Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Less Common Symbols of Our Faith - Bees

The Sweet Word of God ~ Psalm 19:10

More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.

Since time began bees have been part of the great myths of humanity and have always been extraordinarily potent symbols.

Bees, in their role as workers, are a symbol of the industrious and prosperous community governed by the queen bee. As organizers of the universe between earth and sky, bees symbolize all vital principles, and embody the soul. Bees also symbolize eloquence, speech, and intelligence.

In Hebrew, the word for bee, Dbure, has its origins in the word Dbr, speech. They settled on the mouth of the child, Plato, “announcing the sweetness of his enchanting soul ” (Pliny) (

In the Church, the beehive is a symbol for community of those who work together for the benefit of all. Used modernly as a symbol for the Christian Church, and is one of the best.

There are so many great historical symbols of our faith that I would love to see return in liturgical art with more frequency. Bring back the rooster, the peacock, the ship at anchor, the dogwood, the lobster!!!! :)

“The soul… may have many symbols with which it reaches toward God.” ~ Anya Seton

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