The Holy Trinity symbol is among the most mysterious concepts in the entire world. While it is difficult to explain, people often take the help of unique symbols. In Christianity, the Holy Trinity is important as it symbolizes unity between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Common symbols representing the Trinity include the Trinity Knot, Fleur-de-lis, Trefoil Triangle, and Shamrocks.
What Is The Holy Trinity?
As per the Christian doctrine, Holy Trinity represents the unity between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three people in one Godhead. The teaching is one of the main Christian affirmations referring to God.
While God, as the Father, is known as the creator of all life on Earth and the Ruler of this universe, God as the Son has two natures – divine and human. Lastly, the Holy Spirit stands for how God resides in the heart of the followers, often called the breath of God.
It can get confusing as there is one God, but He consists of three separate people. Each can speak and love, but they’re in harmony with one another and co-eternal or co-powerful.
What Does The Holy Trinity Symbolize In Christianity?
The Holy Trinity concept summarizes the doctrine of the Christian Church that there is one and only God, yet within him coexist three equal, distinct persons. Sometimes, pastors and theologians refer to each distinct person as God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.
The doctrine of the Trinity was developed initially as a reaction to Arianism, a different teaching about God’s nature. This Christological doctrine aimed to protect its own belief in one God by denying Jesus’s divinity at equality with the Father.
Unlike the modern Christian doctrine, Arianism believed that Jesus Christ wasn’t divine but only a deity and a subordinate to God the Father. It contradicts the Christian teachings that consider Jesus the same as Almighty God.
In response to the heresy of Arianism, the Church affirmed the Nicene Creed at the Council of Nicaea in 325. This Creed affirms the doctrine of the Trinity and the divinity of all three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
What are the Different Symbols of the Holy Trinity?
The Holy Trinity is an abstract idea that is confusing, and many symbols encapsulate the meaning.
Trinity Knot or Triquetra
The Trinity Knot, also known as the Triquetra, is an ancient symbol consisting of three arches that overlap and interconnect. The symbol resembles a knot with three corners, as all internal arcs appear as if there’s no beginning and end.
Triquetra translates to three-cornered. Its significance is much deeper and dates back to pre-Celtic times.
However, the concept of the number three, also called the power of three embedded within its name, is an important aspect of this ancient symbol.
The Trinity Knot and Celtic Knot differ in meaning as they emerge from different cultural beliefs. However, the concept of three binds the two together.
According to pre-Celtic traditions, the symbol signifies the Triple Moon Goddess, which includes the maiden, the mother, and the crone, and also connects to feminine fertility. Irish Christians used the three interlocking shapes to represent the Holy Trinity and the Holy Spirit.
The Fleur-De-lis sign is a lily, which symbolizes the day of resurrection. The flower represents Mary, Jesus’s mother, because of the purity as well as whiteness of the lily.
The French monarchy also used it as they considered it a sign of the Holy Trinity. Given its significance, it was popular in French culture and included in the French flag.
This symbol consists of three leaves, which point to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The band at the bottom of Fleur-De-Lis encapsulates how each is divine.
Another symbol that represents the three divine people in the Holy Trinity is the Trefoil Triangle. It was common in architecture and artwork during the Middle Ages.
Although it is similar to the other symbols of the Holy Trinity because of its three corners, the symbols within it ensure it stands out. It encompasses a hand, a fish, and lastly, a dove, each representing a person of the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, respectively.
The Shamrock, or the three-leaf clover, is Ireland’s popular symbol. According to legends, the symbol was used by Saint Patrick for education to help non-believers converting to Christianity know and understand the Holy Trinity.
St. Patrick portrayed the clover in his artwork, such as paintings. Besides that, the Shamrock represents the unity of the three entities of the Holy Trinity. Each part of the symbol shows God as the Father, Jesus as the Son, and the Holy Spirit united as One.
What Are The 3 Symbols Of The Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit isn’t a power or energy force but a God and a part of the Holy Trinity. The symbols of the Holy Spirit are:
According to the Old Testament, they consecrated and ordained the priests with oil poured on their heads. (Exod. 29:7 – see also Lev. 8). When Kings took up office, they were also anointed with oil.
Oil also kept lamps burning inside the Holy Place. They needed not to run dry (Exod. 27:20). The Holy Spirit not only empowers the Divine service but also enlightens and anoints.
The dove is a part of the description of Christ’s baptism (Matt. 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:30-34). During the baptism of Jesus, Jesus states that the Spirit of the Lord is upon him, which is considered a Trinitarian statement.
It symbolizes peace (Psalms 55:6; Song of Songs 2:12); purity (Song of Songs 5:2; 6:9); innocence (Matt. 10:16); as well as beauty (Psalms 68:13; Song of Solomon 1:15; 2:14).
The dove reveals the gentle and powerful working of the Holy Spirit. It is a gentle creature that one can quickly shoo away.
Fire is the symbol of the Holy Spirit, as indicated in the statements about the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11) and fire on the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:3-4). Fire can illuminate, warm, purify, refine, and change material.
If you’re interested in learning more about Christian symbols, check out this article on the meaning of the Jerusalem cross.