235 Years Of Beautiful


It was during the First Century A.D. that glass was first used in filling windows. The earliest example of work in stained glass, it is believed, belongs to the eleventh century where this glass is still in existence in Le Mans, France. The art of stained glass reached its climax and highest point of beauty in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. It is the feeling of all of the best critics that the most decadent period of stained glass was that of the opalescent type sometimes known as Tiffany windows which had a short life in America during the last century. During the past fifty years the art and beauty of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries has been revived. Our windows are basically of the thirteenth century influence, except that a decided modern touch has been added that lends freshness and newness to the windows. They have been designed to be in conformity with the architecture of the church. The color scheme of our windows, based upon a simple palette provides rich deep color in the chancel and rose windows, while the aisle windows have been made the light-givers of the church, are Gresaille coloration. Color as has been used provides beautiful sparkling effect but denies of any distracting glare or insistent light We shall attempt here to give you a complete study of the iconography of our windows. The literal conception of the theme embodied has been carefully conceived and consistently carried in chronological fashion throughout all of the windows. As we enter the church, facing the chancel, the window at the left side and rear of the church is the Nativity window. Here the medallions portray the “Nativity.” The store commences with the annunciation in the first panel, followed by the birth, the flight into Egypt and Christ in the carpenter shop, as a child, with his father. The second window portrays the “Youth of Christ,” beginning in the top and left with the Presentation in the Temple of the Priest Simeon. The lower left shows Christ before the doctors in the Temple, followed by His baptism and the calling of the first Disciples, in the lower right-hand medallion. The smaller standing figures in these two windows just mentioned, represent the Prophets who prophesied concerning the coming of Christ, and also the Patriarchs of the Old Testament. In the tracery of the first window will be found the Ten Commandments and in the second, the Anchor, symbolizing Hope. The last two windows to the front on this left side represent the “Ministry of Jesus.” Beginning in the third window with the Sermon on the Mount (upper left); The Woman at the Well meeting Jesus, and in the upper right, Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler; and finally the Transfiguration of the Christ where He appears with Moses and Elijah. In the last window nearest the chancel will be found the medallions representing Christ Healing the Blind Man, and a portrayal of the Parable of the Good Samaritan. In the upper right, Christ Blessing Little Children; and finally, the Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem. The small standing figures in these last two windows represent the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. In the tracery of the third window will be seen the Lily symbolizing Purity, and in the fourth window we find the Star The focal point of the entire scheme is appropriately placed in the very beautiful chancel window, with the portrayal of the Passion, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Our Lord. Beginning in the bottom in the left panel, as you face the window, will be seen the Last Supper; Jesus praying in the Garden, being offered the Cup by the Angel; Christ before Pilate, and, finally, the Christ on the Cross. On the extreme right panels, at the top, we see the Angel seated on the tomb saying to the women, “He is not here, He is risen.” Immediately below is Jesus Baring His Side to Thomas; The Last Commission of Jesus saying, “Go Ye into all the World,” and finally, the Ascension of Christ In the central panels of the window, to the left of the Christ, the standing figure represents John the forerunner of Christ, with a staff in his hand; and to the right, Paul, the Leader of the Early Church. The central and crowning feature of all our windows is to be found in the figure of the Glorified Christ, high and lifted up with the Angels about to place the Crown of Victory. Above the figure of John in this window appears the Angel of Justice bearing the Scales, and to the right, the Angel bearing the Sword of Righteousness. This window greatly adds in creating the reverential atmosphere in the chancel that we so much desire. The windows to the right, beginning at the front of the church, take up the “Story of the Christian Church.” The first window is the “Early Church” window, representing Pentecost, at the top and left panel, in which is pictured the descent of the Holy Spirit to the Disciples. The Stoning of Stephen, and on the right panel will be found the portrayal of Peter and Cornelius, with the final medallion showing Paul preaching. The small standing figures in this first window portray to us some of the leading characters of the Early Church, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. In the tracery will be seen the Lamp, symbolizing the Light of the Gospel. The second window is devoted to the development of the “Early and Medieval Church,” in which the medallions begin with the telling of the story of the First Cathedral Builders, in the upper left panel. Jerome translating the Bible, and next St. Augustine baptizing the first English King. The final medallion shows Boniface bringing the Gospel to the first early Germanic Tribes. The four standing figures in the upper part of this window represent certain great leaders in the Medieval Church. It seemed fitting that we should, in this window, portray Bach and Handel who have contributed so much to the church through the medium of music. In the tracery of this window will be found the Holy Bible. The third window on this aisle is devoted to two scenes in the Reformation showing Wycliffe sending out his poor preachers, and Martin Luther before the Diet of Worms. It is significant to note that in the right panel of this window we carry two very interesting portrayals. The first is the Landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth and William Penn making a treaty with the Indians and thus founding the Christian State. The small figures in this window prove most interesting for they represent first some of the great characters of this period including John Huss and Zwingli, Erasmus and Savanarola. Here, too, in the two smaller figures at the bottom are represented Frances E. Willard, Christian and Temperance Crusader, and Florence Nightingale, Founder of the Red Cross. In the tracery of this window will be seen the Cross. The last window is the “Methodist Window” illustrated by dominant incidents in Methodist history including John Wesley preaching to the Indians and the early settlers in America; Charles Wesley leading the early Methodists in song; and Whitefield, in the top right panel, preaching to the miners and early settlers; concluding in the final medallion with Francis Asbury bringing the Gospel to the settlers in America. Here will be found, in the smaller standing figures, one of the most interesting facts in the whole story with the pictures of men and women who represent great Methodist causes and philanthropies. Ira Sankey, a Methodist and leader of song in the evangelistic work; Bishop Vincent, leader and pioneer for many years in our Sunday School Movement; Suzanne Wesley, mother of the Wesleys, representing Christian womanhood; Lucy Webb Hays representing our Deaconess and Home Mission work; and at the left and bottom, Booth who was a Methodist and the Founder of the Salvation Army. Finally, Bishop Thoburn, great Missionary Leader of our Methodism. In the tracery of this window is shown the symbol of the Crown. The development of Methodism in the City of York is illustrated in the window in the main entrance on the west side of the church, through the picturing of the house in which Methodism was organized in 1782 and the first log cabin church erected in 1791 by Jacob Sitler, one of the trustees appointed to purchase the lot, and presented to the Methodists by him. The next picture shows the church built at Newberry and Philadelphia Streets in 1836. The white marble slab from this old church will be found built into our present new Sanctuary in the east vestibule near the gallery. At the lower left of this window is pictured the late Beaver Street Church which was built in 1873 and vacated in 1926 when the congregation moved to its present location. In each of the two gallery windows appears an Angel holding a Scroll on which appears two of the Beatitudes. These windows are in perfect harmony with the aisle windows in the church. The rose window at the rear has been designed to give a beautiful flow of pure rich color in jewel-like effect. The colors have been so interwoven as to provide a color value that is exquisite in its purity of tone. It will be interesting for all who study these windows to note that taking into consideration the medallions, single standing figures and the emblems, a total of ninety-three religious ideas are represented. All of our windows were designed and executed at the P.J. Reeves Studio of Philadelphia, Pa., honored with many of the finest stained glass commissions in the country