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St. Paul's Catholic Church, Onaway, Michigan: artists Peter and Christel Brahm

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Window

Building Name: Mayflower Congregational Church

Studio Name: Omnibus Studios

Artist Name: Richard E. Hanley

City: Lansing

Window Shape: 2 (rectangle)

Date of Window: 1976

Subject/Title of Window: The Baptism

Brief Description of Subject: Matthew 3:16. The Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist The first window is called “The Baptism”. It was originally pledged by the Van Wanning family, but finally was given by the Yager family in memory of Dale Yager. There are no records of the exact dates of installation or dedication of this window, but it appears that it was the last of the windows in the sanctuary itself to be completed. This window is based on Matthew 3:16. It depicts the Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist (or the Baptizer, as some call him) in the Jordan River. John is kneeling on the bank as Jesus stands hip-deep in the waters of the Jordan River. John uses a shell to pour water on the head of Jesus. This is a classic depiction of the event. In the early Middle Ages, a shell was used to pour the baptismal waters on the head of the one being baptized, and the shell became the symbol of Christian baptism. Around the heads of both John and Jesus is a nimbus, or halo. This is also a classic element and represents holiness. John holds a staff topped by a cross. The Baptism was the beginning of the earthly ministry of Jesus, and the cross was to be the end. A stylized dove descends upon Jesus, representing the power of God coming upon Jesus for the work of his ministry. The scripture account mentions both the dove and a voice from heaven. In each of the corners of the window, there is a blue figure which looks like the letter “X”. This is the Greek letter Chi, which is the first letter in the word Christos, which means “the chosen” or “the anointed” and from which we get our word, Christ. Very early in church history, this letter became a symbol for Christ. This theme of the Chi in each of the four corners is carried out in all of the eleven smaller windows. There is symbolism also in the colors: the red of John’s staff represents both the blood of Christ and of the martyrs and also the Holy Spirit. The blue represents purity, the white represents holiness, and the gold represents royalty. The blending of the yellow, gold, orange, and red reminds us of the flame which also signifies the Holy Spirit of God-as a Pentecost. Artists Richard Hanley and Mark Taleba. Installation by Omnibus Studios, Okemos, MI.

Inscriptions: MATT 3:16


Condition of Window: Excellent

Height: 80"

Width: 45"

Type of Glass and Technique: Slab or Faceted Glass (Dalle de Verre)

The Baptism
The Baptism

The MSGC is a constantly evolving database. Not all the data that has been collected by volunteers has been sorted and entered. Not every building has been completely documented.

All images in the Index are either born-digital photographs of windows or buildings or are scans of slides, prints, or other published sources. These images have been provided by volunteers and the quality of the material varies widely.

If you have any questions, additions or corrections, or think you can provide better images and are willing to share them, please contact donald20@msu.edu