In the upper section, the figure holds a chalice in his right hand. The scroll that is draped across his chest reads, “This do in remembrance of me.” This figure symbolizes the Sacrament of Holy Communion which was instituted by Jesus Christ on the last evening before his crucifixion.
And [Jesus] took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to [his disciples], saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’”
On the night on which Jesus was betrayed, he instructed his disciples, to participate in the sacrament of communion to remember him always. More than just remembering that Jesus lived, believers for all time are to remember that Jesus suffered and died. They are never to forget the salvation which comes through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. The bread and the cup are not just symbols, but rather “a sign and seal of that work of God’s grace whereby a believer continually derives spiritual nourishment and strength, forgiveness, cleansing, and sanctification, from the benefits of Christ’s one sacrifice and his giving of those benefits to believers.”
The birth of Christ is depicted in the lower section. Angels look on as Mary lays the infant Jesus in the manger.
Notice that each angel is holding at least one white lily. Lilies, often depicted in Christian art and stained glass windows, are a symbol of the resurrection. The bulb is planted in the ground and “dies.” But from this bulb comes a new bulb, then stem, leaves and flowers all rise above the soil. Even though the bulb decays, like the human body, new life springs from it.
Even at Jesus’ birth, the shadow of his sacrificial death was already present. Jesus, Son of God, became a human being, living life as we do, then was killed by crucifixion. His earthly body was buried in the ground, and on the third day gloriously rose from the dead.
The angels said to the shepherds in the fields outside of Bethlehem: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” So the shepherds went to Bethlehem to see what the angel told them about, “and there they found Mary and Joseph, and the baby was lying in a manger (feeding trough).
Luke 2:11-12, 16
The Dalzell Window was presented in memory of James Dalzell (1800-1879) and Martha Duff Dalzell (1807-1879).