Symbolism of our Stained Glass Windows

Facing the Altar Window on Left

This window is dedicated to the four Evangelists or Gospel writers. They are represented by the four living creatures of the Book of Ezekiel, chapter one and the Book of Revelation, chapter four.

In the upper left corner is the ox, which traditionally symbolizes Luke, whose Gospel begins with a sacrifice in the temple.

In the upper right corner is the man, which symbolizes Matthew, whose Gospel begins with a list of Jesus’ human ancestors.

In the lower right corner is the lion, symbolizing Mark, whose Gospel opens in the wilderness of Judea.

In the lower left corner is the eagle, which traditionally symbolizes John, whose Gospel is characterized by its souring flights of theology.

Facing the Altar Window on Right

This window is dedicated to the sacrament of the Eucharist. In the upper left corner is a chalice symbolizing the suffering of Christ, and in the upper right corner is a cross, symbolizing His death. This half of the window thus reminds us of the sacrificial dimension of the Eucharist.

In the lower left corner the six stone water jars which Jesus used to turn water into wine are represented. Above them is a broken loaf of bread which reminds us of the Emmaus story in which the Disciples recognized the risen Lord in “the breaking of the bread.” In the lower right corner is a basket containing five loaves and two fishes, a reminder of the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 by Jesus. Thus the lower half of the window emphasizes the meal dimension of the Eucharist. The sun burst in the middle of the window is a symbol of the Resurrection, which we celebrate in every Eucharist.

Window in Back of Church

This window is dedicated to the Holy Family, Joseph, Mary and the child Jesus, who are depicted by the figures. Other symbols in the window: the outer circle is meant to represent a rose, in honor of Mary’s title of “mystical rose.” In the inner circle are lilies representing the virginal purity of Mary and the chastity of Joseph. Mary is seated upon the moon and stars, symbolizing that she is queen of heaven and earth. Behind her are the strings of a harp, calling attention to the fact that Joseph and Jesus are of the House of David.

Window in Gathering Space

The window is dedicated to the external “missions” of the Most Holy Trinity: Creation, Redemption, and Sanctification. Traditionally, the work of creation is attributed to the Father, the work of redemption to the Son, and the work of sanctification to the Holy Spirit.

The inner circle of the window symbolizes the creation of the world as depicted in the Book of Genesis, chapter 1. In a series of concentric circles we see light, the dome, the stars, the water and the green plants.
Superimposed on the window is the cross, symbol of Redemption. (Note the similarity of the cross in the window with the processional cross used during Sunday Mass.)

Finally, the outer circle of the window symbolizes sanctification by depicting the “tongues of fire” in which the Spirit descended upon the Church on Pentecost Sunday. It is the fire of the Spirit that will “renew the face of the earth.”

Tapestry in Gathering Space

Located in the Gathering Space above the doorway into the church is a tapestry donated in memory of the late Kevin Bruno by his parents, Elvira and Carl Bruno. This tapestry is the work of The Bramante Studios of Kitchener, Ontario, based on the artwork of Jenny Kauffman of Huntingdon. Its complex symbolism is meant to depict the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity as it is incarnated in the local parish dedicated to it.
The tapestry is in the form of an equilateral triangle, which conveys the unity and equality of the three persons of the Holy Trinity. The hand holding up the church, symbol of the parish, represents God the Father who sustains us. The sun above the church steeple represents God the son, the Light of the World. The stream of water following from above into the church represents God the Holy Spirit, source of new life for all who believe and are baptized in water.

The blue/purple stream at the base of the triangle, which represents the Juniata Valley River System, and the green hills of Huntingdon County depicted behind the church, symbolize the chief geographical features of the region served by Most Holy Trinity Parish.

The 1828 church building is in the middle of the tapestry to show the importance of history and the tradition for our community; the 1995 church building is only partially seen, depicting the openness of our community to the future. We cannot see what God has in store for us next.

Finally, the water of the Spirit flows out of the church door into the local river system to symbolize our mission to evangelize our area with the Good News of God’s love and forgiveness. The Book of the Prophet Ezekiel, chapter 47, verses 1-12, inspired this part of the tapestry.