Friday, September 18, 2009

FRIDAY POTPOURRI - MYSTERIOUS SYMBOLS

At my last assignment there was a window with a symbol in it that nobody there could figure out. I was completely baffled. I posted it and after a couple of days someone identified it. Upon hearing what it was it became embarrassingly obvious. Of course that is what it is!

With that in mind there are a couple of windows here at St. Sebastian that I am uncertain of. I have a theory but I don't want to poison your impression. Shown below are three windows that sit next to each other in the back hallway of the church between the two sacristies. Would you mind giving a shot at 1) what you perceive as being pictured and 2) what you think that they mean?

Thank you so much!

9 comments:

Kathreja said...

The first one looks like hands and a stole being bound to the Cross, so I am thinking it has something to do with Priests and the Cross of Christ.

The second one looks like a donkey nd a dove... St. Paul and being knocked off this donkey by the Holy Spirit?

3rd one looks like what the dicipels were to leave behind when jesus sent them out the first time, no purse, no tunic no staff...

Anonymous said...

Kathreja, I agree with your first and third picture interpretations (I could barely make out the symbols in #3!)

But the second picture is not a donkey but a unicorn. I vaguely remember that the unicorn is a religious symbol--is it a symbol of Christ, because He, like the unicorn, is unique? Then, there is a symbol of the Holy Spirit "coming down." One place the Holy Spirit came down upon Jesus was at His baptism.

Kathreja said...

Anon,

I totally missed the horn. Been staring at statistics too long.

Fr. V said...

Kathreja!

Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! Once again - now that I see it how could I miss it!? OF course that is what window #3 is. I was so off course.

Thanks.

Victoria said...

Why not take up a collection to replace the "guess and you've got it" windows with something traditionally Catholic.

Anonymous said...

Some time ago Fr. Jackson put together a paper documenting the windows and symbols used at St Sebatian. I wonder if that is still around the church somewhere.

Fr. V said...

It is still around and of great assistance. He did not do all of the windows however.

bill7tx said...

The first window is, I think, about the Eucharist. The window seems to depict the Consecration of the Body of Christ, with either maniples or stoles indicating that the hands are those of a priest. It could also represent the sacraments generally, the descent of the Holy Spirit, or the Mass.

The second window, the unicorn, is the Virgin Mary, and it also shows the dove, a symbol of the Holy Spirit, so I'm quite sure it represents Mary's Fiat. (The unicorn is a very old and very traditional symbol for Mary, symbolizing as it does chastity and feminine purity.)

I can't quite make out what the figure in the middle of the third window is. If it's two fish and five loaves, then it is another reference to the Eucharist. I'm in doubt about that because of the staff, which has no relation to the parable.

bill7tx said...

Looking again, I agree with Kathreja about the third window. It is a tunic, a purse, and a staff. As such, the window could represent The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God (the Third Luminous Mystery).

In a similar way, the first window could well represent The Institution of the Eucharist (the Fifth Luminous Mystery).

However, I doubt that these windows are meant to guide the viewer into the Luminous Mysteries. That's because the second window is definitely Marian in nature. If it's not intended to be the Annunciation, it could be Mary as the Spouse of the Holy Spirit (and therefore the Mother of the Church).

So to sum up my speculation, I think these windows are intended to communicate three of the most important elements of our Catholic faith: the Eucharist, Mary, and the Gospel.