Friday, November 27, 2009

Healing with Stained Glass

image courtesy Chartres Cathedral, Chartres, France

"Mere colour, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways."

~ Oscar Wilde

When my husband and I were raising our children, the church we attended was blessed with several Louis Comfort Tiffany windows. Every Sunday we enjoyed their beauty and color along with the music and inspirational words we heard. It was always a wonderful experience for me.

And it seems that wonder and inspiration is shared by many. On my blog a reader mentioned the stained glass and music at her church in Dunedin, New Zealand: "One of the things I really love is the mix of gorgeous, soul-stirring music and the beauty of the light shining through the stained glass windows of the Cathedral."

It is no accident that our churches developed a tradition of combining stained glass with music. Color has been used for healing for centuries. Before Christ, the cultures of Egypt and Greece were known for their temples of healing, which had "stained glass windows" of each color. People would have a consultation and be placed in the room or rooms with the color that related to their issue(s). For example, if someone had depleted energy they would no doubt have been placed in the room with red windows, and if they had heart problems the destination would likely have been the room with green windows.

As the Church in Rome extended its power, healing temples were abandoned, viewed as paganistic. But the tradition of colored glass in sacred places continued. Cathedrals incorporated stained glass windows, and later, churches used scenes made from stained glass to teach Bible stories to the illiterate and the poor.

Music may also have been employed in ancient Egyptian and Grecian healing temples. Perhaps there were stringed instruments, which speak to the heart and were found in profusion in Egypt and Greece. Perhaps, too, brass horns, or flutes, whose resonance is carried directly to our cells to move and change them for the better.

As ancient cultures recognized the power of music and sound and color to touch our bodies and souls in healing temples, so do we now, when we sense the healing energy of sunlight through stained glass.

I wish you the peace and the power and the healing of color and beautiful sound resonating in your body and life.


  1. Thanks for this post :-)

    I'm off to the Cathedral again this afternoon - we're doing a ceremony to farewell our bishop, before installing the new one.

    And yes, more beautiful music. And yes, I'll be once again loving the beauty of shafts of light piercing through the coloured glass windows.

    Daharja - your reader in Dunedin :-)

  2. Hello Daharja! I was hoping you would see this post! Enjoy your afternoon at the looks lovely! xo

  3. What an interesting post Diantha. I never imagined that there is a connection between color and music.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  4. Oh yes....and scent and essences and much more. We are all connected and all things are all connected....the more I study this, the more awed I become at the grand plan of the Universe. Truly amazing.

    Hope you are having a good weekend, Cheryl! xo

  5. Lovely spirit filled post. Thank you.

  6. Hi Diantha,
    Color can be so soul-reaching. I find that as the sun streams in a window. Or off of a picture one of our children has colored. Color (and stain glass most definitely) is very connecting to something deeper within.

  7. I love how the wisdom of 'paganism' so rejected, still has a way to infiltrate the now more accepted 'anti pagan' churches.
    Oh, I love that.
    All that beautiful wisdom that has been rejected for so long, still has a way of shining and touching our heart.

  8. Carolynn, I'm so glad it touched you!

    Lance, color really is soul reaching. We react to color at a pre-verbal, visceral level, not something we reason out. So yes, it does connect us to something deeper within! Wonderful observation!

    Wilma, I know...isn't it just so cool! A way to reconnect with ancient wisdom!

  9. I do remember reading that the Catholic churck limited the music to Gregorian chants because music was so powerful.

  10. Tabor, thank you for sharing that! I had not heard that but it makes sense! Very interesting!


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