The Stained Glass Windows
400 Ramapo Avenue
Pompton Lakes, New Jersey 07442

The iconography--the plan of the designs--of the stained glass windows of Christ Church, Pompton, tells the story of the Christian faith. This devotional guide is intended to tell that story as you are invited to view each window in sequence. The story begins with the window closest to the organ console.


Window #1 - Creation
(Genesis 1:1-2:4)

This window depicts the creation of the universe. Modern scientists have portrayed this event as beginning with a cosmic explosion--the "big bang"--at which time previously unformed matter became stars, planets, moons and other intergalactic bodies. In the center is the Sun, and arrayed around it are the planets of our solar system. In the upper left hand corner is the symbol of the hand of God, acknowledging His creative initiative. The waves at the bottom depict the waters forming on the earth.

This window was executed by Marchese and Hamersma. Windows #1, #2 and #3 were given in thanksgiving for God's blessings by Dorothy and William Kelly.

Window #2 - Adam and Eve: The Fall of Mankind
(Genesis 2:4-3:24)

This window depicts the moment when Adam and Eve are compelled, because of their disobedience, to leave the Garden of Eden. The garden, the symbol of womb-like bliss, unspoiled beauty and abundance, is seen, lush and green, in the background. The serpent remains coiled around a tree. In the foreground is the rocky barrenness, symbolic of fallen creation, in which the human race must now live.

This mythic story from Genesis was, for the ancients, a way of comprehending why humans live with pain and toil.

This window was executed by Marchese and Hamersma.

Window #3 - Noah, The Ark, and Noah's Covenant
(Genesis 6:9-9:17)

This window depicts the end of the Great Flood, the punishment inflicted by God on the sinful world, which spared only Noah, his family, seven each of the ritually clean animals, and two each of the ritually unclean animals. Noah, who knew the flood had subsided when the dove returned with vegetation, left the Ark, built an altar to make burnt offerings to God. His arm is raised in that priestly act, and is a counterpoint to God's hand reaching out in the previous window.

God made a covenant with Noah that never again would God destroy living things. The sign of this covenant is the rainbow. Thus, whenever we see a rainbow, we are assured that the covenant is intact and reminded of the words from Genesis: "As long as earth lasts, sowing and reaping, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall cease no more."

This window was executed by Marchesa and Hamersma.

Window #4 - Abraham and Isaac
(Genesis 22:1-19)

This window depicts the moment when Abraham, obeying God's incomprehensible command to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, is restrained by an angel, and told that a sacrificial animal is caught by its horns in a nearby bush.

Abraham, called by God to migrate to Canaan, had been promised that his descendents would be as numerous as the stars, yet his wife, Sarah, bore him only one son, late in their lives. Then, apparently to test Abraham's trust in God's leading, God commanded Abraham to offer Isaac, his only physical link to future generations, as a burnt offering. Seeing Abraham's total devotion, God's angel intercedes at the last moment and renews God's promise to Abraham.

Christians have interpreted the sacrifice of God's only son on the cross of Calvary as the ultimate in self-giving.

This window was executed by Marchese and Hamersma. This window was given in thanksgiving for the love of Irene, Thomas and William Hill.

Window #5 - Moses and the Ten Commandments
(Exodus 20:1-21)

This window depicts Moses descending from Mount Sinai carrying the tablets of stone on which are written the Ten Commandments.

Moses, the son of Hebrew slaves, raised in the Pharoah's court, self-exiled because he killed an Egyptian slave driver, was called by God to return to Egypt and lead the Hebrews in an exodus from there. While the Hebrews migrated to Canaan, God established a covenant with Moses in the heights of Mount Sinai. God would be the God of Israel, and the people of Israel were to obey God's commandments.

When he arrived at the foot of the mountain and learned of the apostasy which had taken place in his absence, he threw down the tablets, breaking them into pieces.

Moses, the Law-giver, became forever associated with the Law, part of two traditions which gave Israel its uniqueness.

This window was executed by Marchese and Hamersma. This window was given in loving memory of the Griger Family and the Mac Lean Family.

Window #6 - King David and the Return of the Ark
(2 Samuel 6:1-19)

This window depicts the occasion when the Ark of the Covenant, an elaborate wooden and gilt container in which reposed the pieces of the stone tablets on which had been inscribed the Ten Commandments, was carried into Jerusalem under the leadership of the great king, David.

