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St. Michael’s Chapel of the Angels

Rick Hamlin gives us a tour of the angels depicted in the stained glass windows of the church he got married in and still attends today. Read Rick’s story!

[MUSIC PLAYING] Hi, I’m Rick Hamlin in the Chapel of the Angels at St. Michael’s Church in New York City, where Carol and I got married over 30 years ago. This is the tie I wore then. It still fits. 

We were surrounded by angels that April day, angels sitting in the pews, family and friends who’d supported us all along, but also angels in these glorious windows and in the mosaic at front, a Tiffany mosaic. Look at these windows for a moment. 

There’s the angel at the Resurrection, appearing at the empty tomb. Jesus is resurrected. The tomb is gone, but He’s here forever. Then there’s the angel that appears to Mary to tell her she’s going to give birth to a son– the Son of God. 

Another angel– you might not remember this angel, but this angel appears in the Book of Revelation and gives John a tour of the heavenly city, the heavenly Jerusalem. And lastly, Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of music, appropriate in this place where I’ve sung in the choir ever since I was 25 years old and still sing. Now she’s surrounded, of course, by angels making heavenly music. 

And then I want you to look at the front. This mosaic by Tiffany shows the Crown of Life with the light from the Star of Bethlehem coming through it, and angels all supporting that crown that comes through faith. You’ll see on one side, St. Michael, and the other, Gabriel the angel, and surrounded by winged angels. 

So you might ask, why stained glass windows in churches? There’s a good reason. Most art we see when the light hits it, bouncing off of it. But in a stained glass window, we see it because the light shines through it. Now, these windows are made of Favrile glass, which has layers of glass. And that gives it different intensity. 

But the light shines through it. It’s a symbol of the light of God shining through us, illuminating us. And so all of these angels, they’re illuminated by that light, like the light of faith shining through us. 


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