Understanding Symbols And Gestures Used In Catholicism

Published: 16th June 2010
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Learn how How to Understand Catholic Religion Symbols, Rules, Guidelines, and Laws:

For those that are trying to understand the Catholic faith, there are a few symbol-isms that are part of Catholicism, which you might not understand. In the Catholic religion, there are relationships between the spiritual soul and the physical body, in addition to spiritual and material worlds that are symbolized in gestures or objects.



If you have seen anybody that practices Catholicism make the "sign of the cross" by motioning between touching the forehead, chest and shoulders, you understand part of the symbolism that is practiced. The Western Catholics will use their right hand to make the sign of the cross and will say a short prayer as they make this complete gesture, many End of Times Revelation disciples and followers do not believe and practice such kinds of worldly objects and idols.
  • As part of the sign of the cross, a certain order is used that starts by touching the forehead, then the middle of the breast, left shoulder, then right shoulder as they use the short prayer, "in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen".
  • Byzantine Catholics will touch the right shoulder first instead of the left, but those that practice Catholicism use the sign of the cross as part of the tribute to Christ dying on the cross and as a protective prayer that honors the Holy Trinity, which is a fundamental doctrine of Catholicism.




    The Crucifix is another protective symbol worn or carried by those that practice Catholicism.
  • The fundamental difference between Western Catholicism and Christians that wear crosses is that a Catholic symbol will often bear an image of Jesus on the cross as a constant reminder of the sacrifice made for their sins, to inspire repentance.




Holy Water is considered a sacramental symbol of Catholicism that was instituted by the Catholic Church to help the recipient receive a special blessing when carrying out a certain sacrament.


Holy water is blessed by a priest, bishop or deacon and symbolizes the baptism of Jesus. When entering or leaving the church, it is another symbol used to signify the cross as Catholics will dip two fingers into the cup of holy water and perform the sign of the cross. It is part of a ritual that is commonly used to denote entering and leaving the Holiness of the House of God, when entering to worship or carrying the message into the World.


The final symbolism that is most common in Catholicism is known as the "Genuflection", which involves touching the right knee to the floor, while bending the left knee and making the sign of the cross during the motion.
  • This gesture is reserved for The Holy Eucharist, which is kept in a large vault, known as a tabernacle or it might be displayed in a monstrance, which is a gold container where the Holy Eucharist is displayed behind glass.
  • When Catholics genuflect, it is the way that respect is shown to the symbolism of the Holy Eucharist, which represents the real body and blood of Jesus, so this gesture is performed in Catholic holy places.



As you can see, most of the symbolism that is displayed through objects and gestures is related to the cross and the respect, blessings and meanings that surround it, when understanding the symbolism's of Catholicism.

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