St. James Episcopal Church

Alpine, Texas

Altar Windows
Two at 1.6' w. by 9.8' h. each

Two east-facing windows had been covered to spare parishioners from direct sun. The Altar area was dark and dismal. No more! The beauty of stained glass now diffuses direct sun and brightens worship.

Stained glass enframes the Altar and softens intense morning sun. A combination of transparent and opal glass allows views to flowering Pear trees and mountains beyond and dramatically brightens worship. Because the white glasses both reflect and transmit light they are visible throughout the day and night from inside or out. Dichroic glass shifts color in daylight, while becoming mirror-like flickers at night.

Saturated color in the lower windows symbolize corporal existence in contrast to filmy white glasses in the upper areas representing the higher spiritual plane to which we aspire. The horizontal band of red and purple glass that extends from the Altar represents Christ’s blood, wine and the sacrament of Holy Communion. The amber glass border at the bottom and along the outer sides subtly symbolizes grain and bread. In addition to the border, the two windows are united by a white opal glass halo of shapes recalling fire, feathers, wings, rain, light, hands, etc.

Materials: German and French mouthblown glass, dichroic glass, lead and solder.