Our stained glass windows were created by Gabriel Loire at La Clarté studio, France. They are made in the dalle de verre (slab glass) technique that Loire used in creating church windows around the world. (scroll down for links to other churches with Loire windows)
The large window is titled "On the Dawn of the First Morning" following Matthew 28:1-10.
The small side windows each showcase a Christian symbol.
The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit who descended upon Jesus at his baptism (Matthew 3:16-17). The dove descending also reminds us of Pentecost (Acts 2).
The Greek Cross
The Greek letters set into the quadrants of the cross abbreviate the phrase, “Christ has conquered.”
The Burning Bush
In Exodus 3:2, Moses saw a bush that was burning, yet not consumed. The flames also remind us of the “tongues of flame” at Pentecost (Acts 2:3).
The chalice symbolizes the Sacrament of Holy Communion. It is a symbol of Christ’s suffering. “Drink of it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:27-28)
The Open Bible
The open Bible symbolizes the Word of God. The letters at the sides represent the Greek words for “Word” and “God.” The letters at the top and bottom are alpha and omega, the first and last words of the Greek alphabet, and refer to Christ as “the beginning and the ending” (Revelations 1:8)
The Lighted Lamp
“Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalms 119:105)
The Lighted Candle
The lighted candle represents Christ as the Light of the world.
The ship symbolizes the Church, which carries us to salvation in Christ (I Peter 3:18 ff)
The lamb is a symbol of the sacrifice of Jesus. “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29)
The letters of the Greek word for fish abbreviate the phrase, “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.” The fish was a secret sign among Christians during times of persecution.
Below we have collected some descriptions of the work of Gabriel Loire, who created our stained glass windows, as well as links to images of his work in other churches.
"Gabriel Loire (April 21, 1904 – December 25, 1996) was a French stained glass artist of the twentieth century whose extensive works, portraying various persons or historical scenes, appear in many venues around the world. He founded the Loire Studio in Chartres, France which continues to produce stained glass windows. Loire was a leader in the modern use of "slab glass" (French: dalle de verre), which is much thicker and stronger than the stained glass technique of the Middle Ages. The figures in his windows are mostly Impressionistic in style." (from Wikipedia)
A description of Loire's work from the website of Christ Church in Los Altos, California
"In traditional stained glass, the lead is a constant width and rarely contributes to the design. In contrast, the matrix in dalle de verre can be made as wide as the artist needs and frequently play a part in the overall design. ....
In medieval stained glass, biblical symbols were used as a teaching medium to educate those who could not read. While the religious message of the Christ Church windows is, in that sense, traditional, the windows themselves are an example of contemporary ecclesiastical art.
In his own words, Gabriel Loire said of the windows,
The first general impression is more or less ‘expressionist.’ No single detail should dominate the rest. Rather, an atmosphere of peace and joy should suffuse the whole. But in this almost abstract creation there are many things to be discovered, some which I had in mind, and others which you, yourselves, may find, discover, or imagine. "
"On 13th November 2007 St Richard's was listed as a Grade II building by English Heritage, advised by the Catholic Church's Historic Churches Commission. The principal reason was the church's possession of one of the largest collections of Loire glass panels in Britain."
"The Glory Window inside the spiral of the Chapel of Thanksgiving attracts thousand of visitors each year."
"The Glory Window forms the 60-foot-high ceiling of the Chapel of Thanksgiving. It is one of the largest horizontally mounted stained-glass pieces in the world. Designed by French artist Gabriel Loire, the window symbolizes the blessing of the Divine descending to earth as well as the ascent of human praise and gratitude to God."
St. Catherine Laboure Church, Harrisburgh PA
video tour here
"Gabriel Loire never loses sight of the essential function of glass, intended to create an atmosphere of mysticism, and a spiritual climate that affects the soul and draws it closer to another world where material considerations disappear. The impact recreates a true sense of reverence engendering a spirit of prayerful meditation."