As you have doubtlessly noticed, our new stained glass “light-boxes” are now in place!! Many have remarked how well they fit the colors of our sanctuary. Blues, dark reds, and browns abound in the glass just as on the walls, ceiling, and sanctuary steps. Blue is an especially suitable color for our parish, as it is traditionally a Marian color, and we are “Our Lady of Refuge” parish!
Some parishioners have asked for more information about the placement and meaning of specific windows. The rest of this column will oblige!
In the inner part of the sanctuary are the St. Gabriel and the Nativity Windows. St. Gabriel is the patron saint of the clergy (priests and deacons) and is near where they perform their liturgical actions. Our Gabriel is suitably enough wearing a deacon’s dalmatic (vestment)! He is also the patron saint of communication, and so he is right above the ambo (pulpit), from which the Word is proclaimed to us. This depiction of Gabriel shows him during the Annunciation. The artist has given us Mary’s view of him, so we can imagine that she is right next to us, giving her “yes” to God, as we celebrate Mass. In fact, we believe that all saints are with us in a special way in the Eucharist, but especially her, since she is, after all, Jesus’ mother! May we add our own “yes” to God to hers every time we worship. Our Gabriel is carrying a messenger’s staff (in early times, before text messaging, phones, or even telegrams, most messages were sent by word of mouth by professionals who marked themselves out this way.) On the top of it is a cross, a reminder that Jesus comes into the world to suffer and redeem us. He is wearing a purple cloak as a reference to the purple military cloak with which Christ was mocked in his passion. Underneath the cloak, the green of his dalmatic is the color of hope in liturgical symbolism, and is associated with ordinary time. So it is in Christian life, sorrow should always be born for God with an underlying spirit of hope!