Advent Group week 3

Stained Glass
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Stained-glass windows, made up of coloured and painted glass pieces held together by lead strips, were especially popular in Europe in the period between 1150 and 1550, when they were a prominent feature of cathedrals and other churches, as well as city halls and homes for the elite. Its translucent qualities made stained glass especially popular in religious contexts, where large windows with scenes from the bible and the lives of saints could animate a sacred space with colourful glimmering lights, and subtly change the atmosphere depending on the time of day, and the changing of the seasons.

Much of what we know about how medieval stained glass was made comes from the treatise On the Various Arts (De Diversis Artibus in Latin), a text written in the early 12th century by a German monk who used the pseudonym Theophilus. He describes the basic steps needed to make sheets of coloured glass, and how to use these sheets to create stained-glass images. Apart from minor innovations, the techniques of stained-glass making have barely changed since Theophilus’ time.

Stained glass windows also served an educational purpose.  An illiterate congregation could ‘read’ the windows, despite being unable to read the Bible.  Traditionally, stained glass would be added to churches either as gifts, or memorials from wealthy benefactors. 

The custom was for the church to not live beyond its means.  Therefore, you will find leaded windows that are not stained glass.  For this reason also, you may ‘read’ the growth and development of the church through the age, style and themes represented in the glass.

Christmas Poem
Above the manger stood a star
A star all wondrous white
And all about His lowly bed
There welled a flood of light.

It bathed the stable in its glow
It shone round Mary’s head
And on the kneeling shepherds’ cloaks
Its radiant beams were shed.

Star of the world, through time and space
It flames in glory bright
To make a man’s pilgrimage through the years
A pathway of light.
— Traditional

Let us pray, God is the light.  Jesus is the glass.  The Holy Spirit is the lead that joins each pane together. We pray that we may each be beautiful beacons that invite others to find the light in our fellowship.