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

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Building Name: St. Andrew Catholic Church

Studio Name: Emil Frei Associates, Inc.

City: Saginaw

Window Shape: 3 (arched)

Date of Window: 1912

Subject/Title of Window: Penance

Brief Description of Subject: From Faith in Stained Glass Saint Andrew Church booklet by Michael Bell, published August 15, 1976.
This is one of the windows of the apse. The apse, that is, the semi-circular area of the sanctuary which contains the altar, has been a usual feature of Christian churches since the first century. The first churches were usually converted Roman basilicas, buildings which were used for assembly halls or law courts. The place where the judge originally sat became the spot from which the priest came to preside over the Mass. In time the altar was moved from its central, free standing position and it was place against the back wall of the apse where it remained until the Second Vatican Council restored it to its original position. The apse of St. Andrew's is lit by nine small Gothic windows. Seven of them portray the seven sacraments; the first and last windows bear the "alpha" and the "omega", the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.

One of Seven Sacraments: Penance. On Easter evening Jesus told the assembled apostles "Those whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; those whose sins you shall retain, they are retained (John 20:23). The symbol of the keys derives from another passage wherein Christ tells Peter, "I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven (Matthew 16:16). The keys are generally shown as one of silver and one of gold to differentiate between the power of loosing and binding. The keys are the personal insignia of Peter and his successors, The Bishops of Rome.

Condition of Window: Good

Height: 5' or 6'

Width: 2'

Type of Glass and Technique: Enamel Paint

Penance detail
Penance detail

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