The Crucifix and Stained Glas

The Crucifix


The Cross


Made of mahogany and red oak, the elongated cross at St. James is 12 1/2 feet tall
and 7 1/2 feet wide and was built by Wood Specialties of Omaha.

The Corpus

The 6-foot corpus has a significant history.   It hung on the chapel cross at Mount Michael Benedictine Abbey in Elkhorn before the chapel's renovation in 1995.   Father  Raphael Walsh, associate pastor at St. James, served as abbot at Mount Michael from 1964 to 1989.   Knowing of the corpus' storage, the parish purchased it from the abbey  to be used in the new St. James church.

Paul Kemp of Wood Specialties refinished and refurbished the 45-year old corpus,  which is made of linden wood and was hand-carved in Italy.


The corpus of Christ came from the
chapel at the Mount Michael Abbey.


The cross with the image of Christ crucified is a reminder of Christ's paschal mystery.   It draws us into the mystery of suffering and makes tangible our belief that our suffering when united with the passion and death of Christ leads to redemption.113  Paragraph 91, Built of Living Stones. (113. Cf. GIRM, no. 122)

Stained Glass

The use of stained glass in churches is a tradition that dates to the 12th century, and St. James has carried on that tradition, but with a contemporary feel.

Lambrecht Glass Studio in Omaha, owned and operated by Mark and Kristi Lambrecht, designed and created the new church's stained glass.   It is a leaded stained glass, with the glass itself coming from Lamberts in Waldsassen, Germany.  (Lamberts is one of the few remaining production sites for handcrafted, mouth-blown sheet glasses in the world.

The theme of the design is flowing and contemporary but with the use of traditional symbolism throughout.  Line designs are complemented by a royal and regal palette of colors - deep blues and purples in particular - that sets the mood emotionally within the worship space.

The hand of God the Father is at the center of
the stained glass window above and behind the altar.

The premier works are the 12-foot round window above the altar and two arched windows, each nearly 9 feet high, on either side.   The three windows together depict the Trinity.   In the center is God the Father, symbolized by the hand of God coming down from above.   It depicts a greeting or blessing and is meant to be calming, not forceful.   Flanking that to the left (as you face the altar) is the Son, depicted as the sacrificial Lamb of God with the banner of victory, resurrection.   Symbolized in the window to the right is the Holy Spirit, a descending dove.   Within each of these windows is a meandering, curved line that symbolizes the word of God as it descends from heaven.


At the other end of the worship space and above the baptismal font is a 10-foot round window, which again has a flowing movement - symbolizing the power of the living waters of baptism.   In the central area is a hint of a scallop shell, tying into the symbolism of the baptismal font itself.

In the chapel area flanking the tabernacle are two 7-foot by 8-foot, three paneled windows featuring angels adoring the Eucharist.   Especially here the design brings traditional and contemporary glass together.   The windows are colorful, lined and flowing, giving them a contemporary feel, but with the angels symbolized in a traditional, recognizable form.   Together the windows help make it a ponderous, contemplative space suitable for adoration.

Finally, there are vertical windows, each with 12 separate panes on both the east and west side flanks of the sanctuary.   The movement from the altar continues through these windows, with colors that work with the brick in the structure to keep the altar area unified.   Other windows in the worship space became stained glass when funds permitted.

West Sanctuary West Nave West Back of Nave

Liturgy and Worship

For every time the Church gathers for prayer, she is joined to Christ's priesthood and made one with all the saints and angels, transcending time and space.   Together the members worship with the whole company of heaven, "venerating the memory of the saints" and hoping "for some part and fellowship with them"; together they eagerly await Christ's coming in glory.12  The sacred liturgy is a window to eternity and a glimpse of what God calls us to be.   Paragraph 15, Build of Living Stones. (12. SC, no. 8)

Statues

To the left as you face that altar is a 6-foot state of the Madonna and Child.   Created by Anton Fuetsch, an Austrian native who now lives and works in California, the statue is made of basswood and finished with a beeswax seal.  Fuetsch also made the accompanying state of Joseph displayed on the right side of the altar.


Niches

Icons of St. James are displayed in the two niches in the back of the nave.  The icon of the transfiguration was written by our pastor, Fr. Richard Reiser.