Art & Architecture

Saint Francis of Assisi“Let There Be Light”

The project to replace the original “Temporary” lights in the nave of St. Francis of Assisi Church with unique, handcrafted ones was made at the Annual Parish Meeting in January, 1977. Many parishioners were involved in the work; however, special recognition is due to Stub Meabon for his constant zeal and effort throughout.

We have also been blessed by the talents and counsel of these friends of St. Francis:

Abe Schwartz Dr. Roger Mesmer
The Rev. Wm. C. Wilbert John Saylor
Kenneth L. Johnson
(Betts Machine Co.)
Mr. & Mrs. E.R. Nelson
(Skore & Skive Studio)
Lawrence Carr Bernard McDonald


The project was made possible by memorial gifts. These memorials will be allocated to specific lamps in due course. However, the Word of God lamp is dedicated in thanksgiving for all the clergy who have administered the Word here and have had a part in the life and progress of St. Francis Church:

The Rev. Beecher M. Rutledge, Founder
The Rev. William A. Chamberlain, Vicar
The Rev. Frank VanVliet, Acting Vicar
The Rev. Gregory A. Rowley, Vicar
The Rev. R. Bruce Ryan, Vicar
The Rev. William C. Wilbert, Vicar
The Rev. Edmund G. Shower, Jr., Vicar
The Rt. Rev. Harold E. Sawyer
The Rt. Rev. William Grittenden
The Rt. Rev. Donald J. Davis
Bishops, Episcopal Diocese of Erie

The eight lamps were designed to tell the story of God’s love and providence and are hung in a logical sequence.

The story begins with the Creation, told in the first lamp on the left as one enters the church. The lamp’s three colored panels represent, respectively, the firmament, earth’s vegetation and living creatures and man. The third panel is adapted from a detail in Michelangelo’s “Creation”. Creation Lamp
Second on the left, the Old Testament lamp depicts God’s covenant with man in a representation of Noah’s Ark and the rainbow (Genesis 6); the giving of the Law to Moses; and in a composite design of the harp, the sword and shield (star) of David, God’s promise to bless his people (II Samuel 7). Old Testament Lamp
In the lamp third on the left, the Sacramentsare illustrated: Baptism in the ancient symbol of the shell; the Holy Eucharist in chalice and host; and Marriage in entwined rings. Sacraments Lamp
Before the pulpit, the fourth lamp illustrates age-old symbols for the Trinity: the all-seeing Eye of God, the Father; the Fish (with the Greek letters for Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior); and the descending Dove, representing the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16). Trinity Lamp
The fifth lamp, first on the right at the rear of the church, presents familiar features of the Nativity: the manger, a shepherd, the crowns of the three wise men, and the Star of Bethlehem over all. Nativity Lamp
Next, Christ’s Passion is depicted in the palms of his triumphal ride into Jerusalem, the nails and blood, and the cross and veil of his Crucifixion. Passion Lamp
The lamp of the Resurrection follows, with the Easter lily, the Paschal Candle and the “Chi Rho”(the monogram of Christ). Resurrection Lamp
The eighth lamp, immediately before the lectern, represents the Word of God.  One panel, bearing a ram’s horn trumpet and scroll (the Hebrew Torah) illustrates how the Israelites of the Old Testament were summoned to the tabernacle to hear the Word.  The second, with a Bible and troch, bespeaks not only “the lamp unto my feet” (Psalm 119:105) which is the Word of God, but also the Living Word, Jesus, the “light to lighten the Gentiles”, “the true light that enlightens every man” (John 1:8).  The third panel, with the Greek letters Alpha and Omega (“the First and the Last” of Revelation 22:13) entwined with a cross in a traditional style embodying an anchor, is expressive of the everlasting validity of God’s Word and man’s hope for eternal life. Word of God Lamp


The styles of the lamps’ designs are varied.  Some are symbolic, some stylized, others literal interpretations.  This is because they represent the different ideas, tastes and talents of the many people who helped create them.

What they have in common is the desire to provide visible reminders for all who worship here of God’s promise: “All shall know me” (Hebrews 8:11), and the Way: “Love one another….walk according to his commandments.” (II John: 5&6)

Blessed Lord, grant that, as we gaze upon these lamps made through vision and skills deriving from you, we may surely realize that as their beauty does not become manifest until they are illuminated from within; so our lives, fashioned by you to show forth your glory, will not do so until your own Life shines forth from our hearts.  May they be powerful instruments in our worship of you, who alone are worthy of our praise, who alone are author and perfecter of our faith.  We are before you rejoicing, in the Name of Jesus!  AMEN.