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Cross, the principal symbol of the Christian religion, recalling the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the redeeming benefits of his Passion and death. The cross is thus a sign both of Christ himself and of the faith of Christians. crosses wallpaper. In ceremonial usage, making a sign of the cross may be, according to the context, an act of profession of faith, a prayer, a dedication, or a benediction.

Cross forms were used as symbols, religious or otherwise, long before the Christian Era, but it is not always clear whether they were simply marks of identification or possession or were significant for belief and worship. crosses wallpaper. Two pre-Christian cross forms have had some vogue in Christian usage. The ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol of life—the ankh, a tau cross surmounted by a loop and known as crux ansata—was adopted and extensively used on Coptic Christian monuments. 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.

For several centuries after Constantine, Christian devotion to the cross centred on the victory of Christ over the powers of evil and death, and realistic portrayal of his suffering was avoided. The earliest crucifixes (crosses containing a representation of Christ) depict Christ alive, with eyes open and arms extended, his Godhead manifest, even though he is pierced and dead in his manhood. crosses wallpaper. By the 9th century, however, artists began to stress the realistic aspects of Christ’s suffering and death. Subsequently, Western portrayals of the Crucifixion, whether painted or carved, exhibited an increasing finesse in the suggestion of pain and agony. Romanesque crucifixes often show a royal crown upon Christ’s head, but later Gothic types replaced it with a crown of thorns. In the 20th century a new emphasis emerged in Roman Catholicism, especially for crucifixes in liturgical settings. crosses wallpaper. Christ on the cross is crowned and vested as a king and priest, and the marks of his suffering are much less prominent.

 

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