Narthex Stained Glass Bruce Hipple



A Commentary on the Stained Glass Windows for Christ Church

by artist, Bruce Hipple

My design is based on a matrix of rhythmic, revolving circles, partially evident in the first five windows and revealed in the final three.  This supports the idea of Chronos, or linear, passing time leading to Kairos, or the eternal.  This concept parallels the story of Holy Week, when Jesus lived out the events, fulfilling the prophecies and completing the cycle of crucifixion, death and resurrection to be revealed as Christ.  I also intend to emphasize this movement by using the visual element of clarity (transparency) and relative opacity.

As my design implies, the elements of the story of Holy Week roll one into the next, and are not entirely contained in every case by the window representative of the given day of the week.  My drawing represents a point of reference from which this concept will continue to develop.  Nevertheless, the major events shown are top to bottom per panel, panels running left to right.

  1. The hand of God the Father extends from Heaven, blessing the cycle set in motion as Jesus descends from the Mount of Olives to the Hosannas of the crowd.
  2. The road leads to Jerusalem, giving way to the scene in the Temple.  The angry priests and scribes watch as Jesus overturns the tables of money changers and pigeon sellers.
  3. Jesus heals the sick, casting out demons, and teaches the crowd with parables such as that of the tillers of the vineyard and the wise and foolish maidens. 
  4. The serving woman anoints Jesus with precious oil as an indignant disciple watches; and Judas Iscariot arranges to betray Jesus.
  5. At the last supper, Jesus gives the sacraments of bread and wine.  He receives the kiss of betrayal from Judas, while the cock crows as Peter denies Jesus.
  6. The high priest Caiphas tears his robe in anger, prior to delivering Jesus to Pontius Pilate, who washes his hands of responsibility as the mob roars.  Jesus is crucified.
  7. Dark clouds hover over the day of dormition as soldiers seal the tomb.
  8. Christ is risen – and releases the Holy Spirit.