Beautiful First Moravian Church in York, known for its neat features – Part IV
York, Pa., Moravian choir, pastor room windows
Rudy Art Studio, a turn-of-the-20th-century York, Pa., icon, made this stained-glass window and a sister window (photo below) at York’s First Moravian Church, one of many made for the North Duke Street building. Also of interest: Beautiful York, Pa., church known for neat features, as in 31 stained glass windows, Part I and Beautiful First Moravian Church in York, Part II and Beautiful First Moravian Church in York, Part III and York County enthusiasts could find historical event, site to visit every day
Terrence Downs’ series on J. Horace Rudy’s colorful stained-glass creations for York, Pa.’s, First Moravian Church includes two obscure windows.
They’re largely out of the congregation’s sight, gracing – and lighting – the preparation area for the pastor and choir before the start of services:
Setting the mood with renovations at York First Moravian Church was tantamount to those who actively participated, as the former Choir & Pastor’s Room windows show: To prepare those giving of their talents a setting akin to the larger Sanctuary. These windows are crafted and name plates bespeak the heritage of York First from its roots: Recognizing the Pastors for their commitment to our Church.
March is the celebratory month, for in 1752 the Moravian Church at York was formally chartered, but our roots initiate to 1744 – when Moravian doctrine was initially spoken on the York frontier. The fact that York Moravians’ Ministry is the third oldest within the boundaries of York Town, their innovation as forerunners providing Education to York Children is public fact, as is the love of music in the realm of the Moravian Denomination. York First also holds such a precious merit – for bold and zealous singing rivets the Fellowship – when recognized hymns as “Hosanna”, “Jesus Makes My Heart Rejoice” and at Christmas Eve Vigils engulf the place with singing, and music for a Lovefeast resound thru the vault of the Sanctuary room. More often than not – Pastors provided musically as with the spoken Word, and respectfully these 2 windows are placed In Honor of The Pastors – 1744-1910 and In Honor of Pastors from 1910.
With growth during the early 1900’s at York First, the need for room to facilitate Pastor and Choir were important. These two windows are not visited by the typical Member today, as they are located behind the Sanctuary. These murals in rococo illumine the room, being on the South Side of the building (not obscured by any neighboring structure). The unit with the lamp is mated in color scheme to those within the Sanctuary, but the other unit – being smaller in proportion has attribute of coloring that is unique and bold, facets of lapis and chartreuse, and most vivid when ascending the narrow stairs up to the rear of the Chancel area (behind the large Emmaus window). On a sunny day, its aura beckons one to the absolute beauty of it. Its placement is most intentional by the architects of that day.
Regrettably with such an old house as we have at York First, and obvious choices of maintenance, these 2 windows have suffered obsolescence of care. They are connected to the fabric of the facility – albeit tucked away where many do not see, recognize or appreciate them. This and other units require our notice and care, and to discern ‘which projects at Church need done first’; these are on the short list (with other crafted windows).
The Pastorate of York First Moravian stems from 1744, via Jacob Lischey, not a Moravian but a Reformed Minister, traveling from New York to York Town, was privileged to attend a Church Conference in Bethlehem PA, and heard the esteemed Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf. Rev. Lischey came to serve a Reformed Church congregation in York Town, but was most inspired by Zinzendorf’s message & the Moravians doctrine – and spoke openly of it at a church in Kreutz (Cross) Creek. The seed was planted. Since then, 58 Pastors have built, tuned, and honed the creation of Works at York. Their efforts of service continue today! These windows supply such a fine setting for a prayer prior to their expounding the Word, and to inspire the choirs of past service.