© 2000 Walter E. Gast
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Welcome to Christian Symbols!

This site offers a gallery of images you are likely to find in many Christian churches along with explanations to help you understand their meaning and significance. In addition, you will find information about the symbolism of various church furnishings and architectural features, as well as explanations of the seasonal elements of liturgical worship.

Symbols have been used by the Christian church since the earliest ages for many reasons:

  • As a secret sign among the faithful during times of persecution.
  • As a means of teaching biblical truths to those unable to read.
  • As a way of reminding believers of God's sovereignty over all creation.
  • As a means of memorializing God's divine activity in human history.

Just as observing the seasons of the church year is a way of acknowledging that Jesus is the Lord of Time, using symbols in the church and teaching about their meaning is a way of proclaiming that the earth is the Lord's and that He is sovereign over human history. Symbols enable us to carry our spiritual awareness out of the sanctuary and into the created world, into our own human experience.

In this day of increasing secularization and popularization of worship and church life, we are at risk of losing the rich language of Christian symbolism and seasonal observances. These pages are offered both as the testimony of a personal study, and as a resource for Christians who wish to learn the sign language of the Christian faith.

Patterns on CD
High-quality line art patterns of more than 390 Christian symbols, many pictured on this site, are now available by e-mail (at no charge) or on CD (for purchase). Please click here for details.


Search or Browse
Use the keypad to view the symbols alphabetically, or click the Index button to see a comprehensive list of all the symbols and terms on this site.


Additional Resources
For a helpful list of books, clip art and other resources on symbolism in Christian art and architecture and liturgical worship, visit our Bookstore link.


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Visit Often
This project is a work in progress. Please visit often to see and learn about more symbols as they are added. If you have a request for information on a specific Christian symbol, a comment to offer, or a question to ask, please let us know.