CHAPEL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT - WINDOWS
Creation of Man.
The first man is receiving the Breath of Life (that is, the Holy Spirit) as he looks upwards towards the hand of his Creator. All around is the new creation, Earth, Air, and Water; Birds, Animals, and Vegetation. Above all is the Heavenly Host. All around is the new creation, Earth, Air, and Water; Birds, Animals, and Vegetation. Above all is the Heavenly Host.
This window portrays the revelation which Saint John the Divine had on the Isle of Patmos. In the book of the Revelation, St John the Divine relates how, when "in the Spirit on the Lord's Day" he was commanded to write in a book that which was revealed to him in a vision. In this window St John is seated with his Eagle (a symbol of the Gospel) by his side, describing his vision of Our Lord ; seated on a throne set in heaven, and of how "there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald" and of how he saw the four and twenty elders sitting round about the throne, clothed in white raiment, and on their heads crowns of gold.
Beneath the realistic depiction of this scene is the Altar bearing "the Lamb that was slain" and underneath the Altar are "the Souls of them that had been slain for the word of God." The seven Candles represent the seven churches to which St John was commanded to write.
The use of symbols in stained glass, sculpture and woodwork is said to have originated in the reluctance of early Christians to write the sacred names at length. This it was considered irreverent to do, and indeed often highly dangerous; and so, for example, St John was represented by an Eagle, St Peter by two crossed keys, the Holy Spirit by a Dove, and Eternity by a circle or a ring - something without beginning or end.
The Annunciation of the BVM
The messenger from God tells the Blessed Virgin Mary that she will have a child who will be the Messiah. In this window the Angel Gabriel has appeared to the Virgin Mary, announcing the coming of Jesus as the Prince of Peace. To her it was told: "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee." Accordingly, the Holy Ghost, in the form of a dove, is seen descending on the kneeling woman. Gabriel is bearing the Heavenly Message and holding the Lily with which he is always represented.
Baptism of Jesus
John the Baptist is reverently kneeling on Jordan's bank, while Our Lord is seen rising up out of the water.The Heavens are opened, and the Spirit of God is descending like a Dove while His voice is heard saying: "This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased." As in the window at the font, John is holding a staff which pre-figures the cross.
Feast of Pentecost
This window portrays the birthday of the Christian Church when the Holy Spirit was given to the Apostles. The Book of the Acts of the Apostles states, "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they (the Apostles) were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost."
This beautiful New Testament narrative (Acts 2) is the inspiration for this window, and the word picture of the writer is faithfully reproduced with realistic and compelling effect. Matthias, who "was numbered with the eleven apostles," is included, and also Mary, the mother of Jesus.
And finally, before you leave the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, make sure that you look upwards to see two delightful lantern windows, each depicting an Angel.
Angel with Chalice.
Angel with Torch.