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Featured Window

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

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Building Name: St. James Episcopal Church

Studio Name: Lamb (J. and R.) Co.

City: Birmingham

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

Subject/Title of Window: Ascension/St. James Major

Brief Description of Subject: This window, formed by two distinct windows, is located on the facade of the Church. The top window is from a previous church and was made by, as yet an unidentified studio. The bottom window was designed for this Church and was made by the J & R Lamb Studios.
The subject of the top window is the Ascension as covered in Luke 24:50 -53. When Jesus was with his disciples in the vicinity of Bethany, "he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven." (KJV)
A close up is provided to show the artistry of the maker. St. Peter is the bald one.
The bottom picture highlights the namesake of the Church, St. James Major. It appears from the Lamb watercolor for this window that the Church wanted changes so that this window would better blend in with the window that would be situated above it. This included expanding the decorative architecture at the top, and placing figures in the side lancets to turn the window into a scene illuminating the inscription from James 1:22, "Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only." (KJV)
St. James (martyred c.44) was one of the twelve apostles. He is said to have preached in Spain, and when he returned to Jerusalem, he was killed with a sword. His body was returned to Spain where eventually a church was built to house his remains. This church, the Cathedral de Santiago de Compostela, became, and still is, a major pilgrimage destination. For this, James is the patron of pilgrims.
Many icons for St. James are found in this window. These include symbols for a pilgrim --- a pilgrim's staff, pilgrim's purse, and scallop shells. The scallop shells stem from the legend that while transporting his body to Spain, at one point it was washed up on a beach that was filled with scallop shells. The scallop shell is now used to identify the pilgrim as well as the path that leads to his pilgrimage site. In the watercolor picture, the sword with a scallop shell would symbolize his martyrdom. On the window. the sword appears with a cross. According to legend, in the 9th Century battle of Clavijo, St. James appeared carrying a banner with a cross on it and whirling a sword, killing many Moors. For this he has the name St. James, Killer of Moors, and the icon of a sword and cross.

Inscriptions: And it came to pass while he blesses them he was parted from them and carried into heaven.
Be you doers of the word, and not hearers.
St. James Major

Condition of Window: Excellent

Height: 20'

Width: 7'

Type of Glass and Technique: Antique or Cathedral Glass

Ascension/St. James Major
Ascension/St. James Major
Ascension close-up
Ascension close-up
St. James Major
St. James Major
Lamb watercolor
Lamb watercolor

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.

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