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Religious Life

The Gold Window - God the Creator

The symbol at the top of the gold window is the hand of God blessing the creation. Since gold is the color used for the holiest days of the Christian year, we find in this window several Easter, or resurrection, symbols. As will be the custom with each of the four windows, we will now move to a symbol by symbol description.

1. The Hand of God - Symbol of God the Creator; "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)

2. IC-XC and the Butterfly - The letters IC (iota, eta) are the first and last letters of the Greek word for "Jesus". The Greek letters XC (chi, sigma) are the Gold Windowfirst and last letters of the Greek word for "Christ". There is no finer symbol for the resurrection than the butterfly. From the larval stage, significant of the mortal life of humankind, the butterfly becomes a chrysalis, to all appearance without life, then suddenly it bursts the cocoon in which it was sealed and comes forth to soar into the sky with a new body and beautiful wings.

3. IHC - The letters IHC (iota, eta, sigma) are the first two and last or the first three letters of the Greek word for "Jesus". This symbol is essentially the same as IHS but more ancient, and said to be of Byzantine origin.

4. The Chalice and Wafer - Represents the agony in Gethsemane recalling the words of Jesus in the prayer recorded in Luke 22:42, "Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done."

5. The Lily - Symbol of Easter and resurrection. The bulb decays in the ground, yet from it new life is released.

6. The Bursting Pomegranate - Symbol of the resurrection and power of our Lord, who was able to come forth in new life.

7. The Reclining Lamb with the Banner of Victory - The lamb is a symbol for our Lord. Here the lamb is seen reclining with the banner of victory, suggesting both his suffering and the victorious nature of his sacrifice. The lamb reminds us of the prophecy of the suffering servant: "He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth." (Isaiah 53:7)

8. The Six-Pointed Star - The star of creation. Known now to the Jews as the Star of David. This is an ancient symbol of God signifying the six-fold attributes of the Deity: Power, Wisdom, Majesty, Love, Mercy, and Justice.

9. St. Matthew- The Winged Creature with the Man's Face - The winged man represents Matthew because his Gospel narrative traces Jesus' human genealogy. The humanity of Jesus and his incarnation are important themes for Matthew.