February 16, 2011
Crucifix versus Cross
The cross is the most widespread, recognizable sacramental of the church. Until the end of the 6th century, all crosses were shown without the figure of Christ. The depiction of the body of Christ on the cross, called a crucifix, began in about the 13th century. Over the course of the past several hundred years it has become traditional for Catholic families to hang crucifixes around their neck as well as throughout their home as a reminder of Christ’s sacrifice for mankind.
Protestant crosses typically are not adorned with a corpus. Early Protestant leaders, to varying degrees, rejected both the crucifix and the cross as idolatrous. Over time, the image of a plain, unadorned cross gained acceptance within the Protestant community, however many Protestant factions still oppose the crucifix as a symbol of their faith.