The Meaning of Religious Stained Glass Icons 

If you’ve ever studied church stained glass windows carefully, you’ve probably noticed a wide variety of symbols in different areas. This is quite typical for religious stained glass windows. Iconography was frequently used to convey essential narratives to church congregations. Some symbols, crosses, for example, have a readily identifiable meaning. However, there are times when icons don’t have as obvious of a meaning. Below are some of our favorite religious stained glass icons and their meanings.

Church Stained Glass Iconography

  • A Dove: It is a sacred symbol of the Holy Spirit.
  • A Dove and Rainbow: The dove and the rainbow symbolize endings, and they signify forgiveness.
  • A Chalice with Grapes: The Lamb is the most common sign for Holy Communion. The Lamb of God is depicted lying on the Book of Seven Seals in Revelation, and since became the sacrificial lamb.
  • Messianic Rose: The Messianic Rose is a well-known Christian symbol that represents the promised Messiah. At the advent of the kingdom of justice, Isaiah prophesied, “The desert will blossom as a rose.”
  • The Lion: The tribe of Judah is represented by this figure, which depicts the qualities of strength, valor, and compassion.
  • Fish: The Greek fish is a symbol for Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It derives from being a covert sign in ancient days when it was dangerous to be a Christian.
  • Anchor: This is one of the most ancient symbols of Jesus Christ, dating back to the catacombs.
  • Dragon: The dragon is a symbol of evil and temptation. It’s also a sign of sin.
  • Leaf and Acorn: The acorn is a rare symbol that represents the growth of faith from tiny like a seed to vast as a tree.
  • Butterfly: It is a beautiful image that symbolizes rebirth and everlasting life.

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

Martin Faith

Martin Faith is a talented artist, visionary, and collector of antique stained glass windows. Prior to moving to the United States, Martin worked as a stained glass artisan in Glasgow. There, he spent many years cultivating his skills and learning the techniques and history behind the centuries old art form. Today, he is the proud owner of Salt Lake City Stained Glass, the largest and most highly renowned stained glass studio in Utah. Over the past 30 years, Martin and his team have produced over 50,000 stained and leaded glass windows ranging in size, style, and appearance. His company has been highlighted on various media outlets including HGTV, the DIY Network, CBS, and NBC.