Rehoboth Presbyterian Church
Rededication of the Sanctuary Windows - June 26th, 2016
Stained glass windows are very special works of art used in churches not only to allow light into an area, but to beautify and modify the mood of the area in which they are used. While many windows may be similar in design, each is an individual handmade work of art, varying sometimes only subtly in the color of the glass used. Each one also varies in color with the time of day and the time of year it is viewed.
The stained glass windows at Rehoboth are original with the building, having been installed during its construction in 1899-1900. Over their 100+ year history, many have been repaired at various times. During the last 20 years all the windows were restored. This process requires the removal, disassembly of the window, the cleaning of stained portions, and the delaminating, cleaning and re-laminating of laminated portions, repair or replacement with identical pieces of broken glass, and finally re-leading, gluing and reinstalling the window in its original repaired and restored frame. The Pittsburgh Stained Glass Studios of Pittsburgh, PA have done the work at Rehoboth. A protective covering was also added to each of the restored windows to help preserve it.
The four-window set of single panel windows on the west wall of the sanctuary below the “Transfiguration” (Flanagan) window share in common with the Pattern Windows, the Fleur-de-lis design. However, the flower at the upper center of the panel is replaced with the Cross-of-Malta.
Many of the 50+ stained glass windows at Rehoboth are very similar and made somewhat in the same pattern. Each, while unique in its own way, shares some common features which have special meanings.
The central flower in the upper panels reminds us of one of the names of Jesus, The Rose of Sharon. The modern rose has been a product of either the white or red rose, or the mixing of the two. However, we are told the best color of the rose of Sharon is blue!
* The white speaks of Christ’s purity.
* The red speaks of His humanity and His blood.
* The blue speaks of His deity – it is a royal color.
The round medallions and the circles, jewels around the flower remind us of the eternity of God. As the circle has no beginning or end, so also our God.
The English translation of “fleur-de-lis” (sometimes spelled “fleur-de-lys”) is “flower of the lily.” This symbol, depicting a stylized lily or lotus flower, has many meanings. Traditionally, it has been used to represent French royalty, and in that sense it is said to signify perfection, light, and life. The Roman Catholic Church ascribed the lily as the special emblem of the Virgin Mary. Due to its three “petals,” the fleur-de-lis has also been used to represent the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Order of Service
Rededication of the Sanctuary Windows
Opening Sentences: Leader: How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! People: My soul longs, indeed faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh sings for joy to the living God.
Leader: Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.
People: Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise. ~ Psalm 84: 1-4
Prayer: ~ to be prayed in unison Blessed and glorious Lord God Almighty, by whose power, wisdom, and love, all things are sanctified, enlightened and made perfect. Be merciful to us and bless us and cause your face to shine upon us that what we now do may please you and show the honor of your name. Let your work appear and your glory to us and our children. Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us. Amen.
Rededication of the Windows: Elder: To the glory of God and in memory of Robert C. Finley, the four arched windows facing the porch, have been restored and are rededicated to the glory and praise of God.
To the glory of God and in memory of Eleanor B. Finley, the three windows in the Quiet Room, have been restored and are rededicated to the glory and praise of God.
In memory of all the saints of Rehoboth; who from their labors rest, all other windows have been restored and are rededicated to the glory and praise of God.
Pastor: We gratefully accept this gift. Now in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, we rededicate these windows to the glory of God. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Prayer of Rededication:
Pastor: Almighty God, the true light of every faithful soul, who fill heaven and earth with the brightness of your majesty and glory, graciously receive the gift of your servants and the rededication of these windows, to the beautifying of this sanctuary, the edifying of your people, and the glory of your name.
Ascription of Praise: ~ to be said in unison
To the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, might, majesty, dominion and blessing, now and forever.