Michael in the Window
Listen to “Michael In the Window” by Chad Caroland here. Featured this week by City Gallery resident songwriter Chad Caroland is one of the Old Northside’s most notable neighborhood relics: “Angel of the Resurrection.”
In an effort to keep the story of the “Angel of the Resurrection” alive, Caroland has created a wonderfully didactic song commemorating the stained glass window that was originally found in the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis (now Redeemer Presbyterian) at 16th and Delaware, but has since been removed for the sake of preservation.
This originally two-paneled stained glass window was designed and created by Frederick Wilson, an artist and designer at Tiffany Studios in America. Mary Lord Dimmick Harrison commissioned Wilson to craft the window in honor of her late husband Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President of the United States.
In life, Benjamin Harrison was a member of First Presbyterian Church. He also taught Sunday school, and was an elder there until his death in 1901.
The “Angel of the Resurrection” portrays the archangel Michael calling the dead to rise as he announces Christ’s second coming. This image of St. Michael is accompanied by a verse from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Church in Ephesus, in which he quotes the prophet Isaiah by saying, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”
“This song is written from the perspective of someone who is dead, and who is hearing Michael call out to him or her to wake up at the end of time,” Caroland explained, “The bulk of the song is written as a sort of indie, math rock piece in three parts. The ending features a crescendo of violin, viola, and cello, courtesy of Leila Vanest, Ellen Christenberry, and Abigail Vanest.”
In this piece, Caroland pays homage to “Angel of the Resurrection” as a pinnacle of the rich artistic heritage of Indy’s urban neighborhoods. He invites his viewers reminisce with him, and to remember the history of our city’s aesthetic.
The “Angel of the Resurrection” is now on display at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in the American Gallery.