This window is adjacent to ‘The Blessed Sacrament’ window. The hands are shown in prayer, bound by the Rosary Beads and Cross. I think the simplicity of this act of prayer, with no other visual distractions, is appropriate for the peace and contemplation required for thoughtful prayer. Some of the glass used in these Apse windows is used throughout, in order for them to sit comfortably together, so one does not dominate over the others. The size of window, and the distance from which it is viewed, dictated that it was to be filled with the hands.
The Chalice and Host are central to the daily rituals of Christian devotion. Situated in the Apse at the Altar, this design reflects the ritual of The Blessed Sacrament or Communion that takes place there. The grape vine, representing the blood of Christ, occupies the top shaped section of the window, bordered with ears of wheat that indicate the chief ingredient for the bread and body of Christ. A ring of flames encircle the white Host and the purple colouring of the Cross shows the solemnity of its significance. Purple cloths are used to cover the Cross in the lead up to Easter to be unveiled when the Crucifixion is commemorated on Good Friday.
WEDDING FEAST AT CANA
The Chalice and Host are central to the daily rituals of Christian devotion. Situated in the Apse at the Altar, this design reflects the ritual of The Blessed Sacrament or Communion that takes place there. The grape vine, representing the blood of Christ, occupies the top shaped section of the window, bordered with ears of wheat that indicate the chief ingredient for the bread and body of Christ. A ring of flames encircle the white Host and the purple colouring of the Cross shows the solemnity of its significance. Purple cloths are used to cover the Cross in the lead up to Easter to be unveiled when the Crucifixion is commemorated on Good Friday. Quite a large commission, comprising 6 windows, every window of the chapel except one small one.
The Cross dominates this design and is punctured with the sharp and jagged pain of Christ’s suffering wrought by the Crown of thorns that extends down to the base. The hand cradling the Heart softens the pain of the cracked Heart, showing the offering of His sacrifice. As the pews in the Chapel obscure the lower part of the window, I raised the focal point, but in keeping with the adjacent St.Benedict design.
THE GOOD SHEPHERD
Using the same background lay out of vertical sections, the figure of Christ as ‘The Good Shepherd’ stands solidly, holding a lamb and a shepherd’s crook. The colour scheme for the background and border detail is amber and yellow. Each of these windows is colour coded The sheep at the bottom are safe and nestling in the grass. The circle behind Christ is to represent the cycle of the seasons, which a shepherd would be in tune with. The blue areas show the harsh silhouette of bare branches studded with Winter berries. These are split in half by a band of bluebells to represent Spring. The rich green areas are painted with oak leaves in the fullness of Summer (oak leaves representing longevity) whilst the outer edge of the green areas are trimmed with acorns – a sure sign of Autumn.
This design centres around Mary’s mother and father, Jesus’ grandparents, Anne and Jochoam. The arched inner border suggests the Golden Gates to the city where Anne and her husband Jochoam meet and embrace with the news of Anne’s pregnancy with Mary and is depicted in the upper section. The lower scene shows the child Mary being taught to read by her mother. As an immaculate conception, the angel that brought the news to Anne is shown above the arch, looking down at the two scenes.
This was an interesting story to research and the prevailing reasons for his martyrdom tend to be clearly represented by the 2 main incidences of his being poisoned by monks; first by wine; then by bread. I have used these as dominant features, depicting the man himself standing at the entrance of his cave and being enveloped by the wings of the merciful Raven that prevented him from eating the poisoned bread. The poisoned wine is shown in line only. The Benedictine medal came to be accepted as recognition of his sacrifice and devotion and contains many capital letters representing Latin mottos associated with the writings of his Book of Rules. Shown in part, the medal at the bottom gives a translation of such a motto and shows his book of ‘Reglus’ – his Opus Dei, on which the Benedictine life is based.
THE LAST SUPPER
I amalgamated the Last Supper Scene with the event of The Eucharist taken in the year following Christ’s death, when the 12 Disciples are gathered for taking bread and wine in remembrance, when The Holy Spirit descends, bringing Tongues of flames that sit above each disciples’ head. Each of the disciples is represented as a halo with the flame contained within. That of Judas has a 2-headed flame to denote his duplicitous act of betrayal, and that of Peter has 3 flames, one inside the other, to illustrate his 3 denials of Jesus. The Holy Spirit, in the form of The Dove, is in Christ’s position at the centre of the table and the wine and bread sit on the table in readiness for the act of Holy Communion. The inscription is Jesus’ words spoken at The Last Supper, written in large letters to be legible from ground level. The upper background area is the dark night sky punctuated with stars – the larger star on the right alluding to the bright star in the Nativity scene. This refers to the beginning of Jesus’ life on Earth, in contrast The Last Supper, representing His last days, leading up to His Crucifixion.