ALPHA & OMEGA
(Revelation, 1:8) The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet used by the early christians to signify the expression of God's absolute perfection, "I Am the first and the last" (Is., xli, 4; xliv, 6).
It ranks among the most ancient of Christian symbols found in the catacombs relating to the virtue of hope of salvation and holding secure in faith.
Latin angelus; Greek aggelos; from the Hebrew for "one going" or "one sent"; messenger.
ARK OF THE COVENANT
God ordered Moses to build a golden ark. It would become the holiest of holies. From it, God would sit upon the angel's wings and speak to his servant and command the Isrealites. In the ark Moses placed three things; a vessel containing a gomor of manna which had fed the Isrealites in the desert, the tablets of the Ten Commandments, and the rod of Aaron which had blossomed and which had struck a rock to produce water in the desert for the Isrealites. The same rod which also became a serpent devouring the Pharoah's magician's serpent, and parted the Red Sea.
ARK OF NOAH
God saw that the earth had become wicked and prepared to destroy it with a great flood. But seeing Noah to be the only righteous man, he ordered Noah to build a ark. The ark would contain Noah and his family and two of every kind of creature. For forty days and forty nights the rains came and and the waters rose covering the earth bringing about complete destruction. Only the ark remained a safe from the forces outside it. In christianity, the ark represents a safe refuge, new life and hope for all living creatures.
The banner is the symbol of victory. When borne by the lamb, it symbolizes Christ's glorious victory over sin & death.
The bell has many uses in Christian symbolism. Bells call people to prayer and worship and are used to remind us of the things above over the things of this world. They symbolize the joyful sending forth of the Good News and the Word.
The three extended fingers suggest the Holy Trinity, while the two closed fingers represent the twofold nature of the Son. The blessing is used to express a wish or desire that all good fortune, especially of a spiritual or supernatural kind, may go with the person or thing, as when David says: "Blessed art thou, and it shall be well with thee" (Ps. cxxvii, 2). It signifies the sanctification or dedication of a person or thing to some sacred purpose; "Christ took bread and blessed, and broke" (Matt., xxvi, 26).
Symbolizing The Word of God, the Bible and bible ministries.
Representing a most basic sustenance of life, and the Body of Christ. Christ used bread and wine at the Last Supper before his death on the cross to institute the rite of Holy Eucharist. Jesus proclaimed, "I Am the Bread of Life." (John 6: 55-56) "For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him." (John 6: 52-57) "Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. Just as the Father who has life sent me and I have life because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will have life because of me." (John 6: 48-58) "Your fathers did eat manna in the desert, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it, he may not die."
Symbolizing the Resurrection and the hope of all faithful christians of a new and better life after death.
The candle sybolizes life and hope that our prayers as with incense, might rise to heaven and be heard by God. It also represents the presence of God and the light of Christ.
The circle represents eternity and the everlastingness of God Who has no begining and no end. When three circles intertwine, they represent the equality, unity, and co-eternal nature of the three divine persons of the Blessed Trinity.
The symbol of the crucifixion and the great price Jesus paid for the salvation of all mankind. Symbol of hope, love and sacrifice.
Representing Christ the King and Messiah, which literally means "the anointed one." The Messiah was prophesized from antiquity to be the king who would come and restore the good fortune of the people of Isreal. (Rev. 14:14) describes the last judgement. "Then I looked, and lo, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head."
The crutch being the symbol used to depict miraculous healing and of healing ministries.
The cup or chalice is a sacred vessel and symbol in which is contained the consecrated wine or the Blood of Christ.
The dove symbolizes purity, innocence, peace and is used to represent the Holy Spirit. The dove brought back an olive branch to Noah which was a sign to him that the waters had receeded.
The highest-soaring creature which makes it's home in the dizzying heights of the mountains. Symbolizing the raising of our minds and hearts to the loftiest thoughts and inspirations of God in heaven.
The knots of silk used in christian heraldry to denote the ranking of a bishop of the church. Usually depicted in different colors hanging down under a galero or bishops mitre on either side of a shield. Representing apostolic succession and authority.
Fire is seen througout the Old and New Testiments as representing the presence of God. From the burning bush of Moses where the flame did not consume the bush. The angel of God which was seen as a column of flame guiding the Isrealites through the desert and separating the Isrealites camp from Pharoah's soldiers at the edge of the Red Sea. To the tongues of flame which appeared over the heads of the disciples at Pentecost. It is seen as a purifyer, testing the 'metal' of faith and works. Purifying the good and punishing the bad.
Found throughout the catecombs, it was used by the early persecuted christians to secretly symbolize their faith in Jesus Christ. The letters 'IXOYC' are the greek initials of the words for "Jesus Christ, God's Son, Savior. They also spell the greek word for fish.
The traditional hat of the clergy. The colors signifying rank within the church. Scarlet: Cardinal, Green: Arch Bishop & Bishop, Violet: Protonotary & Prelate, Black: Chaplin, Vicar, or Priest. Usually seen depicted in christian heraldry with knots of fiocchi dangling down from either side of the galero around a shield.
Self-expanatory depiction of all the earth and people in it. A world-wide ministry.
Grapes have many significant meanings in the bible and in christianity including fruitfullness, gladness, and ripe harvest. Not least of these the symbol of the wine our Lord used at the Last Supper to consecrate into his precious Blood.
