As our Parish celebrates its centenary, we celebrate this important and key milestone with pride as parishioner’s but also with humility and reflection. Our parish has a long and colourful history which we will be updating on this page very soon. But to start us off, do you know the Windows of the church tell a story?
The Windows of St Michael’s Church, Traralgon
Stained Glass as Scripture Lessons:
Not just pretty pictures; first used, mainly in Northern Europe, to educate the people, who were often illiterate. Same way that frescoes and mosaics were used in Greece, Italy and Sicily.
Each colour – and plant – often had great symbolic significance in the portrayal of Scriptural themes. Red, for instance, is the colour of love, and therefore also the colour of the Holy Spirit : tongues of fire in the Penecost window. The red wrist band of John the Baptist; Jesus’ red garment; the Cross; Green, the colour of Creativity: the hand of God the Father in the Trinity window; Angel Gabriel’s wings. Blue: the Living Water, Jesus, in the same panel; also Mary’s colour, as the one who bore him. Gold/yellow the colour of divinity; clear, the colour of humanity (Jesus’ halo).
A great many churches had the Biblical stories running in vertical panels (see Sainte Chapelle), others had panels telling one story. This window, following the great traditions of Mediaeval times, has the story of Jesus from his birth to his death, in a series of panels. Sometimes the story “overlaps”. Sometimes one panel is sufficient.
The boat motif: from the centre panel, where Jesus is dragging in the fish, at the altar/boat. The large boat behind that. Strong, ancient Christian symbol.
The Jesus Story:
First panels: The birth of Jesus:
The Star, the stable, the Angel Gabriel, Mary, the animals, the shepherds, the baby Jesus, “X” and “P”. The colours.
The Baptism of Jesus: hand of the Baptist; colours.
The Calling window:
The Eucharist symbols; altar underlying all of the next panels.
The boat and Jesus: Follow me, and I will make you fish for people”. Matt 4:19.
The Miracle Window: Wedding Feast at Cana.
The Cross Window: the Rooster; the towel; skull; the colours.
The Ladder: Alpha and Omega.
The Red Seamless Robe. Sensing a pattern here?
The Tomb: He is Risen!!!! Our experience of Jesus is necessary coloured by the Resurrection, and our faith in it. Flows back through the whole story. Colours.
Pentecost Window: in the little vestibule leading out into the school car park: take Jesus to the world.
God (Trinity) and the Church Window:
The Boat again! Symbol: Safeness in the maelstrom of life. Many people entering.
Symbols: the Dove hovering, shining down light and grace on the Boat. The “firmament” providing balance behind.
a). the Hand – and its colours; “In the beginning was the Word” …. Jn 1:1
b). The Dove; tongues of fire; between the Father and Son. Consummate love. Colours again.
c). The Cross; the Eucharist; the tomb; rays of glory; Jn 1:1. Colours;
d). “X” and “P”.
e). The Book.
f). The fish.
f). Balancing pole from the Christ to the people in the boat, guiding and strengthening.
To read more about the Windows and also about the history of the parish, click below: