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History Index: Church Index: Christmas At St. Alban's Church 1876

Photo Source: Recollections from the Past: Sussex, Wisconsin, Presented by Farmers & Merchants Bank, August 4, 1972

    St. Alban's Church presented so unusual and pleasing an appearance in the interior at the joyful festival of Christmas, that it deserves more than a passing notice. 

    In addition to the usual evergreen decorations, the walls of the scared edifice were adorned with appropriate sentences from Holy Scripture, in red, green and gold lettering. On the side walls of the nave were the following, viz: 'Unto us a Child is Born', 'Unto us a Son is Given', 'Wonderful', 'Counseller', 'The Mighty God', 'The Prince of Peace', 'Son of the Highest'.

    Over the chancel arch the angelic hymn, "Glory to God in the Highest; On Earth , Peace, Good Will Toward Men." Over the chancel window, "Emmanuel, God with us." Over the altar, "Do this in Remembrance of Me;" and over the credance table, "Gloria in Excelsia, Deo," put in the shape of a gothic arch, with the monogram Alpha and Omega in the centre. The lettering was really beautiful, and added greatly to the effect in decorating the church.

    The chancel sentences were the handiwork of the Rector; and the rest came from Lamb of New York; as did the also two beautiful banners which were suspended on either side of the chancel window. The banners were crimson; the one with the monogram, I.H.S., emblazoned on the centre, and the other with shield and cross swords. They served to remind the worshippers of their calling as soldiers of Christ, besides being highly ornamental.

    Through the exertions of the Rector's wife, the chancel was almost entirely furnished. Two elegant chairs were placed one on either side of the altar - that on the right being the Bishop's chair with the mitre cut in relief on the top, and that on the left being the Rector's chair. An elegant altar cloth of crimson, with the scared monogram worked in gold (by Mrs. E. Boots), also falls for the lecture and prayer desk of the same material, embroidered likewise. A much needed credence table, in the form of a bracket shelf, was fastened to the wall on the right of the altar. And the marble font (which stands in front of the chancel) was made complete by the addition of a marble base. These article, with a handsome lecture and prayer desk put in some months ago, complete the chancel furniture, rendering it church-like and convenient for the holy purposes of worship. Here may it be mentioned the Alvas chest, which was presented with the chancel furniture, and which is placed in the tower vestibule of the church. All the woodwork was made by Mr. T. Kaine, of Menomonee. 

    The resolution appended to this account is an expression on the part of the wardens and vestry of St. Alban's, for themselves and the congregation at large, of their appreciation of Mrs. Dr. Wright's efforts to render their church elegant and worth of its sacred use,

    This report would be very incomplete were not mention made of the six memorial windows which have just been made to replace as many of the plain glass windows. The first was put in by the Rector and his wife for a dear departed child. Subject, Ruth gleaning. Inscription, "In memoriam. Ade laide, we shall receive the crown of life." The second was put in by Mr. R. Fear, of St. Louis, Mo. Subject, Rebecca at the well. Inscription, "In memoriam, Hannah Brown Fear, died Sept. 3d, 1876, aged 30 years." The third was put in by Mr. Richard Weaver, of Sussex. Subject, Mary sitting at Jesus' feet. Inscription, "In Heaven she will find her reward. In memory of Rhoda M. Weaver." The fourth has for its subject, Little Samuel praying. Inscription, "Speak Lord, thy servant heareth." "In memory of Julia Ann and Richard Henry, children of Thomas and Betty Weaver." This window was put in by Hon. Thomas Weaver, of Sussex. The fifth represents the Virgin Mary with the infant Saviour on her lap, and has for its inscription, "A Mother in Israel.". "In memory of Mrs. Elizabeth Weaver and her four children, James, Ruth, Jane Rebecca, and Stephen." This window is to commemorate the wife of a beloved senior warden, Hon. James Weaver, who had it erected for that purpose. The sixth and crowning window of the whole, is that which adorns the chancel. It represents our Lord in the character of "The Good Shepherd," and has the words "I am the Good Shepherd," inscribed upon it, as well as the words, "In memory of Wm. and Mary Weaver, and Rebecca their only daughter.  Erected by their grandchildren." This window is a perfect gem of its kind, and reflects great credit upon the maker, Mr. Robert Carse, of Chicago. Indeed the testimony to all the windows is, that they are beautiful works of art.

    These windows add immensely to the harmony and beauty of the interior of St. Albans. It may well be questioned if there is now a more beautiful and convenient rural church in the diocese of Wisconsin. It is pretty well understood that the other windows of the church will have stained memorial glass put in them before a great while. It ought here be stated that this parish goes on the principle, "Owe no man anything," and is consequently free from debt. (Source: Waukesha Freeman, Jan. 4, 1877, page 3, col. 4.)


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