The Windows of St. John's

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The Music Window

THE WINDOW emphasizes the influence of music on the Hebrew-Christian tradition. Judaism and Christianity are both singing religions. Their services from ancient times have used the Psalms, canticles and great hymns of praise, adoration and aspiration to move the hearts of men and inspire them to noble living and great deeds of love and sacrifice.

In the center of the window is the Virgin Mary holding the child Jesus surrounded by singing cherubs. Beneath, shown in small scale, kneeling, are adoring shepherds. The inscription "Gloria in Excelsis" is reminiscent of the angels' song announcing Christ's birth.

In the lower left corner are Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1526-94) , who had great influence on church music. At the lower right are Martin Luther (1483-1546) and Charles Wesley (1707-88), representing authors of great hymns. Above Bach and Palestrina, David is shown as a shepherd with his harp and the opening words of the Twenty-Third Psalm in Latin. Opposite David is Bishop Reginald Heber (1783-1826), compiler of the first Anglican Hymnal and the author of that great hymn, "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty".

Above these panels, the canticles, "Venite Exultemus Domino" and "Te Deum Laudamus" respectively, are represented by the choir and trumpeters of Solomon's Temple and a present day choir of men and boys.

At the apex of the window is illustrated the development of the organ influenced by the syrinx or Pan's pipes, which was the first instrument to embody the principle of wind through pipes, and in the background an interesting medieval organ blown by hand-pumped bellows.

Throughout the border beginning at the top right (1:00 o'clock) and moving clockwise are shown many archaic musical instruments: the toph or tambourine, the hatsotsra or horn, the kinnor or national harp of Israel, Bermi-Hasson lyre, khatsotrath or rams horn, nebal, a kind of harp, lute, sistrum, syrinx or organ of Jabal.


This window was Given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Our Mothers by members of the congregation and friends.
Dedicated May 5, 1957.