Religious Symbols

Religous symbols have been an important part of my life. From an early age, raised Roman Catholic, I was greatly impressed with the sights, sounds and smells of church. 

I was thrilled as a young boy to receive a St. Andrews Missal as a gift. I was greatly impressed by the gold edging on its pages, the feel of the leather binding, and the brightly colored ribbon markers that allowed me to go directly to favorite places.  I so valued it but I was a little put off when a priest walked by sprinkling holy water on the pages I had open.  

I loved the fragrances coming from the censer, a metal container which contained burning incense. With chains leading up to the handle held by the priest I can still see the smoke rising from the metal holder as the priest gently swung it back and forth increasing the fire inside it, which caused its aroma to permeate the sanctuary.

I can still recall the sensation I had the first time I received Holy Communion. I was overwhelmed thinking of what this morsel meant to me. I was experiencing a special connection with God.

I fondly recall the smells of wine as I handed the cruet to the priest who then poured the dark sweet-smelling liquid into the golden chalice. I remember vigorously ringing the bells signaling the moment Catholics believe the unleavened bread and the wine actually became the body and blood of Christ.  

Those symbols were indicators of a greater spiritual reality which called me into a deeper relationship with God. These early experiences were the background to my latest novel “Can’t Hold a Candle to It” about a young boy’s fixation on religious candles which ironically gets him into trouble. The symbols were not meant to be a an end in themselves, but a pointer to a greater spiritual reality.

This leads us to the new theme for this blog: religious symbols, their origins and meaning.  We plan to take them on one at a time on the first and the middle of each month.  We welcome you to join us here so we may together learn the meaning and the reasons for the important symbols of the Christian faith. 

About richrockwood

Writer of Christian fiction whose first book "Memory Theft" delves into the impact an extortion scam has on a retired widower. For more information please check out
This entry was posted in Appearance, Belief, Bible, Communion, Eternal Life, God, Guidance, Inspiration, Religion, Spirituality. Bookmark the permalink.

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