The Ark, or Covenant Box, was created by the craftsman Bezalel under the direction of Moses. It was made of acacia wood, 45 inches long, 27 inches wide, and 27 inches high. It was covered with gold, inside and out, had a gold border around it and four gold carrying rings. The lid was also of pure gold and had two winged creatures of hammered gold, one on each end, facing each other with their outspread wings covering the lid. (Exodus 37:1-9)

As the Hebrew people made their conquering journey into Canaan, the Ark was carried before them as a sign of God's presence with them. In a battle against the Philistines, the Ark was captured. After God sent plagues upon the Philistines for 7 months they returned the Ark and it eventually came to reside at a town called Kiriath Jearim. (I Samuel 4:1-7:1)

After David became king, he had the Ark brought to Jerusalem as a sign that God was with him. As the Ark entered Jerusalem he danced before it.

This window was executed by Marchese and Hamersma. This window was given in loving memory of the Beattie-Royce Family.

Window #7 - The Prophet Elijah
(2 Kings 2:1-18)

This window depicts Elijah being carried to heaven by a fiery chariot, an event immortalized in the spiritual "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot".

Elijah is known as the epitome of the great prophets of Israel (the Northern Kingdom), and appeared to prophesy during the reign of King Ahab and his queen, Jezebel, who worshipped the Phoenician god, Baal, and actively promoted her religion and its prophets.

Elijah was able to best the prophets of Baal in a contest on Mount Carmel (I Kings 17 and 18). He had a stormy relationship with Ahab and Jezebel throughout his life-time, representing the God of Israel and contending against the forces of Baalism. At the end of his life he was carried away by the fiery chariot as his mantle of prophecy fell upon Elisha.

This window was executed by McNicholas Studios. Windows #7, #8 and #9 were given in thanksgiving for the ministry of the Reverend John A. Rollins, Rector 1974 - present.

Window #8 - The Prophet Amos
(Amos 5:1-27)

This window depicts Amos' prophecy of God's despair over Israel's unfaithfulness:

    Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
    But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
      Amos 5:23-34

Amos was a prophet from Judah (the Southern Kingdom), a herdsman and dresser of sycamore trees. He was active during the reign of Jeroboam II, a zealot for the God of Israel, and a loner. He foretold the coming punishment of Israel for its unfaithfulness to the covenant, insisting that God's `election' of Israel did not entitle it to special privilege, but only to greater responsibility.

The artist's design is intended to convey the power of the rolling waters of justice and the ever-flowing stream of righteousness.

This window was executed by McNicholas Studios.

Window #9 - The Prophet Isaiah
(Isaiah 6:1-8)

This window depicts the calling of Isaiah, the great prophet who foretold the birth of the Messiah.

When Isaiah heard God's call during the reign of King Uzziah of Judah, his first response was that he could not serve as a prophet as he was "a man of unclean lips". Here the six-winged seraphim brings a coal from the fire to purify symbolically Isaiah's lips. When the Lord asks "Whom shall I send? Who will be our messenger?", Isaiah responds "I will go! Send me!"

Little is known about Isaiah's background--he may have grown up in the privileged circles in the city of Jerusalem, and his prophecies seem to reflect what he saw has a special relationship between the God of Israel and the Davidic line of kings. Hence his prophecy that the coming Messiah would be of David's lineage.

That he foretold the coming of the Messiah is underscored in the artist's design by the placement of the Nativity Star in the upper left-hand corner.

This window was executed by McNicholas Studios.


Window #10 - The Annunciation
(Luke 1:26-38)

This window depicts the occasion on which the archangel Gabriel delivers to Mary the news that she is to bear a child who would be called "the Son of the Most High God". The news is troubling because Mary is not yet married--only engaged to Joseph. Her conception is to be miraculous, an action of the Holy Spirit.

Mary is always remembered as the obedient one. Her response is "I am the Lord's servant. May it happen to me as you have said."

This window was executed by Marchesma and Hamersma. This window was given in loving memory of Richard S. and Elsye B. Colfax.

Window #11 - The Nativity
(Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 2:1-20)

This window depicts the birth of Jesus. Required to travel to Bethlehem (Joseph's place of birth) for a national census and unable to find conventional lodging, the couple find quarters in a stable. There the "Son of the Most High God" is born.

