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Window of the Month
Our Lady of Grace, Dearborn Heights, Michigan

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Building Name: Holy Name Church

Studio Name: Detroit Stained Glass Works, The

City: Birmingham

Window Shape: 2 (rectangle)

Date of Window: 1955

Subject/Title of Window: Sacrament of Baptism Part 1, The Father

Brief Description of Subject: This is the first of a three panel window on the Sacrament of Baptism located in the narthex. The panels are separated by the double doors of the front entrance to the Church. Until modern times, one was not allowed to enter the Church unless you were baptized. This necessitated placing the Baptistry either in a separate building or like here, in the narthex.
God the Father plays an integral part in Baptism. In the baptism of Christ, as Christ came out of the water, "a voice came from the heavens: 'You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased,' " (Mark 1:11). The words said by the priest at the Sacrament of Baptism come from Jesus' instructions to the Apostles that they are to spread the gospel to all nations, baptizing them "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," (Matthew 28:18).
In this window, the Father is symbolized by a hand seen in a cloud. The hand is positioned with three digits extended radiating rays of light (Trinity), and the palm outwards with hand raised (God's blessing). The cloud comes from Exodus where God was seen in a cloud that hid his majesty, as "no man could behold and live," (Exodus 33:20). This led to a prohibition on pictorial representation of God and the use of a hand to indicate God. Divine light is seen radiating to the waters below.
Seen below are fish swimming in water. The symbolism for this comes from the following passage on Baptism written by Tertullian (c.160 - c,225). (Note he assumes knowledge that "ICHTHYS" is the Greek word for "fish" and forms an acrostic for "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior):
"We little fish, after the image of our ICHTHYS, Jesus Christ, are born in water, nor have we safety in any other way than permanently abiding in water."
Thus the fish in this window represent "we little fish" swimming in the living water of Baptism.

This window was designed by Margaret Bouchez Cavanaugh when she worked at the Detroit Stained Glass Works.

Condition of Window: Good

Height: 90"

Width: 20"

Type of Glass and Technique: Antique or Cathedral Glass

Sacrament of Baptism Part 1, The Father
Sacrament of Baptism Part 1, The Father
Sacrament of Baptism Part 1, The Father outside
Sacrament of Baptism Part 1, The Father outside

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