Signs and Symbols #22

Signs and Symbols #22

Signs and symbols

1145 A sacramental celebration is woven from signs and symbols. In keeping with the divine pedagogy of salvation, their meaning is rooted in the work of creation and in human culture, specified by the events of the Old Covenant and fully revealed in the person and work of Christ.

1146 Signs of the human world. In human life, signs and symbols occupy an important place. As a being at once body and spirit, man expresses and perceives spiritual realities through physical signs and symbols. As a social being, man needs signs and symbols to communicate with others, through language, gestures, and actions. The same holds true for his relationship with God.

1147 God speaks to man through the visible creation. The material cosmos is so presented to man’s intelligence that he can read there traces of its Creator.16 Light and darkness, wind and fire, water and earth, the tree and its fruit speak of God and symbolize both his greatness and his nearness.

1148 Inasmuch as they are creatures, these perceptible realities can become means of expressing the action of God who sanctifies men, and the action of men who offer worship to God. The same is true of signs and symbols taken from the social life of man: washing and anointing, breaking bread and sharing the cup can express the sanctifying presence of God and man’s gratitude toward his Creator.

Excerpt from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Main Altar #15

The Main Altar #15

“… it shall occupy a place in the sacred building which is truly central, so that the attention of the whole congregation of the faithful is spontaneously turned to it.”

Thoughts: This excerpt reveals how important the altar is in a church. It occupies a very prominent place in the church. The only reason a thing would be important in a church is if it greatly reflected God or helped people worship Him. In this case, the altar is the place on which God becomes physically present in the Eucharist. There is no better way to grow in a deeper relationship with God than to be physically with Him. In knowing God better, one realizes more deeply His Goodness, Beauty, and Perfection. This realization leads to more personal and meaningful worship of God.

Excerpt from “The Proper Construction of Churches and Altars in order to Facilitate the Active Participation of the Faithful,” the Instruction for the Proper Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. This excerpt was found in

BAYNE, W. W. “Liturgical Art, History of.” New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed., vol. 8, Gale, 2003, pp. 618-638. Gale Virtual Reference Library, Accessed 8 Jan. 2019.