The artist has provided a classic scene. The nativity star shines brightly over the holy family, while the beasts of the stable are the first witnesses to the birth of the one whom St. Paul will later refer to as "the second Adam".

This window was executed by Marchesa and Hamersma. This window was given in loving memory of the Dapping and Berbrick Families.

Window #12 - The Presentation in the Temple
(Luke 2:22-38)

This window depicts the occasion when the child Jesus was brought to the Temple in Jerusalem and, as the first-born, to be presented as holy to the Lord. It is here that the aged prophet Simeon recognizes him to be the Messiah, the revelation of whom he was to witness before his death. According to Luke, Simeon utters the hymn which has been carried down through centuries of liturgy as the "Nunc dimittis".

The two caged birds, either turtle-doves or young pigeons, are thought by Luke to be the sacrifice which was offered on this occasion.

This window was executed by Marchese and Hamersma, and was given in loving memory of John J. and Frances E. Bodain.

Window #13 - The Baptism of Jesus
(Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22)

This window depicts the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River at the hands of John the Baptist. It is the first in a series of windows portraying the adult life of Jesus the Christ. Here, Jesus is seen standing in the Jordan while the roughly-clothed John administers the baptism of repentence. Above them, the Holy Spirit is manifested as a dove with an halo. According to Matthew, "As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. Then heaven was opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and lighting on him. Then a voice said from heaven, `This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased.'"

This window was executed by Marchese and Hamersma, and was given in loving memory of the Halsey Hunt Family.

Window #14 - Jesus and the Children
(Mark 10:13-16)

This window depicts an occasion when children were brought to Jesus.
According to Mark, parents were bringing their children to see the great teacher and be blessed. Jesus' disciples tried to discourage this, perhaps thinking him to be too busy to be bothered. When Jesus discovered this, he directed that the children be allowed to come to him, declaring that "...whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it."

This window was executed by Marchese and Hamersma, and was given in loving memory of Fannie J. Johanson and Walter E. Johanson.

Window #15 - The Sermon on the Mount
(Matthew 5:1-7:28)

This window depicts Jesus, the great teacher, delivering what has come to be known as the Sermon on the Mount. This "sermon" is actually an extensive collection of Jesus' teachings as recalled by the author of Matthew and prefaced in this manner: "Jesus saw the crowds and went up a hill, where he sat down, and he began to teach them..." It occupies nearly three chapters of Matthew's gospel.

Incorporated within this depiction are the "birds of the air" and the "lilies of the field". To make a point against being too concerned about possessions, he referred to them, saying, in effect, "Look at the birds flying around. They do not plant or harvest, yet God takes care of them. And look at the wild flowers. They do not make clothes for themselves, yet even King Solomon was never so resplendent. God knows what you need and he will provide for you."

This window was executed by Marchese and Hamersma, and was given in loving memory of Wellesley H. Pikaart, Sr.

Window #16 - Jesus the Healer
(Matthew 8:1-4, 9:32-33, etc.)

This window depicts Jesus, the healer. All during his ministry he was approached by individuals suffering from various illnesses or handicaps, such as these portrayed here. By various means he healed them. In the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke there are more than twenty-five accounts of healing.

This window was executed by Marchese and Hamersma. It was given in honor of Louise M. Weatherwalks.

Window #17 - The Transfiguration
(Matthew 17:1-8, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36)

This window depicts the event known as The Transfiguaration. Shown with Jesus are the Hebrew Scriptures' Moses, on the left, and Elijah, on the right. According to Hebrew thought, these individuals represented the fullness of Judaism--the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah). The symbolism of the Transfiguration, when his disciples witnessed Jesus in the company of these two, is that Jesus is the embodiment of the fullness of Judaism. He fulfills and goes beyond the Law and the Prophets.

In terms of the Biblical chronology, the Transfiguration occurred just before Jesus began his final journey to Jerusalem, which resulted in his crucifixion and resurrection.

The clouds at the feet of Moses and Elijah are the artist's device to convey that they were present in a spiritual way.

This window was executed by Marchese and Hamersma. Windows #17, #18 and #19 were given in loving memory of Anna M. Reimann and Marie St. Leger.

