Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Faith art focus during Holy Week April 14, 2022

The birth of Christ depicted at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Buckman, Minnesota. This is my husband’s home church. (Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo September 2020)

STAINED GLASS ART graces many a church. Most often that art depicts the history of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection.

This stained glass window inside the Mother of Good Counsel Votive Chapel at The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, Wisconsin, depicts Mary and Jesus. I often think of Mary during Holy Week and how great her loss in losing her son. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo 2015)

So it’s fitting that this week, Holy Week, I share some images from my archives of beautiful stained glass windows discovered in my wanderings. As a woman of faith, an art appreciator and one who values churches, I am drawn to this art form.

Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane. Stained glass window in the sanctuary of Vang Lutheran Church, rural Dennison, Minnesota. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo 2014)

My husband, Randy, has dabbled in stained glass art and I know from watching him that creating this art takes time, patience, skill and dedication. He took a stained glass class locally decades ago, has crafted several sun catchers and also repaired aged windows at our church, Trinity Lutheran in Faribault. I hope that when he retires, he can more fully embrace this art form.

Jesus carries his cross to Golgotha. Stained glass at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Buckman. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo September 2020)

That sidebar aside, I feel such gratitude to those long ago craftsmen who labored to create stained glass windows for churches. Such windows enhance worship, infusing a sanctuary with beauty and a visual telling of biblical stories. Like the birth of Jesus. The agony of his suffering, death and glorious resurrection.

A stained glass window inside Holden Lutheran Church, rural Kenyon, Minnesota, depicts Jesus’ crucifixion. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo 2016)

Like illustrations in a book, the art of stained glass adds to the words, opens our eyes to better see that which we hear and read.

This stained glass window of the women and angel at Jesus’ empty tomb rises above the altar at Holden Lutheran Church, rural Kenyon, Minnesota. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo 2016)

Art adds a depth to my understanding and to my faith.

This shows a snippet of the center stained glass window in a trio above the altar at Trinity Lutheran Church, Wanamingo, Minnesota. This section shows Jesus risen from the dead. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo 2016)

As we near the end of Holy Week, please take time to reflect on the stained glass art here or within your own community.

A photo of Christ’s face from a stained glass window in my church, Trinity Lutheran, Faribault. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo 2012)

And may this art bless you as it has me. Have a joyful and blessed Easter!

© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


11 Responses to “Faith art focus during Holy Week”

  1. beth Says:

    Beautiful.I am such a fan of glass art

  2. Have a Joyful and Blessed Easter my friend 🙂 I love stain glass and these are gorgeous works of art. I love walking into churches and just admiring all the glass and wood and stone. Take Care

  3. I love stained glass especially in a church. I’d love to learn how to make smaller pieces

    • Thank you for appreciating stained glass art. I bet you could easily learn. Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, is a great resource for stained glass. It’s in small town southwestern Minnesota. The business not only sells stained glass and related supplies, but also restores stained glass in many churches.

  4. Valerie Says:

    Thank you for these beautiful art images. Happy Easter, to you and yours.

  5. Sandra Says:

    Thankful to hear Trinity has a member skilled at maintaining their windows. Not so long ago SSM had to face the role their chapel windows fill, as well as the other historical building (Shumway) needed attention. Trinity’s face of Christ is certainly one-of-a-kind. Was going to ask for the whole window, but in checking my files, I do have one. Originally the church had 44 stained glass windows. 7 donated windows survived the move. My love of the stained glass medium stems from my childhood. It’s a complex medium. I was blessed to see the Altenburg Dom and Cologne, Germany cathedral windows. Apparently the spread of Christianity in Europe, building churches, gave legs to the art form. We’re the richer for it. This is an amazing small sample of church windows we’re blessed to soak in. Thanks for sharing!

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