Lynne Beard Design | Learn about the symbolism in Lynne Beard's liturgical art
Paintings, Drawings, and Liturgical Art by Lynne Beard
Liturgical Art, Symbolism, Explanations
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Seven Gifts of The Holy Spirit

Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The seven gifts of grace given by the Holy Spirit are: wisdom, understanding, counsel (right judgement), fortitude, knowledge, piety (reverence) and fear of the Lord (wonder and awe)....

I-CH-TH-U-S by Lynne Beard

Icthus

Mark’s gospel describes the first disciples as fishermen and the reading also establishes the Christian imagery of baptism as water. Believers were thought of as water-dwellers and the net as the gospel. In early Greek “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior” presents the acronym i-ch-th-u-s which is the Greek word for fish and this symbol is prominent throughout Christian iconography. The call to discipleship continues in this time after the Epiphany and invites us to become fishers of men as part of our baptismal calling to show Christ to the world....

Baptism of Our Lord

Baptism of Our Lord

Water is the symbol of life and the waters of baptism represent our new life in Christ. The dove symbolizes the presence of God’s Holy Spirit and both Mark’s gospel and the story in Acts portray the spirit’s movement as distinguishing Jesus’ baptism from John’s. The dove is also associated with peace and Psalm 29 ends with God’s blessing of peace on his people....

Two Turtledoves

Two Turtledoves

During the season of Epiphany the church observes the feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple which is described in Luke 2: 22-40. According to the Gospel, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem forty days after His birth in obedience to the Law of Moses to complete Mary’s ritual purification after childbirth and to perform the redemption of the firstborn. The custom required a sacrifice and since Mary and Joseph were poor and could not afford a lamb they chose the option of presenting a pair of turtledoves. In Christian symbolism, turtledoves also...

The Ship

The Ship

The ship is an ancient Christian symbol and many Lutheran churches display a model ship near the pews and Baptismal font illustrating that the church is a ship that sails toward God. It represents the  new ark into which we are placed by God as he rescues his people from sin and death through Baptism. The pews are located in the nave of the church and the word nave comes from navis, which means ship. Often the ceiling of the nave resembles an overturned boat-a reminder that we are sheltered by God and kept safe in this baptismal ark....

Wisdom On The Branch of Jesse

Wisdom On The Branch of Jesse

Wisdom on the Branch of Jesse was inspired by the Writings of Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) on the Holy Spirit Wisdom. It also recalls the words in Isaiah describing the Holy Spirit giving life to the branch of Jesse....

The Eagle

The time between Ascension Day and Pentecost is one of transition from Easter to the missional urging of the Holy Spirit. The eagle is an ancient symbol of Christ’s Ascension and was one of four widely used symbols representing the four chief events in the life of Christ. It was believed that the eagle could fly as high as possible and look into the sun and then fly swiftly to the earth where it would plunge into a fountain of water and emerge renewed. This became a symbol of Our Lord’s Ascension into heaven and his victory over the cross....

The Ascension

The Ascension

The eagle is an ancient symbol of Christ’s Ascension and was one of four widely used symbols representing the four chief events in the life of Christ. It was believed that the eagle could fly as high as possible and look into the sun and then fly swiftly to the earth where it would plunge into a fountain of water and emerge renewed. This became a symbol of Our Lord’s Ascension into heaven and his victory over the cross. Eagles also represent Christians baptized into Christ and this gift of grace through baptism brings the promise of Christ’s return to earth in glory. For this reason...

Manna

Manna

Manna – This design reflects the Old Testament reading which tells of the miraculous falling of manna from heaven which was sent by God to feed the Israelites during their stay in the wilderness. Manna was a mysterious substance and the name is derived from the ancient Hebrew word manhu which means “what is it”.  It is described in the Bible as white, seed-like oval flakes which fell during the night covering the ground like frost, and had to be collected by sunrise before it melted in the sun. Manna resembled coriander seeds and was the color of bdellium, a...

Rachel's Day

Rachel’s Day

Rachel’s Day – Rachel’s Day is a time set apart on the first Sunday in May when we mourn the loss of our children and youth to violence and injustice. The day took its name from Jeremiah 31:15-17. In these verses Rachel mourns for her children. There are many children in the world who fear that they will not grow up to be adults. They feel unloved and alone. Rachel’s Day is an opportunity to build community and relationships by connecting adults with children at risk and it reminds us of an African proverb which says, “It takes a village...

Healing Cross

Healing Cross

Healing Cross –The Cross Potent is based on four Tau Crosses whose lower ends meet. It is called the Cross Potent because of its resemblance to an ancient crutch. This cross is a symbol of Our Lord’s power to heal the afflictions of the bodies and souls of all mankind. The design also incorporates the Chi- Rho, a monogram of Christ, with the renewing water of baptism. ...

