York Town Square

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Window in memorial to the Rev. Christian A. Weber: Beautiful First Moravian Church in York, Part 11

This stained glass window at York, Pa.’s, First Moravian Church is one of 31 designed by noted York County artist J. Horace Rudy. This is another in a series on those windows. Also of interest: All Rudy stained-glass window posts from the start and York native Steve Zirnkilton’s ‘Law & Order’ voice known to the world and York County enthusiasts could find historical event, site to visit every day.

First Moravian member Terrence Downs tells about one of the J. Horace Rudy-designed stained-glass windows, in memory of the Rev. Christian A. Weber, the church’s longest-tenured pastor, in the following piece:

“For me He wore a crown of thorn, the cruel badge of human scorn”, vs.4(b) of Theophilus Hunter Hill, 19th Century renowned poet of Raleigh, NC, and poem published 1883.

The motif of this transom shows the risen cross entwined with flowers. By appearance the flora shown appears as what is known to be ‘the Passion Flower’. The cross is a vitreous white and the flowers are abundant on the mast of the cross. This unusual window is given to another former Moravian Pastor who served York First while in service to the Moravian Denomination:
In Memory of C. A. Weber by the Zinzendorf Bible Class.
The main flower that means a lot in the Christian religion is the passion flower. This flower is mainly a symbol of Jesus’ scourging, crowning with thorns and crucifixion. Every part of this flower has some type of meaning. The spiraled tendrils symbolize the lash of Christ’s scourging. The central flower column is a symbol of the pillar of the Scourging. The 72 radial filaments is a symbol of the Crown of Thorns. The top three stigmas symbolize the three nails. The lower five anthers symbolize the five wounds. The Style represents the Sponge used to moisten Christ’s lips with vinegar. The leaves and some species represent the head of the Centurion’s Spear. The red stains represent Christ’s blood drops. The round fruit represents the world Christ came to save. The Fragrance symbolizes the spices prepared by the Holy women. This flower gives specific reasons and visualizations to the Christian faith. It provides a visual meaning to the teachings of the Gospel story and the eras where there were no printed catechisms. The passion flower has a number of symbols found in flowers. Interestingly, the Passion flower is the recognized state flower of Tennessee.
Within the annals of York First, the Rev. Christian A. Weber has held the longest pastorate, occurring from December 20, 1908 to June 11, 1922. It was during this time the qualities enjoyed and visible by the York congregation today were employed: The church auditorium was remodeled and artistically decorated, as was the exterior and rooms within the footprint of the original 1868 edifice. The windows of this subject series were installed, as was the elaborate chancel furnishings. Near the end of Rev. Weber’s pastorate, the plan was initiated for construction of a gymnasium to facilitate the growing Sunday School and youth programs of the day. Also in this time was the occurrence of World War I.
Very striking activity was manifested by the pastor during these years, and the material resources of the congregation showed decided gains; but there is comparatively little record of special activities on the part of the membership, or of any appreciable net numerical growth.
It is sufficient to say that the pastorate of Rev. Weber shapes the look of our church facility today. Also it is noteworthy that generations prior and hence bearing the name of Weber were and are yet actively involved in the workings of the greater Moravian Church. The seed of Weber initiates from the time of Count Ludwig Nicholas von Zinzendorf and the emigration as missionaries throughout the world. The York congregations, along with the larger Moravian Church are manifold blessed in the gift of the Weber Family’s work of proclaiming the Gospel.

Also of interest:
Window in memorial to Beauchamp H. Smith: Beautiful First Moravian Church in York, Part 10.
Window in memorial to S. Morgan Smith, Part 5.
All York Town Square posts from the start. (Key word search by using “find” on browser.)
Previous posts on First Moravian or its historic windows.