The stained glass windows in the main body of the church (the nave) honor the angels of the Presence – the archangels who surround the throne of God. As you face the altar we begin with the angels on the left (the Gospel side). Closest to the altar is Michael – our patron saint – whose name means “Who is like God?” the leader of the angel armies, who weighs the souls of the dead to separate the evil from the good. The burning bush reflects the tradition that Michael was the angel of the Lord in the story of the burning. “Who is like God?” the leader of the angel armies, who weighs the souls of the dead to separate the evil from the good. The burning bush reflects the tradition that Michael was the angel of the Lord in the story of the burning bush in the book of Exodus.
In the next pair, the first window is Zaphiel (or Jophiel) who reflects the beauty and splendor of God. By legend this is the angel with the flaming sword at the Garden of Eden. (leader of the truth-seekers)
And finally, Gabriel, whose name means “God is my strength” – messenger of good tidings… traditionally announcing the return of the Jews from captivity in Babylon, as well as the birth of John the Baptist and of course Jesus.
Next to Michael is Jophkiel – the angel of the Lord who led the Israelites out of Egypt and through the wilderness. (leader of the thrones).
Next to Jophkiel is Raphael, whose name means “God is my health,” named in the book of Tobit, patron saint of travelers, and by legend the angel who appeared and spoke to the shepherds in Bethlehem at the birth of Jesus. (leader of powers)
On the right as you are facing the altar (the Epistle side) the windows of the Presence continue first with Chamuel – by legend the angel who wrestled with Jacob, and who comforted Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. (leader of principalities)
Next is Uriel, whose name means “God is my light” – by legend the angel who kept the disciples from recognizing Jesus on the road to Emmaus, and the angel at the tomb on the morning of the Resurrection. (leader of the seraphim)