Harry Clarke


Ireland’s churches have been of central importance for their surrounding communities, bringing the faithful together to celebrate Mass and to pray. They have been a source of comfort and solace, enabling generations of believers to participate in the sacramental life of the Church.

Throughout the centuries, artists have depicted the life of Jesus, the saints and the prophets through sculpture, painting and iconography. Glass has also been a powerful medium in the service of faith in our churches. Stained glass windows, simply by throwing light and colour into the dark corners of the building, can evoke a sense of wonder and awe, lifting the heart to the mysteries beyond.

But stained glass windows have much more than the purely decorative function of softening the harshness of stone. They are powerful instruments of prayer. They frequently illustrate stories from the Gospels, the Old Testament or the lives of local saints, inviting us to enter into the narratives they depict. Many churches in our country hold within them treasures of light and shade – coloured shapes that can take us into a deeper place, if we only take the time to look, absorb their beauty and listen to the voice of the lord.

Below: Harry Clarke windows

“From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised. The Lord is high above all the nations and his glory above the heaven.” (Ps 113: 3–4)

Below: treasures of light in Churches around Ireland

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