First Congregational Church
 Gardner, MA 

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The Rose Window

The symbols of the rose window, starting as if it were a face of a clock where 1:00 o'clock would be, we see:

The Chalice, the cup which symbolizes the wine of the Lord's Supper.

Two letters superimposed (Alpha and Omega) in symbolism for Revelation 22:13 "I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending saith the Lord."

The open bible, symbolizing God's grace, the means in which God speaks to us.

The anchor which symbolizes Christian hope. Hebrews 6:19 says, "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul."

The Lamb which is a symbol for sacrifice.

A variation on the Alpha and Omega, in a modified form. This suggests Christ as the beginning and ending of the Christian life, and of God's purpose for the world.

The 16-pointed star. This has no particular Christian symbolism but could very well stand for the Star of Bethlehem which heralded the birth of the Christ child.

The three fishes, which has double symbolism: First that of the fish as the secret sign by which Christians knew each other or their secret meeting places. The other symbolism refers to the miracle of the loaves and fishes, Jesus' feeding of the 5000. The triangle and three fishes intertwined is sometimes used as a symbol of the Trinity.

The IHS, is a monogram containing the first three letter of Jesus' name in Greek "Ieosus".

Interlaced triangles, a symbol which constitutes the trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is also the six-pointed Star of David and represents the fact that Jesus was the Messiah and descended from the household of David.

The pelican stabbing her own breast to provide for for her young. This is a symbol of the atonement in which Christ sacrifices himself so that his followers may have life and have it abundantly.

The Lily, which symbolizes purity and represents the Virgin Mary, Mother of our Lord. The fleur de lis, which looks something like a lily also represents purity.

Two Greek letters, chi and rho which look like our "X" and "P", and are the first two letters in "Christos", the Greek word for Christ.

The Crown of Thorns, which represents the Passion story.

The Latin cross, a symbol of Christ's crucifixion.

The Crown of Gold, symbol of Christ's victory. The cross and crown are symbolic of Ascension Day.

(The significance of these last three is that we exchange the crown of thorns for the crown of gold through the suffering of Christ.)

The figure of the dove in the center is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God. The dove's head is always pointed downward because in the first chapter of Mark it says that immediately after Jesus was baptized in the River of Jordan, the Spirit descended upon him like a dove.

The Trinity is sometimes depicted by a triangle, sometimes by a shamrock, sometimes it is shown in three joining circles and sometimes by the three fishes intertwined. First of all are the symbols of God Unfortunately, we do not have symbols of God in our sanctuary.