is that Christ on trial seems to be weak, seems to be a captive. The reality is that he alone is free and that the other players were trapped by their own fear and desire for power. This freedom seldom resembles anything like what the world tells us is freedom. Freedom is the submission of our will to God’s. The weakness of God is stronger than the power of this world. We also contemplate that most haunting of questions that Pilate asked of the Christ, “What is Truth?”

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.  

The Second Letter of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. Chapter XII; Verses 9-10

“It Is Finished”

Given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of the Rev’d William Davis (1840-1915) Incumbent of this parish from 1884-1912.

The two penultimate windows are the central themes of the entire Christian life. Everything else is simply a working out of the death and resurrection of Christ in our own lives. Behind the altar on the left is the Crucifixion of Christ. It emphasises the essential truth that it is only through the cross that one can come to resurrection. Without Good Friday there is never Easter. When we avoid the suffering and discomfort that pushes us to grow and opens our hearts to compassion there is no new life. In medieval churches the rood cross, which hangs from the ceiling, is located at the chancel steps. On the one side is the figure of the crucified Christ. However after you have gone up for communion and you turn to go back to your seat the back of cross has no figure but rather Easter lilies. The darkest hour is just before dawn.

For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’ Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength. Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’

The First Letter of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians. Chapter I; Verses 18-31

“He Is Risen”

Given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of The Rev’d William Seaborn (1828-1913) Incumbent of this parish from 1865-1879.

On the far left is the Resurrection of Christ. The Crucifixion and Resurrection are on opposite sides and at the front of the church to show that both are different sides of the same truth and that this understanding is central to the life of a Christian. Neither has meaning without the other, all things that are born die. But death itself dies and is reborn into eternal life. In eternity there is no past or present, no I and Thou, but only one unbroken “I Am”. Part of the mystery of the passion and resurrection of Christ is that eternity and everlasting life, the Kingdom, has already come. The Resurrection is the ultimate sign of redemption for the world. That after fear and death there is love and life. Let us remember what the angel said to us at the empty tomb “why seek ye the living amongst the dead”. We find Christ not in history or anywhere else than in the eternal present moment as he is revealed to us over and over again in his Resurrected life. Let us also remember what he said to us when He rose “Be not afraid.” Alleluia.

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.’ Then they remembered his words,  

The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Blessed Luke the Evangelist. Chapter XXIV; Verses 1-8

May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

The Letter of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Galatians. Chapter VI; Verse 14

The Good Shepherd

Given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of the Rev’d Charles Rollit (1810-1885) Incumbent of this parish from 1846-1865.

The Central window depicts Christ as the Good Shepherd, one of the most popular images that Christ gives of himself. It is the window of the patronage of the Church, Christ Church. The image of the Good Shepherd reminds us of the faithfulness and love of God. He will never leave us and he will never cease trying to find us and bring us home no matter how far we stray from the fold. It also reminds the church that we exist not for ourselves but for those who have yet to join us. Above and below the Good Shepherd are the depictions of the two great Sacraments of the Church; Baptism, depicted by a font, and the Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion, The Liturgy, or the Mass) depicted by a chalice.

‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes* it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.’  

The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Blessed John the Apostle. Chapter X; Verses 11-18

The Ascension Banner

Given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of the faithful departed of the parish by the Christ Church Memorial Fund.

The stained glass window end with the Resurrection of Christ. The other two events in the story of salvation are depicted by two banners. The first banner, located on the right hand side of the church (facing the altar), is the Ascension banner. This banner depicts Christ Ascending after the forty days spend on earth after the Resurrection. The holes in his hands and feet are still there emphasizing that Christ’s experience of suffering humanity is retained after his Ascension. This banner is the Parish Banner.

Therefore it is said, ‘When he ascended on high he made captivity itself a captive; he gave gifts to his people.’  (When it says, ‘He ascended’, what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the same one who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.)

The Letter of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians. Chapter IV; Verses 8-10

The Pentecost Banner

Given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of the faithful departed of the parish by the Christ Church Memorial Fund.

The banner on the opposite side of the Church from the Ascension banner is the Pentecost Banner. The twelve tongues of flame represent the sending of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles after the Ascension of Christ. The sending of the spirit to “Lead us into the Way of All Truth” is the beginning, the birthday, of the Christian Church. The Church now exists in the age of the Holy Spirit. We believe that it is the Spirit who guides us as we grow in the understanding of Scripture and the mission of the universal church. It is the spirit who gives the gifts of wisdom, discernment and love. It the Spirit who leads us on the path, or as the church was known in the beginning, The Way.

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

The Book of Acts. Chapter II; Verses 1-4

‘I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Blessed John the Apostle. Chapter XVI; Verses 12-13

The Greater Parish Window

Dedicated by the Archbishop of Montreal on May 7th 2002.

The window leading to the porch depicts the other three churches that historically made up the Parish.  The three churches are: All Saints’, de Ramsey; St John’s, Kildare; and St George’s, Wexford. Please see the history section for more information on these churches.

1 Response to Meditation on Our Stained Glass Windows

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