Dedication Sermon by Fr Sean Tobin.
The stained glass window that you see celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Union of Catholic Mothers, marked clearly by the UCM at the top. Motherhood is a combination of joy and difficulty and Mary shows us this throughout her own motherhood of the Christ child. This contrast is depicted in the Lily and the Rose at the head of the lancets. The Lily symbolises the Annunciation of the Good News, and is a sign of purity, as Mary is without sin. On hearing the news that she was to be the Mother of Christ, Mary exclaimed in joy ‘I am the handmaid of the Lord’. As Jesus was presented in the Temple though Simeon told her a ‘sword will pierce your own soul’. Mary herself would know pain and suffering. This is symbolised by the blood and red rose. Mary as mother would witness the shedding of her own Son’s blood as she stood by helplessly.
In the main part of the window are two depictions of Mary as Mother. In the left hand section we see her cradling the baby Christ child, showing complete support and un-conditional love that nurtures and enables growth. Mary’s role is to present her Son to the world, that all may follow Him. In the right hand side section we see Jesus as an older child, still under the care of his mother, but now Mary must allow him to stand on His own. The pain of motherhood can often be in letting go. Mary knows Jesus has a mission to fulfil and she supports Him to the end.
As well as the Marian blue so often associated with Mary, we see hints of purple around the window. This highlights the royalty of Christ. This royalty is one of complete service and dedication to doing the will of the Father.
The work of the UCM is one of service and dedication to motherhood and to doing God’s will. “Blessed is the Virgin Mary who bore the Son of the eternal Father”.
DESCRIPTION: A three light window of two lancets and smaller shaped light above. Painted and etched stained antique glass traditionally leaded windows.
SIZE: Lancets 380 x 1120, or 1520 to the top of the shaped light.
POSITION: Eastern elevation high level to the Our Lady Chapel, St Colman’s Church, St Colman’s Avenue, Cosham, Portsmouth, Hampshire.