Windows of stained glass
The churches below are among the many in South Florida whose stained glass windows make them worthy of a visit. Listed are hours for Saturday-Sunday Easter services.
• Cathedral of St. Mary, 7525 NW Second Ave., Miami; 305-759-4531.
French artisan Gabriel Loire created an entire wall of stained and faceted glass devoted to the theme of the Annunciation and the Birth of Christ for the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament. (Visitors to the chapel can see a photograph of Pope John Paul II praying in front of these stained glass windows. The pope inaugurated his 1987 papal tour of the United States with a visit to St. Mary’s.) Loire comes from Chartres, which has a long lineage of superb stained glass, including the medieval Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Services: Saturday Easter vigil, 8 p.m., led by Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski. Easter Sunday 6:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. in English; 7:30 a.m. in Creole; noon in Spanish.
• Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 3220 NW Seventh Ave., Miami; 305-635-1331.
Consecrated in 1959, Corpus Christi Catholic Church contains an architectural duality. Upon entering from the west, visitors perceive a modern-style church with minimal adornment directing one’s gaze to a massive mahogany crucifix carved by Ivan Meštroviæ, the master Croatian sculptor known as the Rodin of the 20th century. Only upon turning around to exit do you see the glorious stained glass windows hidden in recessed walls. They depict the saints, old and new, including two who died at Auschwitz and were later canonized by Pope John Paul II.
Services: Saturday Easter vigil, 8 p.m., bilingual. Easter Sunday, 9 a.m. in English; 11 a.m. in Spanish.
• Epiphany Catholic Church, 8235 SW 57th Ave., South Miami; 305-667-4911.
The sanctuary centerpiece, a contemporary stained-glass cross, towers more than 60 feet above the altar. Images throughout the cross represent the Easter Triduum, the three-day period from the evening of Holy Thursday through Good Friday and the Resurrection. The Last Supper is represented by images of wheat, grapes and a chalice; the Passion of Christ by images of the lashes Roman soldiers used to whip Jesus. The bright light emanating from the center of the cross signifies the resurrection.
Services: Saturday Easter vigil, 7:30 p.m. in English. Easter Sunday, 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. in English; 12:30 p.m. in Spanish.
• First United Methodist Church of Miami, 400 Biscayne Blvd.; 305-371-4706.
The stained glass windows at this church in the heart of downtown Miami were crafted in Italy and installed shortly after 1915, the year Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, South, was built. At the time, the congregation was split between north and south churches, much the way the country was politically and philosophically rent in the wake of the Civil War, according to church historian Wilma Baggesen. The churches united in 1966 after an arsonist burned down the north church, known as White Temple Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1980, the church moved to its current location.
Services: Easter Sunday, 7 a.m. at Bayside’s Marina Stage; 11 a.m. in the church sanctuary.
• Gesù Catholic Church, 118 NE Second St., Miami; 305-379-1424.
The stained glass windows were designed by the Franz Mayer studio of Munich in the early 1920s. As such, the windows display a Germanic influence, such as sloping hats the shepherds wear and the pipes they smoke, says the Rev. Eduardo J. Alvarez, pastor of Gesù. The windows compliment the Mass, particularly on feast days such as Easter, where one sees the resurrection of Christ and his ascension into heaven. “It’s very uplifting for our parishioners to see the beauty of the church, and also when we celebrate some of the feasts we can refer to the windows,” Alvarez says. “The window is so evident.”
Services: Saturday Easter vigil, 8 p.m., bilingual. Easter Sunday, 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. in English; 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Spanish.
• Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Cemetery, 11411 NW 25th St., Miami; 305-592-0521.
Designed and executed by the Conrad Pickel Studio of Vero Beach, the assemblage of windows is a trio of four-paneled images that tell the story of Easter from the crucifixion on Good Friday to The Risen Christ and the Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles in the wake of Christ’s resurrection. These windows are one-inch-thick stained glass slabs cast in epoxy resin.
• Holy Comforter Episcopal Church, 150 SW 13th Ave., Miami; 305-643-2711.
The ocular window above the Holy Comforter altar originally came from Trinity Cathedral. The French-made window represents Christ’s ascension into heaven in the presence of four apostles. The windows of this church also focus on lay people, such as Helen Keller, as well as two non-Episcopalians, the Pentecostal preacher Oral Roberts and Evangelist Billy Graham.
Services: Easter Sunday, 10:30 a.m. in English; 12:30 p.m. in Spanish.
• Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 464 NE 16th St., Miami; 305-374-3372.
The artisans at DomCat Studios of Cape Coral are restoring and reinstalling Trinity’s stained glass windows. Their work entails cleaning the glass, replacing the old lead cames that hold the glass pieces in place, and reassembling the work in the same fashion as putting together a jigsaw puzzle, says DomCat Vice President Dominic Engels. While the reinstallation of the clerestory windows is expected to be completed by the end of April, the dean of the cathedral says, fundraising is under way to find an additional $250,000 to complete the full project.
Services: Saturday Easter musical vigil, 8 p.m. Easter Sunday, 8 a.m., 10 a.m. in English and 12:15 p.m. in Spanish.
• St. Stephen Evangelical Lutheran Church, 2500 NE 14th Street Causeway, Pompano Beach; 954-942-4473.
Made of faceted glass in the 1970s by the Conrad Pickel Studio, this window takes up the entire north end of the sanctuary. Unlike the other windows featured here, this design resembles an abstract mosaic and includes an abundance of glass known as “Pickel Blue,” a bluish-gray tinted glass that Pickel favored in his work.
Service: Easter Sunday, 10 a.m.
PALM BEACH COUNTY
• Iglesia Adventista (West Palm Beach Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church), 2727 Georgia Ave., West Palm Beach; 561-832-8644.
The Window of the Radiant Christ is so spectacular that AAA listed it as an attraction on its tourist guides. Originally commissioned by the Union Congregational Church in 1981, the window spans 75 feet from wall to wall and 27 feet from floor to ceiling, making it one of the largest single stained glass windows in the United States. Conrad Pickel designed and executed the window from his Vero Beach studio. The Pickel Studio also created the largest stained glass window in the world, according to The Guinness Book of World Records. Located just outside Chicago at the Resurrection Cemetery, the window of faceted glass covers more than 22,000 square feet.
Easter services: Saturday, 11 a.m.; 4 p.m. children’s program.