Window #18 - The Last Supper
(Matthew 26:26-30, Mark 14:22-26, Luke 22:14-23)

This window depicts the final meal that Jesus had with his disciples at which he instituted the sacrament of the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion. Taking bread and wine, he proclaimed that these elements were his body and blood. Sharing them with his faithful friends, he gave the command: "Do this in remembrance of me." All of our celebrations of the Lord's Supper or the Holy Communion or the Eucharist or the Mass--by whatever name--are our attempts to be obedient to this command.

This window was executed by Marchese and Hamersma.

Window #19 - The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane
(Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:33-42, Luke 22:39-46)

This window depicts Jesus' personal, human anguish on the night before his crucifixion. After the Last Supper he withdrew with three disciples to a quiet garden to pray. Aware of the fate to which he was destined, he prayed that the cup of suffering might be taken from him. But, he concluded, "not my will, but your will be done."

In the background of this window, in silhouette, can be seen the forms of the the three disciples, asleep. Worn out by their grief, they were unable to keep watch with Jesus.

This window was executed by Marchese and Hamersma.

Window #20 - The Crucifixion
(Matthew 27:32-44, Mark 15:21-32, Luke 23:26-43, John 19:7-27)

This window depicts the death of Jesus by crucifixion and the final moment when the attending centurion proclaimed, "Truly, this was the Son of God." Behind the central cross are the two crosses of the thieves who died with him.

To the right are the figures of Mary, his mother, and John, the beloved disciple. On the left are other bystanders, including Mary Magdalene. In the distance, the soldiers return to the city, their work done.

Over Jesus' head, the initials "INRI" remind us of the inscription placed there by Pontius Pilate: (I) Jesus of (N) Nazareth, (R(ex)) King of the (I) Jews. The centurion's standard bears the Latin initials "SPQR": (S) Senate and (P) People (Q) of (R) Rome.

This window was executed by Marchese and Hamersma, and was given in loving memory of John W. Hopper and Sarah C. Hopper.

Window #21 - The Resurrection
(Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-10)

This window depicts the moment of resurrection, when after three days, Jesus was raised from death. The stone, blocking the entrance to the tomb where he had been placed, was rolled away; the guards, placed there to prevent the stealing of the body, were stunned and would flee. In the background, the women may be seen making their way with spices and perfumes to place with the body according to local burial customs. They will become the first witnesses of the resurrection within the circle of faith.

The banner Jesus carries is another artist's device. It is a triumphal banner, often associated with the figure of a lamb, to depict the Lamb of God who has triumphed over even death on a cross. Here, the human representation of the Lamb of God carries the triumphal sign.

This window was executed by Marchese and Hamersma, and was given in loving memory of Arthur T. Riedel and Hilda C. Riedel.

Window #22 - The Day of Pentecost
(Acts 2:1-42)

This window depicts the events of the Day of Pentecost. Fifty days after the resurrection and some time after Jesus' ascension, the disciples who are gathered in an upper room in fear for their lives experience the dramatic infusion of the Holy Spirit (note the dove with halo at the top of the window). Hearing something like a mighty rushing wind, and seeing something like tongues of flame hovering above their heads, they experienced a power that transformed them and the world. No longer fearful and empowered by God's Spirit, these men and women proclaimed the Gospel of the Risen Christ wherever they went.

This event rightfully has been called "the birth day of the Church", and the Day of Pentecost ranks as the third most important feast day on our Christian calendar.

This window was executed by Marchese and Hamersma. It was given in loving memory of the Reverend Albert F. Chillson, Rector of Christ Church, 1935-1965.

The Rose Window - The Trinity
(Matthew 28:16-20)

Please direct your attention to the Rose Window on the opposite end of the Nave, above the Nativity Window. This window depicts the Trinity.

Several symbols are interwoven in this window. At the top, the hand descending, is the symbol of God, the Father. The Latin word for father, "Pater", appears beside it. To the left, the lamb is the symbol of God, the Son. The Latin word for son, "Filius", is next to the lamb. To the right, the dove with halo is the symbol of God, the Holy Spirit. The Latin words for Holy Spirit, "Spiritus Sanctus", are also presented. The triangle, with its three sides and three points, has long been another symbol of the the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity reminds us that we experience God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit--as Creator, Savior, and Sustainer--a unity in diversity.

This window was executed by Marchese and Hamersma, and was given in thanksgiving for God's blessings by James, Dorothy and William Kelly.


-- Go to Christ Church Home Page