The stained and painted glass windows found in the back of many of the mausoleums in large urban city cemeteries are great works of art rarely seen by most people who walk by. Most do not peer into the windows in the doors of the mausoleums to view the windows in the back of the crypts. It feels a bit like trespassing. I do it so you don’t have to!
Stained glass is a thousand-year old art form first produced to enhance the windows of great churches and mosques. The stained glass is produced by mixing metallic salts into glass to make glass of various colors. Tiny pieces of the glass are cut and pieced together using strips of lead to create spellbinding designs. Painted glass is often added to enhance designs and add details to the figures and scenes in the windows.
This stained glass window found in a mausoleum in the Rock Creek Cemetery at Washington, D.C., depicts a woman looking toward Heaven while kneeling in front of a white cross in prayer. The portrait is surrounded by a deep blue, red, and yellow band design that frames the kneeling figure and the cross. The face and arms of the praying woman are painted glass, gently modeled to great effect. The window speaks not only to the power of prayer but to the importance of the cross as a symbol of Christianity.
Currently there is a meme being posted in social media that only begins to express the power of the cross and its deep meaning for Christians in the following acrostic:
Crowned Jesus with Glory
Reconciled us to god
Overcame the World
Shed Blood for our Sins
Saved us from His Wrath