Both the cross and the crucifix are important symbols in the Catholic Faith. To non-Catholics these two may look similar but certain meaningful differences exist between them and also these distinctions can mean a lot come Catholic devotees.

As a result, part Catholics might struggle in deciding even if it is to embrace a crucifix or just stick come a plain cross for usage in their daily spiritual devotion.

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What room the differences between a crucifix and a level cross?

The overcome is maybe the many famous and widespread prize in Christianity. The is offered in Christian gatherings and messages. In roman times, the cross to be an tool of torture and public humiliation. The is the equivalent of today’s fatality penalty in that hardened criminals were placed to fatality by crucifixion.

Today, the cross has been adopted as a symbol of the ultimate sacrifice. That evokes Jesus’ fatality and, more importantly, His resurrection.

In the Catholic Faith, the crucifix is a really common symbol i m sorry is a cross through the figure of Jesus Christ attached to it. It regularly has the word “INRI” written across the top. These letters space a shortened version of a expression that equates to “Jesus that Nazareth, King that the Jews.” These to be the words i m sorry Pontius Pilate, the roman governor of Judea, notified to have actually written ~ above the cross upon i m sorry Jesus to be crucified.


Crucifix is derived from the Latin indigenous cruci fixus which way “fixed come a cross.” It thus refers to an image of Jesus addressed to a cross which is distinct from a plain cross. The photo of Jesus ~ above the cross is described as the body which is the Latin word because that body.

The Crucifix together a Sacramental

According come the Catholic catechism, the crucifix is a sacramental or a sacred symbol the the church instituted to prepare Catholics to get God’s grace. A sacramental find its power in the Paschal mystery which is at the love of the Catholic Faith.

The Paschal secret is carefully tied to the history of salvation and is focused on the mission the Jesus Christ on earth which is His passion, death and also eventual resurrection. Many Catholic devotees gaze reverently upon the crucifix while praying in order to remember Jesus’ an excellent sacrifice and evoke feel of love, trust, faith and also devotion.

For Catholics, the crucifix captures the good sacrifice that Jesus produced humanity. That is a prize of salvation and Christ’s ultimate act to atone because that the guilty of the world. The crucifix also represents Jesus’ mission come reconcile our connection with God. The is a very profound emblem that demonstrates god’s ultimate power to get rid of sin and also death.

With the crucifix, we space reminded of the Lord’s promise that salvation and also grace i m sorry we deserve to receive by turning to him. We would not have actually the gift of salvation there is no Christ’s crucifixion and also we would certainly not have actually the miracle of resurrection if Jesus had actually not passed away on the cross.

The Crucifix vs. The plain Cross

According come Catholic author Patrick Madrid, Catholics usage the crucifix rather of the plain cross due to the fact that the cross just has an interpretation because Jesus Christ died on that to conserve us. The crucifix is an important symbol provided in countless Catholic traditions. That is prominently used throughout Mass i beg your pardon is a extensive celebration in the Catholic Faith.

We can also see the crucifix supplied in fixed processions. It is regularly affixed come a staff and also put at the facility of the altar. Crucifixes are likewise featured throughout Holy Week. As well as the church and also public places, us can also see and also use the crucifix in our everyday lives. We placed them in our homes and also wear them as necklaces as a price of our faith and devotion.


Pope Francis reminds us not to merely wear or use crucifix to display our religious affiliation. That is therefore much more than that. We must look past the symbol and remember the definition behind that which is Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on the cross for our salvation.

At the end of the day, it’s no really about choosing which is better. This is not about whether the crucifix or the cross is much more meaningful or powerful. These things are simply representations of our faith and reminders the what is in ~ the core of ours faith.

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We are not just embracing the crucifix or the cross, we room embracing God as the king of our lives. Once we accept God’s sovereignty, we repent and acknowledge our sinfulness but an ext importantly we take on the truth that Jesus died so the we might live because that Him. These are the things to save in mind when wearing and also using Catholic symbols.

How carry out you usage the crucifix or cross in her spiritual walk? What an interpretation does it have in your life?