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Religious Life

The Green Window - The Holy Trinity

The gold, purple, and red windows symbolize Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Trinity Season, or Kingdomtide, and the season of Epiphany are represented by the color of growing things because it dramatizes the growth of the church in the life of the world.

28. Triangle and Trefoil - The triangle is, perhaps, the first symbolic representation of the Holy Spirit developed by the Church. The trefoil, in truth a conventional form of the shamrock, dates from the 5th Century when St. Patrick first began its use. The trefoil was seen extensively from the 13th Century onward, particularly in church architecture and ornamentation. Each of the four windows in the nave has the repeating symbol of the three interlocking circles forming a trefoil, still another symbol of the unity of the Holy Spirit.

29. IHS - IHS are the first three letters (iota, eta, sigma) of the Greek word for "Jesus". The letters IHC are the more ancient, though the letters IHS are far more common now.The Green Window - The Holy Trinity

30. The Alpha and Omega - The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet signifying that Christ is the beginning and end of all things. "'I am the Alpha and the Omega,' says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." (Revelation 1:8)

31. Jerusalem or Crusader's Cross - This cross, in reality four Latin crosses with their bases joined to signify the spread of the Gospel to the four corners of the earth, also appears on the steeple of the Chapel. The symbolism of the joined crosses has three major themes in its interpretation through the years: (1) the center cross, formed by the joining of the lower ends of the other four crosses, has been seen to represent the placement of the law by the Gospel, typified by the four small crosses; (2) some have taken the fivefold cross to symbolize the five wounds of our Lord received at his crucifixion, and (3) because of the use of this symbol on the shields, banners, and coats-of-arms of the Crusaders, some have taken the image to represent the Crusades from Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain - the large center cross for Great Britain, the smaller crosses for the four other countries.

32. The Ship - The ship is one of the more familiar symbols for the church. The word "nave", signifying the main part of the interior of a church, comes from the Latin word for "ship".

33. The Five-Pointed Star - Generally known as the Epiphany or Bethlehem star, this symbol is sometimes referred to as the star of Jacob (Numbers 24:17). The more familiar reference, however, is found in Matthew 2:2, "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.

34. The Cross and Lamp - This symbol, like others in this window, depicts the impact of the church on the world. The image here is one of Christian higher education. Another image called to mind is that of the Word of God, a "lamp to my feet and a light to my path." (Psalm 119:105)

35. Escallop Shell with Drops of Water - A symbol of our Lord's baptism. The scriptural reference to this event, appearing in all four Gospels, is generally taken to be the first reference in the life of Christ to what later became known as the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. It is here that Father, Son, and Spirit are first mentioned in the same context. "And when Jesus was baptized, he went immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, 'This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.'"

36. St. Mark - The Winged Man with the Lion's Face - This is symbolic of Mark's Gospel because the narrative begins: "The voice of one crying in the wilderness," suggesting the roar of a lion (Mark 1:3). The royalty of Christ and his resurrection are important themes for Mark.