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The Congress

What is the Ark?
Article Index
What is the Ark?
The Project
The Name
The Symbolism
The Icons
The Artists
The Dimensions


The Symbolism

The Ark as a Symbolic Boat
The base of the Ark is in the form of a boat. It brings to mind Noah’s Ark, the vessel that God commanded Noah to build. And it was this ark which, thanks to the provisions it contained, saved Noah and his family, as well as two of every species of living animals from the Flood (cf. Gn 6: 18-22).

The Ark also refers to the boat of Peter, the disciple whom Jesus will make the foundation of his church (Jn 1: 42). Therefore, ever since the institution of the New Covenant, the boat has been a symbol of the Church, the people of God who are journeying together. Just as Christ told Peter to put out into deep water (cf. Lk 5: 4), we are sent to all nations to bear witness to the Gospel.


The Angels in Adoration Before the Mystery

In ancient Israel, the presence of God among his people was indicated by the cloud that enveloped the Ark of the Covenant. God would come to meet them between the wings of the seraphim above the seat of the ark (cf. Ex 25: 21). Through the symbolic nature of the Ark of the New Covenant, the angels are turned in adoration towards the mystery of Christ, which the Ark as a whole represents.

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The Base of the Ark… a People Journeying to a World of Abundance
The five different types of wood used for the base of the ark symbolize the universality of the Church and indicate that the Good News of the Gospel is for all nations, which are called to be one in Jesus Christ. In total eleven types of wood make up the Ark.

     > Click here for the list of wood types.

Click to see list of wood type


The Ship’s Hold, a Space for Eucharistic Commitment

The ship’s hold at the base of the Ark is a place where people can put testimony of their commitment as Christians, to mark the passage of the Ark as it travels from one community to the next. In his encyclical God is Love, Benedict XVI reminds us that “a Eucharist which does not pass over into the concrete practice of love is intrinsically fragmented” (14). The Eucharist and the Church’s mission are thus forever intertwined. That is why we have included Eucharistic commitment as one of the suggested activities in this document.


An Ark That Is Carried

In Israel, the Ark was carried; it accompanied the people of God on their journeys. The Ark of the New Covenant will be carried in processions, from one diocese to another, one church to another, and one place of worship to another. It will thus accompany the local Church on its journey, the people of God, believers (Christians, Catholics) on their faith journey, the young and the not so young, in Christ’s footsteps, in their spiritual preparation for the International Eucharistic Congress.



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