The Profession of Faith
is a symbol close to that of anointing. “The Father has set
his seal” on Christ and also seals us in him.
Because this seal indicates
the indelible effect of the anointing with the Holy Spirit in the sacraments
of Baptism, Confirmation, andHoly Orders, the image of the seal (
has been used in some theological traditions to express the indelible
“character” imprinted by these three unrepeatable sacraments.
Jesus heals the sick and blesses little children by laying
hands on them.
In his name the apostles will do the same.
pointedly, it is by the Apostles’ imposition of hands that the Holy Spirit is
Letter to the Hebrews
lists the imposition of hands among the
“fundamental elements” of its teaching.
The Church has kept this sign of
the all-powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit in its sacramental epicleses.
“It is by the finger of God that [Jesus] cast out de-
If God’s law was written on tablets of stone “by the finger of
God,” then the “letter from Christ” entrusted to the care of the apostles, is
written “with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone, but on
tablets of human hearts.”
Veni Creator Spiritus
Holy Spirit as the “
finger of the Father’s right hand.
At the end of the flood, whose symbolism refers to
Baptism, a dove released by Noah returns with a fresh olive-tree branch
in its beak as a sign that the earth was again habitable.
comes up from the water of his baptism, the Holy Spirit, in the form of a
dove, comes down upon him and remains with him.
The Spirit comes
down and remains in the purified hearts of the baptized. In certain
churches, the Eucharist is reserved in a metal receptacle in the form of a
) suspended above the altar. Christian iconography
traditionally uses a dove to suggest the Spirit.
6:5; 8:23; 10:16.
8:17-19; 13:3; 19:6.
Easter Season after Ascension, Hymn at Vespers:
3:16 and parallels.