The most widely known Christian symbol, the cross is a reminder of Jesus’ crucifixion. Crosses are often found on and inside Christian buildings.

The lamb is a symbol of Jesus Christ. In the book of Revelation Jesus is referred to as the Lamb that was slain. John the Baptist also described him as the “lamb that takes away the sins of the world.”

Candles give us light. As such it is used as a symbol of Jesus who is the “light” of the world (John Chap. 8 verse 12) In churches such as the Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox Churches, candles are often used especially on the altar.

Water is a substance used to clean and remove impurities. In Christianity, as in many other religions, it is a symbol of cleansing and purity. It is used in the ceremony of baptism to indicate the washing away of a person’s sins.

The use of the fish as a Christian symbol came about because each letter of the Greek word for fish (ICTHUS) represents the following words:

I = Jesus       C = Christ     TH = of God      U = Son     S = Savior 

The fish symbol was very useful to Christians when the religion first started out. At the time Christians suffered great persecution in the Roman Empire. Many of them died or were imprisoned for their Christian beliefs.

The drawing of a fish on a building would let Christians know that there were fellow Christians nearby. Today many Christians use the symbol of the fish on stickers, badges, clothes, and on their cars.  

The cross is the most popular and important symbol. It represents the belief on which the Christian religion is based on which is Jesus dying as payment for the sins of the world. It reminds us of Jesus’ crucifixion.

The cross is often found in church buildings. Sometimes a statue of Jesus is on the cross. This is known as a crucifix and can be found in places such as the Catholic Church.

Bread and wine are the physical objects used in the sacrament of Holy Communion. Jesus told his disciples at the Last Supper that the bread is a symbol of his body and the wine is a symbol of his blood.

The dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, the Bible says that the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in the form of a dove.

Oil is a symbol of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Olive oil is often used to anoint people who are being appointed for a certain position in the church. It was a sign that the Holy Spirit would rest on the person to enable them to carry out their God-given responsibilities. It is also used by the elders in the church to anoint people who are sick before they pray for them.

Laying on of hands is a symbol of the Holy Spirit being transferred to someone. During confirmation and ordination the Bishop lays his hand on the person and prays for them.


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