Stained Glass Windows
History and Detailed Description of the Stained Glass Windows in St. James Church
Wright Goodhue Company of Boston designed the stained glass panels, which line the walls of the nave, transept, and sanctuary, and which were produced in the D’Ascenzo Studios. With the sun shining through them, they are glaring shades of red, blue, and green and cast a colorful gleam over the entire interior of the Church.
Adam & Eve
The high windows on the right side of the nave (facing the sanctuary) relate to the Old Testament. The central theme of the window group above the balcony on the right side is Adam and Eve. Themes of the other windows on this side are Noah, Moses, Ezekiel, one of the major prophets; and Jeremiah, whose book is the longest in the Bible.
The large window group in the transept on the right side is representative of priesthood and sacrifice, with Melchizadek as the principal subject. The left panel shows St. Stephen, the first martyr; the sacrifice of Abel, murdered by his brother because he was envious; St. John Nepomecene, martyred in 1383; and Saint Boniface, martyred in 307, and Saint Pothines, Bishop, martyred in 177.
The center panel depicts Melchizadek, who, as a priest, ministered to Abraham; and Saint Peter, who, as Simeon, the first head of His Church, who suffered martyrdom in Rome about 67 A.D. and Saint Paul, martyred about the same time as St Peter, 67 A.D.
The right panel represents St James Major (the Great), patron of our parish, son of Zebedee and brother of John, martyred by Herod Agrippa I in 43 or 44 A.D.; the Sacrifice of Abraham, showing Abraham’s great faith in being willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac, to please God; Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Dominic, founder of the Dominican order; Saint Patrick, the great apostle of Ireland. and Saint Augustine, who died in 430.
Baptism of Jesus
The windows on the left (Mulberry Street) side of the nave relate to the New Testament. The first window group at the rear represents the Annunciation, the second the Nativity, the third the Baptism of Christ, and the fourth Our Blessed Lord.
In the left transept, the large window group above the organ shows Christ and the Apostles. The left panel has Saint Peter, Saints Andrew and James, and Saints Philip and James. The center panel portrays Our Lord, and Saints Thomas and Bartholomew. The right panel depicts Saint John, Saints Simon and Thaddeus, and Saints Jude and Matthew.
Our Lady, Mary
In the sanctuary, all windows are related to the Passion and Death of Jesus. Above the side altar on the left the theme is “ECCE HOMO” – BEHOLD THE MAN. Proceeding on into the sanctuary, the first window presents Joanna, among the women who discovered the empty tomb. The second shows Dysmas, the good thief, and the third Our Lady.
Simon of Cyrene
St. Mary Cleopas
St. Mary Magdalene
Opposite Our Lady is Saint John, the beloved Apostle. The next window is Saint Mary Magdalene, the last St. Mary Cleopas. The window group above the right side altar represents Simon of Cyrene, who carried the cross for the Lord.
The lower windows on the left side of the Sacraments and Grace.
Ninth and Tenth Commandments
First and Second Commandments
The lower windows on the right side of the nave are representative of the Ten Commandments
Clean of heart
Persecuted for Justice
The lower windows around the sanctuary behind the Sacristies present the Beatitudes.
Behind the sanctuary, there are four windowsof Angels representing the Four Cardinal Virtues: Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude
The large window group above the balcony in the rear of the Church is a beautiful display depicting the Trinity and the Geneology of Jesus. The left panel depicts the Blessed Mother, Queen of Heaven. Below her are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the patriarchs, and several of those listed in the genealogy of Jesus in the first chapter of Matthew and the third chapter of Luke: Booz (Boaz), kinsman of Naomi and married to Ruth and an ancestor of David; Esrom (Hezron); Aram, referred to in Genesis (10:22) as the son of Shem ; and Naason, a man from the Tribe of Judah (Nb 1:7) and assistant to Moses for that tribe.
The center panel presents the Holy Trinity and the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. And the right panel shows St. Joseph, husband of Mary and foster-father of Jesus. Below him are additional figures from the genealogy of Jesus, including Manasses (Mannasseh), the eldest son of Joseph (Gn 41:51), adopted by Jacob as his son; Azor, son of Eliakim,; Eliakim, the son of Abiud; and Achim, son of Zadok, father of Eliud. Also depicted is Joses (Joseph), listed (Mk 6:3) as the brother of Jesus, and (Mk 15:40) as the son of Mary Cleopas.
There are additional windows surrounding the vestibule and the side entrance. Some of which are represented here.
Holy Orders and Matrimony
All That Pleases is but for a Moment; The Eternal Only Is Important
All That Troubles is but for a Moment; The Eternal Only Is Important
Our sincere thanks to Mr Richard Hissrich and Mr Greg Kirschner, former parishioners of St James parish, for their painstaking study of St James church windows in the 1970’s, at times scrutinizing them with binoculars, deciphering and transcribing the names and symbols and researching the source of these images. Without their labor of love, this description would never have been possible.
Photos taken by Father Warren Metzler, pastor of St James Church.