Depending upon their attitude, hands can represent healing, blessing, uplifting, praise, or service.
A heart piercd by a dagger is the symbol for Mary the sorrowful mother of Jesus. As was prophesized by St. Simeon: (Luke 2:33-35) "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted and you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."
Precious stones and jewels have many references in the bible symbolizing many different things. The "pearl of great price" where a man sold everything he owned to posses it. The pearl symbolizes wisdom and purity. The jewels depicted in Revelation of what the kingdom of God is made of. Jesus taught us, (Matthew 6:19-21) "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Keys symbolize power and authority. Christ by employing this symbol clearly designed to signify his intention to
confer on St. Peter the supreme authority over His Church. In Isaiah 22 we see "the key of the house of David" is conferred upon Eliacim, the son of Helcias, as the symbol of plenary authority in the Kingdom of Juda. The promise of Matthew 16:15-19.
Another ancient symbol representing the 'good shepherd' when seen upon the shoulders of a shepherd. Or as The Lamb of God, Christ Jesus who became the unblemished lamb sacrificed in atonement for the sins of all mankind.
In the old testament, a lamp was filled with the purest olive oil and would be used to burn perpetually in front of the Tabernacle. It is a sign of honor and adoration, reminding the faithful of the presence of God.
Guiding ships in the night through perilous waters, the lighthouse has been adopted by christians as a sign that lights a guiding path to Christ.
The white lily symbolizes purity, and innocence and is the traditional flower of Easter. The three petaled lily is also representative of the Blessed Trinity.
Power, authority and majesty. We see the lion as representing Christ here (Revelation 5:5) - "And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof."
The harp or lyre is the symbol for music, music ministries and praise of God.
The mitre is a kind of folding-cap worn by Bishops. It consists of two like parts, each stiffened by a lining and rising to a peak;
these are sewn together on the sides, but are united above by a piece of
material that can fold together. Two lappets trimmed on the ends with fringe
hang down from the back.
The symbols of the crucifixion of our Lord. Usually depicted as three, which were driven into the hands and feet of Jesus thus attaching him to the cross in a most cruel way. (John 19:17-18)
The symbol on top the scepter, representing Christ's kingship over the whole world.
Many varieties of plants and trees are used symbolically throughout the bible. Olive branch usually portrayed as the symbol of peace, restoration and healing. Palm branch: triumph and rejoicing announcing good news. Holly: with it's prickly leaves and red berries recalls the crown of thorns and the blood of Christ. Shamrock: the plant used by St. Patrick to explain to the pagan druids about the Blessed Trinity. Vines symbolize our connectedness to the Body of Christ. He is the vine and we are the branches. Pomegranate: Used by the ancient Hebrews on the robes of their priests, it was one of three fruit species brought back by Moses' spies as evidence of the abundance of the promised land. Adopted by christianity to symbolize the promise of Christ's Resurrection from the dead bursting forth to new and everlasting life.
The rainbow is also represented in ancient text as a 'nimbus' or 'aureole' as a circle or oval of light. Symbolizing holiness, divine promise, hope and the covenant God made with Noah to never destroy the earth again with a flood.
The two joined rings with the cross symbolize the union of two people joined together by and with Christ in the sacrament of holy matrimony.
Solid ground. Terra firma. A strong and sure foundation to build upon. Jesus asked his disciples who they thought he was. (Matthew 16:15-19) "But who do you say that I am?" Only Peter, of all the apostles answered him correctly. And so Jesus said to him: "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, And upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
The red rose has always been a sign of love. It is referenced in The Song of Solomon, a poem of lovers, "I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me. It is also seen as the symbol of purity, and the Passion of Christ.
Before we had the 'book' of the Bible, the Word of God was scribed on papyrus or precious vellum scrolls by the apostles which were then shared among the early christian communities.
Representing the sacrament of Baptism. Especially of Our Lord's Baptism by John the Baptist.
Representing the Church of Christ amid the perilous waters.
The staff or 'crosier' is an ecclesiastical ornament which is conferred on bishops at their
consecration and is the symbol of authority and jurisdiction. It represents the staff of the 'Good Shepherd' who watches over his flock.
The star of Bethlehem a sign which guided the three Magi to the place of our Savior's birth.
A liturgical vestment composed of a strip of material from two to four inches
wide and about eighty inches long. The stole, being the badge of the diaconal and priestly orders, is worn only by deacons, priests, and bishops.
Might, power and the execution of justice. (Hebrews 4: 11-13) "Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is quick [i.e. living] and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight, but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do."
The two tablets represent the 10 Commandments given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai.
CROWN OF THORNS
A symbol of the crucifixion of Christ. (Mat 27:29) "And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put [it] upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!"
A burning light shining through the darkness symbolizing Christ and our witnessing for Christ. "Let your light so shine." "I Am the light of the world."
The symbol of the three divine persons of the One True God. In the unity of the Godhead there are Three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, these Three Persons being truly distinct one from another. Thus, in the words of the Athanasian Creed: "the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one God."
Symbolizing the call to worship, the triumph of the Resurrection and the announcement of the Day of Judgment. Joshua brought down the walls of Jericho to the blasts of the trumpets.
Symbolizing a source of life and sustenance. Baptism and rebirth. Purification and Cleansing.
The symbol of prosperity and fruitfulness, as well as the bread it will become and the hunger it will satisfy.