Monday, December 14, 2009

List #22: 5 Notable Stained Glass Windows

Yesterday I preached on Forrest Church's final book, The Cathedral of the World. I played with his metaphorical images of the various stained glass windows in the cathedral. In writing the sermon, I thought about various stained glass windows I've seen in my travels. Here is a list of 5 notable ones. They are not necessarily the five best I've ever seen, but ones of which I thought as I composed the sermon.

5) Bay Area Unitarian Universalist Church, Houston, Texas
I like the stained glass chalice window in the sanctuary at BAUUC. I especially like the beautiful blue hues and the modern stylization.

4) Notre Dame, Paris, France
When I think of Notre Dame I think of hunchbacks, scenes from Dan Brown novels, and the large rose window. It may be the most famous stained glass window in the world.

3) Arlington Street Church, Boston, Massachusetts
ASC Boston has the largest collection of Tiffany stained glass windows in the world. Every time I lead a group of Coming of Age youth to Boston, the tour of ASC is one of the high points of the trip.

2) Unitarian Universalist Church, Las Cruces, New Mexico
The UU Church of Las Cruces was home to the astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, the scientist who first viewed the planet Pluto and then led a quixotic quest to attempt to keep Pluto's classification as a planet intact. An exquisite stained glass window celebrates Tombaugh's life and legacy.

1) The Cathedral, Sevilla, Spain
Following a trip to Spain in the summer of 2004 I used to joke, "Sevilla was kind of a disappointment. It reminded me of The Plaza." To get the joke you need to know that the architecture of The Plaza shopping district in Kansas City is based on the architecture of Sevilla. Sevilla's cathedral is the third largest church in the world and the largest gothic cathedral. In all its excess and grandeur, there is an amazing and surprisingly modest stained glass window where the light streams through in brilliant shades of blue, pink, and yellow.