WindowBuilding Name: Central United Methodist Church
Studio Name: Giannini & Hilgart
Date of Window: 1930
Subject/Title of Window: St. Gabriel
Brief Description of Subject: One of six side aisle windows that depicts heavenly beings as described in the Bible and apocryphal writings. Although seldom seen in Michigan's stained glass windows, they have been represented throughout the Christian era in various ways, based upon differing literary sources, traditions and artistic aims. According to early Christian writings and traditions, heavenly beings are divided into three categories or hierarchies, each with special responsibilities. The first hierarchy, who surround God in perpetual adoration, includes the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones. The second hierarchy, seen as governors of the stars and the elements, includes three types of heavenly beings known as Dominations (or Dominions), Virtues and Powers. Within the third hierarchy of heavenly beings are the Princedoms, who protect earthly kingdoms, and the Archangels and Angels, divine messengers of God to man. Four Archangels are mentioned by name in early Christian texts: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel. In the Book of Daniel the Archangel Gabriel helps Daniel to interpret his visions, and in the Book of Luke he appears to Mary to tell her that she will bear a son to be named Jesus. Gabriel is frequently shown holding a lily, a symbol of purity.
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