Symbolism in Christianity

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  • Symbolism
    • The crucifix: a cross with the figure of Jesus on it.
      • This can stand for sacrifice, salvation and reconciliation. But the cross mainly represents the xtian belief in the resurrection. It can also be used to show where a Church is on a map.
      • Some churches are built in the shape of a cross.
    • Symbols remind xtians of important beliefs and can be very encouraging for people who are being persecuted. They can be clothes, food, actions and gestures as well as pictures. Symbolism can vary between the denominations.
    • Bread and wine: represents Jesus' body and blood. Last supper. Eucharist.
      • "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in memory of me" (Luke 22 17-19)
      • Some christians believe it becomes Jesus- this is called transubstantiation.
      • The eucharist is a sacrament, an event or experience where xtians believe they receive special blessings from God.
    • Water: used during baptism, represents spiritual cleansing
      • Symbol of life- Jesus referred to as the "living water" in Johns gospel. seen as the opportunity of a new life with God.
    • Oil: Symbol of healing, represents spiritual power and Jesus' kingship. Used in baptism, confirmation and healing services.
      • Story of the Good Samaritan: he uses oil to anoint the man's wounds.
    • Candles : Jesus is the light of the world.
      • Paschel candle used in the Easter Vigil (easter service). Alpha and Omega and nails.
      • Used in funerals to represent being in the light of Christ
    • Incense: used in services and funerals to represent prayers making their way to God.
      • Used in OT Jews temple worship.
      • Frankincense and Myrrh: three wise men and burial.


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