Types of Crosses

Published on: Mar 29 2011 by Shenron

A cross is known to have a great affiliation with the Christianity. It is a remarkable symbol of the Christianity which symbolizes the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Historically, cross was the instrument used to crucify the Jesus. Christians has a belief that the act of crucifying of Jesus was basically involved in his mission as this act of Jesus was to forgive humanity of sin. Cross has a significant role to play in Christianity and it has been altered during different times in history. It has been designed, decorated and formed to symbolize different sects of Christianity and different periods of Christian practices. There are certain different types of crosses which can help understanding the different sects and customs of Christianity. Let us have a look at them.


Crucifix is a type of cross conventionally used in the Catholic Church. Crucifix is a cross that characterizes Jesus Christ on the cross, dead and hanging. It symbolized the huge sacrifice of the Jesus Christ and his act of forgive humanity of sin. As we have said it is commonly used in Catholic Church so it has nothing to do in Protestant Churches because Protestants beliefs are on the resurrection of Christ than his death. In Europe, the Roman Catholic Churches are common and hence, crucifix is commonly used there.


Celtic crosses are the type of crosses which are more common in orthodox Christian’s religious sects. Celtic crosses are considered very ostentatious because of having loads of ornaments and beautification. Generally, the Christian icons or saints are displayed in the center of the Celtic crosses. These crosses are usually round (circular) in shape and known to have their origin in Latin customs. Most of the time, Celtic crosses are golden in color, adorned with bright colors.


A Canterbury cross is a type of cross which has its roots in Anglican and Episcopalian traditions and hence, are widely used in these churches. It is named after the place where it has its origin, i.e. Canterbury, United Kingdom. In the center of the cross, it has a square with equal lengths. Its triangular arms results in its circular shape. It can be seen on jewelry, church literature and priestly clothing.

Altar Cross

Altar cross is a type of cross which is used in almost all the denominations of Christianity in its modified forms but with a single purpose. It is normally put on the table where communion is going to take place. Altar cross symbolizes the sacrifice of Christ.

Cross of St. Peter

A cross of St. Peter is a type of inverted cross. Historically, St. Peter was crucified upside down as he sensed undeserving to die like a Christ. It is thought by Catholics that the pope is an inheritor of St. Peter, so this cross has a strong link with the papacy. For instance, it is commonly used on papal throne or in papal tombs. Satanists have recently been set aside this cross as an insignia for opposing or inverting Christianity.

Victor’s Cross

Victor’s cross is also known as conqueror’s cross is basically a Greek cross having first and last letter of Jesus and Christ on the top of it and Greek term ‘Nika’ meaning conqueror on the bottom. The top letters have a line that symbolizes that the letters are abbreviations.

Russian Orthodox Cross

The Russian Orthodox Cross is a type of cross that comprises of three bars. The top bar symbolize the ’INRI’ sign right over the Jesus head while the lowest bar is low and slanted. The exact purpose of the slanted bar is yet not known but it is thought that it may symbolize the St. Andrew cross (like a letter ‘X’). St. Andrew was the person who introduced the Christianity in Russia.

Leave a Reply