Phoenix

Phoenix – A widely used symbol of Our Lord’s Resurrection is the phoenix. According to one legend of this fabled bird, which somewhat resembles an eagle, it lives to an age of four or five hundred years. It is set on fire by the heat of the sun by the fanning of its wings and is consumed in the fire. The bird then rises out of the ashes, recreated and young, and is destined to live another four or five hundred years. The phoenix appears on early coins of emperors, such as Constantine, and is also a common symbol on...

Dove of Peace

Dove of Peace

Dove of Peace – As a symbol for the Holy Spirit, the dove is by nature characterized by gentleness, purity and peace. As an attribute it typifies divine inspiration. In Matthew 10:16, Christ commands the disciples to express in their lives the love and gentleness of the dove.  In  3:16, Matthew calls the dove a visible expression of the anointing presence of the Holy Spirit.  As a symbol of love, the dove participates in the experience of Christ’s baptism and God’s love flowed through Him and provides us with grace and deliverance to do His will. During the Christmas season...

Day of Pentecost

Day of Pentecost

Day of Pentecost – The Holy Spirit is most often represented by a snow white dove and this symbol is used on Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles to illumine them with the gift of languages. On Pentecost the church also remembers the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit and in Revelation 5:12 the list includes  Blessing, Glory, Wisdom, Thanksgiving, Honor, Power and Might. In Christian art it is rendered: Divinitas, Sapientia, Benedicio, Gloria, Honor, Fortitudo and Virtus, represented in the design by the first letter of each gift. These gifts are considered to be the outpouring...

Sts. Peter and Paul

Saints Peter and Paul

Peter and Paul – Peter and Paul represent the spread of the gospel and, according to tradition, were martyred on the same date. The two keys  symbolize the giving of the keys to the kingdom to Peter by Jesus and is known as the donatio or traditio clavicum. Paul received the gift of the law, that is doctrine, which is represented by the open book. This is known as traditio legis. Christian tradition, and  therefore the iconography too, often thinks of these two apostles together as pillars supporting the church, Paul by his teaching and Peter by his assigned task...

Sheltered Bird in Mustard Tree

Sheltered Bird in Mustard Tree

Sheltered Bird in Mustard Tree – This design reflects the symbolism of the parable of the mustard seed as told by Jesus in Matthew 13:31-32. Though it is the smallest of seeds, it grows into a tree where birds might take shelter. The sower of the seed is Christ, who came to atone for our sins so that we may become fruitful.  The mustard seed represents the Gospel, which grows to reach people throughout the world. The tree, rooted in Jesus Christ, is where the birds of the air, who represent the faithful, come to rest as they hear and...

Alpha-Omega

Alpha Omega

  Alpha-Omega–The Alpha-Omega emblem expresses God’s eternity by means of the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. The first letter, Alpha, denotes that God is the first of all things- there was no one before Him from whom He could have received the fullness of truth. The last letter, Omega, signifies that God is the last of all things- there will be no one after Him to whom He could bequeath this perfect truth. This symbolism has its origins from the Jewish word Emeth, or truth, the first and last letters of which are also the first and last...

All-Saints Day

All Saints Day

All Saints – The design for All Saints is centered around the tree which is a symbol of life in all stages. The tree, as it sheds its leaves in the fall and then comes into leaf once again in spring,  symbolizes our lives in this world and in heaven. Birds represent the soul and in early Christian art were symbols of the spiritual life and of new souls and souls saved through baptism. The cross is a reminder that eternal life is made possible by Christ’s sacrifice....

Agnus Dei-Palm Sunday

Agnus Dei — Palm Sunday in Color

Agnus Dei – The symbol of the Lamb of God or The Agnus Dei is of most ancient origin and is based on  Scripture verses found in Isaiah, John and Revelation. It is often depicted carrying the banner of victory and crowned with the nimbus representing divinity. Combined with the branches of the Palm tree,  it represents Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The qualities of gentleness and innocence  associated with lambs reflect the concept of the sacrifice of Christ  offered as an expiation of the guilt of mankind. The colors purple and deep red are symbolic of both the majesty...

Agnus Dei-Palm Sunday

Agnus Dei — Palm Sunday

Agnus Dei – The symbol of the Lamb of God or The Agnus Dei is of most ancient origin and is based on  Scripture verses found in Isaiah, John and Revelation. It is often depicted carrying the banner of victory and crowned with the nimbus representing divinity. Combined with the branches of the Palm tree,  it represents Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The qualities of gentleness and innocence  associated with lambs reflect the concept of the sacrifice of Christ  offered as an expiation of the guilt of mankind.  It is a symbol of the triumph of the Cross and also...