The Children’s Window (1927)
Inspiration for the Window
The theme of the last window to be installed may originate from Latin words that appear in a vocal concerto, one of 43 concertos published in a book of early baroque music entitled Virginalia Eucharistica. The book was published in Munich, Bavaria, in 1615 by Rudolph di Lasso (ca. 1563 to ca. 1626), and the words are “Mater amabillis, oro pro nobis” or “Mother worthy of love, pray for us.” The reference to the Virgin Mary could apply to motherhood in general since the title of this window refers not to Mary but to the child.
About the Window
The woman wears a red blouse and a cobalt blue lap robe. Neither she nor her baby has halos, but that is true for the figure of Christ in other windows. Cherubs hover above, and a chubby-faced one stretches to see the child. Note the bright mottled and sparkling gold and orange colors used in designs in the panels at the top and base. The baptismal font is located in this corner of the church, and some Trinity kids have commented that Mr. Tiffany must have embedded colored glass marbles in the lower panel on their behalf.
Given by the Clarkson Family
Workers from the Chapman Stained Glass Studios of Albany, New York, removed and cleaned all windows in 1986-87. A small piece of clear glass with the signature, “Louis C. Tiffany N. Y.” was re-installed near the base where visitors could see it. This 1927 window may be his own design, one of the last before his death in 1933. Changing tastes in art and declining sales had forced the shutdown of Tiffany furnaces in 1924, and commissions were said to have used the excess glass carried in inventory. Tiffany severed all connection with his glass firm in 1928 and withdrew permission to use his name.
Our newly refurbished children’s window celebrates children and motherhood. It does so by pointing to the motherhood of Mary, in bearing and raising her son, Jesus. Our background information for this window tells us that it was based on the theme “mater amabilis” – literally “mother most amiable” – a traditional title for the Blessed Virgin Mary in her embrace with her infant son.
From earliest times, Christians identified Mary in her humanity – as Theotokos – which means “Bearer of God.” There is no question here of worshiping Mary as a divine being alongside or in place of Jesus. The emphasis is on the humanity of Jesus as the Word made Flesh. This window affirms, as the apostle Paul said, that “at the appointed time, God sent forth his son, born of woman…” God becomes human like us; though the humanity of his mother – he meets us as a child.