Both the cross and the crucifix are important symbols in the Catholic Faith. Come non-Catholics these two might look comparable but details meaningful distinctions exist between them and these differences can typical a lot to Catholic devotees.

As a result, some Catholics might struggle in deciding even if it is to embrace a crucifix or just stick come a level cross for use in their everyday spiritual devotion.

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

The cross is probably the many famous and also widespread symbol in Christianity. The is used in Christian gatherings and messages. In roman times, the cross to be an tool of torture and public humiliation. It is the indistinguishable of today’s fatality penalty in that hardened criminals were placed to fatality by crucifixion.

Today, the cross has been embraced as a prize of the can be fried sacrifice. It evokes Jesus’ death and, an ext importantly, His resurrection.

In the Catholic Faith, the crucifix is a really common symbol which is a cross through the number of Jesus Christ attached to it. It regularly has words “INRI” written throughout the top. This letters room a shortened version of a phrase that translates to “Jesus that Nazareth, King the the Jews.” These to be the words i beg your pardon Pontius Pilate, the roman inn governor of Judea, notified to have actually written top top the overcome upon i m sorry Jesus to be crucified.


Crucifix is acquired from the Latin indigenous cruci fixus which method “fixed to a cross.” It therefore refers to an image of Jesus addressed to a cross which is distinct from a level cross. The photo of Jesus on the overcome is described as the corpus which is the Latin word because that body.

The Crucifix as a Sacramental

According come the Catholic catechism, the crucifix is a sacramental or a spiritual symbol that the church instituted to prepare Catholics to get God’s grace. A sacramental finds its power in the Paschal an enig which is in ~ the heart of the Catholic Faith.

The Paschal secret is closely tied come the background of salvation and also is focused on the mission of Jesus Christ on planet which is His passion, death and also eventual resurrection. Numerous Catholic devotees rigid reverently top top the crucifix if praying in order come remember Jesus’ an excellent sacrifice and evoke feelings of love, trust, faith and devotion.

For Catholics, the crucifix captures the good sacrifice that Jesus produced humanity. It is a prize of salvation and also Christ’s can be fried act come atone for the sins of the world. The crucifix also represents Jesus’ mission come reconcile our connection with God. The is a an extremely profound emblem the demonstrates oh my god ultimate power to conquer sin and death.

With the crucifix, we room reminded of the Lord’s promise the salvation and also grace i m sorry we deserve to receive by transforming to him. We would certainly not have the gift the salvation without Christ’s crucifixion and also we would certainly not have the wonder of resurrection if Jesus had actually not died on the cross.

The Crucifix vs. The plain Cross

According to Catholic author Patrick Madrid, Catholics use the crucifix rather of the plain cross because the cross just has meaning because Jesus Christ passed away on it to save us. The crucifix is an essential symbol used in plenty of Catholic traditions. It is prominently used throughout Mass i m sorry is a profound celebration in the Catholic Faith.

We can also see the crucifix used in mass processions. It is frequently affixed come a staff and put in ~ the facility of the altar. Crucifixes are additionally featured during Holy Week. As well as the church and also public places, we can also see and use the crucifix in our daily lives. We put them in our homes and wear them as necklaces as a price of our faith and also devotion.


Pope Francis reminds us not to just wear or usage crucifix to present our spiritual affiliation. The is for this reason much more than that. We have to look past the symbol and remember the definition behind it which is Jesus’ can be fried sacrifice on the cross because that our salvation.

At the end of the day, it’s not really around choosing which is better. This is not around whether the crucifix or the overcome is an ext meaningful or powerful. These points are simply representations of ours faith and also reminders that what is at the core of our faith.

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We are not simply embracing the crucifix or the cross, we are embracing God together the king of ours lives. When we accept God’s sovereignty, us repent and acknowledge our sinfulness but more importantly we take on the fact that Jesus died so the we might live because that Him. These are the things to save in mind as soon as wearing and using Catholic symbols.

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