Sometimes, when we are so used to things being the way they are we can forget why they are that way. For instance, why do churches have stained glass windows? Here at Associated Crafts® & Willet Hauser® we’ve been creating and restoring stained glass windows for over a century and these windows have been in use for many centuries more, but why? Let’s dig into it this time on the blog!
Why do Churches Have Stained Glass Windows?
It might not surprise you, but stained glass windows have very practical purposes, predominantly that they let in natural light, and tell a story visually to those worshippers inside.
Light is an important symbol or concept in many religions, it is associated with the divine, the heavens, creation, and spirituality. Allowing that light to come in through the windows creates spaces that are illuminated by the glory that is the Sun and existence.
And it helps for those inside a church to be able to see of course! Windows are a necessity to allowing light in and making for usable rooms within a building (unless you wanted to stick to torch and candlelight back in the day) and architects knew how to leverage that. In creating windows with lead frameworks, the windows were able to get larger, allowing for more light, using stained glass, and turning them into works of art served another purpose.
Stained Glass Tells a Story
At one point in time, it was far more common for the average churchgoer to be illiterate. The infrastructure for mass education just didn’t exist as it does now. While they had no means to read the Bible themselves, the windows acted as visual representations of the stories therein. This allowed the congregations to learn and know the story of Jesus and more through a visual medium, in addition to participating and hearing the tales in church services.
Stained glass windows marry two important things, form and function, allowing for wonderful artwork to represent the stories and passages of a church, to spread the good word, as well as make the interior of the structure illuminated and safe from the elements.
If you have stained glass windows in your church, your community doesn’t just have a wonderful window, but an important piece of history too. These windows have been a tradition in church architecture for centuries, and that tradition is carried on today through new creations like those performed here in our studio.
Associated Crafts® & Willet Hauser® creates and preserves environments that teach and inspire others through the use of glass, color, and light. Our stained glass studio is “Where Light Learns to Speak®”. See some of the over 35,000 churches and institutions that have been our clients during the last century, internationally and domestically.
Do your windows need care? Historic restoration, protective coatings, you name it we’re here to help. Contact us and see what Associated Crafts® & Willet Hauser® can do for you.