During church services, known as mass, members of the congregation leave their pews to line up in front of a priest near the altar to receive Holy Communion. A cross in the form of the letter Y that gained popularity in the late 13th or early 14th century in the German Rhineland. Why does this little angel have her arms crossed? For example, in this mosaic painting above from Assisi, Italy, there is a vase of lilies between the Angel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary.

More about Christian Cross – More about Christian Cross. Christ on the cross is crowned and vested as a king and priest, and the marks of his suffering are much less prominent. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/topic/cross-religious-symbol, The Catholic Encyclopedia - Cross and Crucifix, cross - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). One of the twelve Great Feasts in Orthodox Catholic is the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14, which commemorates the consecration of the basilica on the site where the original cross of Jesus was reportedly discovered in 326 by Helena of Constantinople, mother of Constantine the Great. The Sacrament of Baptism in the Catholic Church. [note 4] Martin Luther at the time of the Reformation retained the cross and crucifix in the Lutheran Church,[note 7] which remains an important feature of Lutheran devotion and worship today. This is a prayer, asking God to indelibly imprint the message of the Gospel in the mind, on the lips, and in the heart. The swastika was used in early Christianity as the gammadion cross, or. The swastika, called crux gammata, composed of four Greek capitals of the letter gamma, is marked on many early Christian tombs as a veiled symbol of the cross. don’t tell!). In Eastern Christian art found on tombs in China, these crosses are sometimes simplified and depicted as resting on a lotus flower or on a stylized cloud. On Ash Wednesday, the ashes are applied to the forehead by a priest, deacon or extraordinary minister in the shape of a cross, to mark the penitents expressed choice to spend the forty days of Lent in prayer, repentance and fasting. The Portate Cross differs in that it is borne diagonally, as it would be when the victim bears the cross-bar over his shoulder as he drags it along the ground to the crucifixion site. Updates? Since we make the Sign of the Cross before and after all of our prayers, many Catholics don't realize that the Sign of the Cross is not simply an action but a prayer in itself.

The emblem is often interpreted as symbolizing the reward in heaven (the crown) coming after the trials in this life (the cross) (James 1:12). When the family on Noah’s ark finally saw clear skies after a year of rain, Noah followed God’s instruction to send out a dove in a search for dry ground. "[44] This reaction in the Anglican and other Reformed Churches was short-lived and the cross became ubiquitous in these Christian traditions. Amen.” She ended by making the Sign of the Cross once again. Roman Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran depictions of the cross are often crucifixes, in order to emphasize that it is Jesus that is important, rather than the cross in isolation. All Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox do as well, along with many high-church Anglicans and Lutherans (and a smattering of other Mainline Protestants). The sign of the cross often the first thing a Catholic Christian does upon waking, and the last thing done before bed. The Sacred Heart Like all prayers, the Sign of the Cross should be said with reverence; we shouldn't … The text of the Sign of the Cross is very short and simple: Making the Sign of the Cross may be the most common of all actions that Catholics do.

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