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Kevin wrote:

Dear Friends,

  • I was wondering about what you thought about other religious symbols, other then the
    Holy Cross; like something that symbolizes Christ?

Thank you for your time.


  { I was wondering about what you thought about other religious symbols, other then the Holy Cross? }

Paul replied:

Hi Kevin,

  • What about symbols of Christ are you wondering about?

As you surmise, the Crucifix and Cross are the most common symbols for Christ. There is also:

  • the ancient fish symbol
  • the popular artists' renditions of the pregnant Virgin Mary
  • the face of Jesus
  • Christ at the Last Supper
  • statues of the Risen Christ and the Sacred Heart of Jesus
  • as well as artists' renditions matching other biblical events and religious themes such as Jesus knocking on the door of one's heart with no door handle on the outside.

One might say the greatest symbol of Christ today is His people, the Church, of Whom Christ is the Head.


Mike replied:

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for the question.

Just to add to what Paul has said, symbols within Catholic Christianity represent a devotion or honor we give to:

  • special people in our Church
  • sacramental's that may have been passed down to us, or
  • some virtue

It's the person, sacramental, or virtue we honor behind the symbol; not the symbol itself.
We never worship symbols, though symbolic acts make up part of our worship.

Though the symbolic acts of the priest and his Eucharistic consecrations at Mass, Calvary is
re-presented to the faithful and the bread and wine on the altar become Our Lord's Body and Blood, though the species still look like regular wheat bread and grape wine.

This is why kneeling to receive Holy Communion at Sunday Mass is always a option for the faithful.

We aren't kneeling before a symbol; we are kneeling before God Himself though our senses say otherwise.


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