Windows let in the light. Traditionally, churches have been designed so
that the light of the rising sun falls on the altar to remind us of the
risen Christ who put an end to darkness. (East -West)
The windows of very old churches, like the great cathedrals of Europe,
tell the story of how God has saved all people. In early times not
everyone learned to read and write. Mass was celebrated in Latin, a
language that not everyone understood. So, in order to make sure that
everyone had a chance to receive God's word, designers made use of the
They designed beautiful scenes from important Bible stories and then had
those pictures formed in multi-colored glass called stained glass. When
the sunlight shone through these huge scenic windows it gave the church a
special feeling of holiness.
People who could not read or who had trouble understanding the Latin mass,
could look at the windows to see how good God has been to all people.
Today most people can read so the windows are more commonly decorated with
saints who are special to the parish community or with symbols of our
faith. However, when the light shines through these windows we still get a
feeling that we are in a special, Holy place.