Niagara Gazette

Opinion

February 17, 2014

HIGGS: Historical treasures inside St. Mary of the Cataract

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — The main windows over the altar represent the Coronation of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Trinity in heaven and a round window representing the Holy Eucharist. There are stained glass windows on the sides of the altar representing the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The windows of the transept (a structure forming the crosswise direction of a cruciform church or one that is shaped like a cross) represent the four Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Elements of the Passion of Jesus are depicted in the other windows of the nave or central area of the church.

A wheel window visible in the choir loft depicts the angelic choir. According to Wikipedia, the term “wheel window” is often applied to a window divided by simple spokes radiating from a central opening” unlike the more common “rose window” which are generally of a high complex design and seem to bear similarity to a multi-petalled rose. Also in the choir loft is a harp, symbolic of the angelic choirs and a symbol of Ireland.

Stained glass windows refer to works created from a colored glass and the term usually applies to church windows and other significant buildings. As a material it is glass that has been colored by adding metallic salts during its manufacture. It is crafted into windows by arranging small pieces of glass to form patterns or pictures held together by strips of lead and a frame. Tiffany lamps are another form and use of stained glass, made famous by Louis Tiffany.

The church organ was extensively renovated and decorated during the 2004 renovation according to the information from the Rev. Michael H. Burzynski, former pastor of St. Mary’s. It still features the original pipes installed in the 1870s and it is now known as a “hybrid” instrument made up of real pipes and digital components.

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