Most people are accustomed to seeing religious symbols in the church. But do you know what they mean? Here is a brief description of some of our symbols.
THE SYMBOLS IN THE SANCTUARY
As you enter the Sanctuary you see the Celtic Cross at the front of the church. Sometimes it is called the Irish Cross, Wheel Cross, or the Cross of Iona. The circle represents eternity and the fact that Christ at the cross has eternal consequences in our lives. The Celtic Cross is the official cross of the Presbyterian Church.
Carved in the wood face of the pulpit is a cross, representing the Gospel, surrounded by the symbols of the writers of the four Gospels.
Upper left: Matthew - Winged man with halo -
Lower left: Mark - Winged lion with halo -
Lower right: Luke - Winged ox with halo -
Upper right: John - Eagle with halo -
Ceiling Dome: In the ring around the stained glass dome are a number of symbols. Moving clockwise from the 12 o'clock position:
These all indicate what is to be preached from our pulpit is not mere human ideals and opinions but the saving cross of Christ as set forth in the four Gospels of the New Testament.
Carved in the center panel of the Communion table is a symbolic representation of wheat and grapes, representing the bread and wine used at the Lord's Supper. Underneath are two sets of letters: IX, which are the first letters of the words Jesus Christ in Greek, and also XC, which stands for the name Christ. These two sets of letters indicate that the table is His table, to which he invites all who will, to come to receive forgiveness, new life, and salvation.
The triangle-represents by its three angles, the three-in-one of the Trinity. The Descending Dove-represents the descent of the Holy Spirit on Jesus in the form of a dove at His Baptism. The IHS- means Jesus, the first three letters as it is spelled in Greek. The Chalice with cross- represents the death of Jesus Christ symbolized in the wine of the Communion Chalice. The Celtic Cross- the eternal effect of the cross. The Crossed Keys- represent Peter (Matt.16:16) The crown and cross- stands for the crown which all who believe in Christ will one day receive because of the cross. (Rev.2:10) The XR- here written one on the other, are the first two letters in Greek of the word "Christ."
Finally, the stained glass windows along the sides of the sanctuary. Each little blue circle with the four lobes at the bottom of each window is called a Quatrefoil, symbolic of the four Gospels and its four writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.