The Meaning of Religious Stained Glass Icons 


If you have ever looked at church stained glass windows very carefully, you may have noticed a lot of different symbols in different parts of the work.  This is very common for religious stained glass.  Iconography was used often to tell important stories to church congregations.  Some symbols like a cross, for instance, have a very clear meaning.  But, sometimes there are icons that don’t have as clear of a meaning.  Below are some of our favorite religious stained glass icons and what they represent.

Church Stained Glass Iconography

  • A Dove: symbolizes the Holy Spirit
  • A Dove and Rainbow: the dove and the rainbow symbolize endings, forgive
  • A Chalice with Grapes: This is the most common symbol for Holy Communion.
  • A Lamb: Used as a symbol of Jesus Christ since became the sacrificial lamb and the Lamb of God is seen lying upon the Book of Seven Seals in Revelation.
  • Messianic Rose: the Messianic Rose is a frequently used Christian symbol representing the promised Messiah. The prophet Isaiah stated that the desert shall bloom as the rose at the coming of the kingdom of righteousness.
  • The Lion: This figure represents the tribe of Judah and their characteristics of strength, courage, and kindness.
  • Fish: Jesus Christ the Son of God is represented by the Greek fish. It traces back to being a secret symbol back in the days when it was dangerous to be a Christian.
  • Anchor: This is one of the oldest symbols of Jesus the Savior dating back to the catacombs.
  • Dragon: The dragon is a symbol of Satan. It also represents sin.
  • Leaf and Acorn: Not often seen, the acorn symbolizes the development of faith from small like a seed to as giant as a tree.
  • Butterfly: Is a lovely symbol that represents resurrection and eternal life

To learn more about the lovely meaning behind your church’s stained glass, contact us today!

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