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

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Building Name: First United Methodist Church

Studio Name: Willet Hauser Architectural Glass

City: Birmingham

Window Shape: 6 (gothic arched, more than 2 vertical sections)

Date of Window: 1956

Subject/Title of Window: The Nativity Window

Brief Description of Subject: This transept window is signed at the bottom "The Willet Studio Phila. PA. 1956.

The following description from the book, "The Windows and Symbols of First Methodist Church Birmingham, Mich. edited by Dr. Arnold F. Runkel and privately published by the Church for its members in 1966.


This window depicts the Nativity of Our Lord, and related themes. From the tracery openings at the very top, the scene is dominated by the Star of Bethlehem casting down its rays. On either side are angels of praise and prayer chanting the good tidings: 'on earth peace, good will towards men.' (Luke 2:14) The Christmas rose and Fleurs-de-lis, found in the smaller traceries, symbolize further the human nature of our Lord.

The lovely scene of the incarnation is the focal point of the center lancet. Mary is shown kneeling behind the rustic manger with the Christ Child in her arms. Joseph stands protectively above, holding in his hand the symbol by which he is usually identified --- a rod blossoming with lilies --- representing purity. Round about are the animals of the stable --- the ox, the ass, and a baby lamb.

In the left lancet are three shepherds who came to worship the infant Christ, holding their crooks, and accompanied by some of their sheep.

The three Kings or Wise Men from the East are pictured in the right lancet, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Related scenes appear in the small predella openings below. On the left is the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary by the Angel Gabriel. At the top of the lancet an angel holding a shield, emblazoned with a Madonna Lily, symbol of the Annunciation.

The center medallion portrays the presentation of the infant Jesus in the Temple by Mary and Joseph, with Simeon speaking those great words of recognition of the Christ: 'Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; For mine eyes have seen thy salvation.' (Luke 2:29 -30) [The angel at the top of the lancet holds a shield with the picture of a heart pierced by a sword. This references Simeon's words to Mary at the Presentation: 'so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your soul too (Luke 2:35)]

In the right predella we see the dramatic scene of the flight into Egypt to escape the wrath of Herod. The angel at the top bears a shield on which are engraved the ancient pyramids of Egypt.

The Nativity Window is the presentation of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Tanton.

Inscriptions: On earth peace, good will toward men

Height: 15'

Width: 7'

The Nativity Window
The Nativity Window
The Nativity Window canopy
The Nativity Window canopy
Three Shepherds, left; Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, center; Three Wise Men, right
Three Shepherds, left; Mary, Joseph, and Jesus, center; Three Wise Men, right
Annunciation, left; Presentation, center; Flight Into Egypt, right
Annunciation, left; Presentation, center; Flight Into Egypt, right
The Nativity Window signature
The Nativity Window signature
The Nativity Window outside
The Nativity Window outside

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