"The symbolism of water signifies the Holy Spirit's action in Baptism, since after the invocation of the Holy Spirit it becomes the efficacious sacramental sign of new birth: just as the gestation of our first birth took place in water, so the water of Baptism truly signifies that our birth into the divine life is given to us in the Holy Spirit" (CCC 694).


"The symbolism of anointing with oil also signifies the Holy Spirit, to the point of becoming a synonym for the Holy Spirit. In Christian initiation, anointing is the sacramental sign of Confirmation ... Christ (in Hebrew 'messiah') means the one 'anointed' by God's Spirit" (CCC 695).


"While water signifies birth and the fruitfulness of life given in the Holy Spirit, fire symbolizes the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit's actions. The prayer of the prophet Elijah, who 'arose like fire' and whose 'word burned like a torch,' brought down fire from heaven on the sacrifice on Mount Carmel" (CCC 696).

Cloud and Light

"These two images occur together in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit. In the theophanies of the Old Testament, the cloud, now obscure, now luminous, reveals the living and saving God, while veiling the transcendence of his glory -- with Moses on Mount Sinai" as an example (CCC 697).


"The seal 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" (CCC 698).


"Jesus heals the sick and blesses little children by laying hands on them. In his name the apostles will do the same. Even more pointedly, it is by the Apostles' imposition of hands that the Holy Spirit is given" (CCC 699).


"'It is by the finger of God that [Jesus] cast out demons.' 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'" (CCC 700).


"When Christ 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" (CCC 701).