Seibels Chapel

The Seibels Chapel, an addition to the northeast corner of the main church building, was dedicated in 1958. At that time, the windows in the chapel were installed. Executed by the Hugh Easton Studios of London, England, each window has six illustrations symbolizing events in the life and ministry of Christ and the mission of the Church in the sacraments.

2.The Events in the Life of Christ:

The Créche and the Epiphany Star express the birth of Christ. The illustration suggests the simplicity that typified the birth and life of Jesus.

The pair of turtle doves to be offered as a sacrifice according to the law of the Lord expresses the presentation of Jesus in the temple (Luke 2:24) and is the subject of the Mayer window (#6).

Branches of the palm tree, regarded as sacred from early Semitic times, express his entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Carried by the Jews as a sign of triumphant rejoicing, the palm branches were spread before Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem just before his crucifixion (John 12:13).

The scourges, a symbol of passion, express the forty lashes minus one that Jesus suffered before his crucifixion. (Deut.25:3)

The three gold crowns of equal size represent the three wise men, or magi, who came to Bethlehem to pay homage to the infant Jesus. (Matt.2:1-12)

The Easter lily symbolizes resurrection as it blooms at the time of Jesus’s resurrection.

3.Christ’s Ministry:

The cross in the foreground and the crown of thorns represent Christ’s victory over death, selfishness, and pride by his suffering, death, and resurrection. This crown, plaited by the soldiers and placed on the head of Jesus during his trial before Pilate, was a mockery, a symbol of humiliation and suffering (John 19:2).

The feet of Christ ascending commemorate the ascension of Christ to heaven on the fortieth day after Easter, “Holy Thursday,” (Acts 1:9).

The shield of the blessed Trinity is pictured with the three curving sides, equal in length, carrying the Latin words, “non est” (is not), while the short straight bands have the word “est” (is). The outer circles bear the words “Pater” (Father), “Filius” (Son), and “Spiritus Sanctus” (Holy Spirit). The inner circle bears the word “Deus” (God). The circles emphasize eternity and God’s never-ending love.

The Dove is the usual symbol of the Holy Spirit and always contains the triradiate nimbus around its head. The dove represents the descent of the Holy Spirit at Jesus’s baptism, and thus the gift of God’s guidance at baptism.

The cross and white banner with red cross symbolize Christ’s victory over death, sin, and the devil. The white banner represents the body of Christ, which is attached to the cruciform staff; the staff represents the cross on which Jesus died and through which the risen Christ saves the world. Red symbolizes the blood of martyrs.

The coins, basin, and towel represent Maundy Thursday, the betrayal of Judas, and the Last Supper. The coins are an emblem of the treachery of Judas in his conspiracy with the chief priests to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:15). On the night Jesus was betrayed, Maundy Thursday, he and his disciples met for the last meal together. He took a basin and washed their feet (John 13:5). This symbol along with the towel represents his humility and servitude, the evidence of Christ’s love, and his estimate of true greatness in his kingdom.

4.The Rose Window:

Easter lilies symbolize the Resurrection; a dove, the Holy Spirit, which descends “like a dove.” (Mark 1:10).


5.Mission of the Church in the Sacraments and Sacramental Rites:

A descending dove over the baptismal font symbolizes Baptism. In the story of the baptism of Jesus, Mark says the Holy Spirit descended “like a dove.” (Mark 1:10)

The wafer and chalice represent the Eucharist. The chalice is the “cup”  (or “Holy Grail”) that Jesus used at the institution of the Lord’s Supper. (Matt. 26:17-9)

Interlocking rings with the symbol represent marriage.  The Greek letter chi (X) is the first letter of the Greek word for “Christ.”  (Χριστος) The Greek letter rho (Ρ) is the second letter of Christ’s name in Greek. They are laid one on the other to make a monogram. The rings signify the joining of a man and a woman in unending union; the symbol indicates the presence of Christ in the marriage.

Ordination is represented by the chasuble (sleeveless outer vestment) with gold orphrey (bands of rich embroidery usually on the back of the chasuble and forming a cross) and the stole, traditional clerical vestments reaching to the ankles, close-sleeved, and girded at the waist with an opening in the center to go over the head of the celebrant. The chasuble represents the robe the Roman soldiers placed on Christ after they scourged him (John 19:2). The stole—a long band worn over the shoulders and down both sides of the front—signifies the ordination of the wearer and marks the sacredness of the sacramentals. It represents immortality, the yolk of obedience, and the reign of Christ.

Two keys, one gold and one silver crossed saltire (St. Andrew’s Cross) refer to Matthew 16:19, where Jesus said to Peter, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” The colors gold and silver refer to heaven and earth and the keys represent Penance, a sacramental rite involving repentance, acceptance of penalties, and absolution. (See information on window #17)

Flames and sword represent Confirmation. Flames represent the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The sword often portrays courage against the forces of evil—the Christian witness to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit against sin, death, and the devil. It becomes “the sword of the spirit”—the responsibility of those confirmed to bear witness to Christ.