Old Rite Traditional Orthodox Cross

  • Sale
  • $10.00
  • Regular price $20.00

The front of the cross pendant bears a Byzantine-like three-bar Subpedaneum cross and inscriptions in Church Slavonic. The three-bar cross is used in the Eastern Orthodox and some Eastern Catholic churches. Such a cross has three horizontal crossbeams: the top one represents the "INRI" nameplate, and the bottom one, a footrest. The footrest crossbeam is depicted pointing up, toward Heaven, on Christ's right-hand side where the Penitent thief, St. Dismas was crucified on the right. 

To either side of the cross there are images of the two Instruments of the Passion (Arms of Christ, Arma Christi);
the Holy Lance (spear) of a Roman soldier, and the Holy Sponge attached to a cane, along with several inscriptions with Cyrillic letters, 
and an image of the skull, or the Adam's head buried below the cross. The skull, or Adam's head, below the image of the cross also refers to Golgotha (Calvary), the elevated site where Jesus was crucified, which the Bible says means "the place of the skull" in Hebrew. An ancient tradition of Catholic and Orthodox Churches held that it was also the burial place of Adam, also symbolizing the ultimate victory of Christ over sin and death.

The Holy Lance and the Holy Sponge are the subjects of adoration together with the Cross, and therefore, are always depicted on the Russian Old Believers' Baptism or body crosses, creating an image of Calvary (Golgotha) with the three-bar cross and Adam's head.

 In this kind of cross's depiction, the "INRI" inscription made by Pontius Pilate, is considered blasphemous, and is never used as the nameplate. Instead, above the top end of the cross is an abbreviation in Church Slavonic which means "King of Glory". The Kingship of Jesus is also symbolized on pendant's loop--the three lines.

The left and right side ends of the central horizontal crossbar of the pendant have the Sacred Name of Jesus Christ, IC on the left inscribed as the Greek Christogram. The "XC" on the right, Greek Christogram, a two-word abbreviation in Church Slavonic meaning "SON OF GOD".

Below, just above the lowest horizontal crossbar (footrest), there is the "NIKA" inscription made with the Cyrillic letters (Greek: "VICTORY"). This is an ancient symbol of the Christ's victory over the corruption of sin and death.  

The reverse of the cross bears an abbreviated version of Psalm 68 in Church Slavonic meaning "MAY GOD ARISE AND MAY HIS ENEMIES BE SCATTERED...". This psalm-based prayer is traditionally inscribed on the reverse of the Old Believers' Orthodox body (Baptism) cross pendants, meaning to provide protection of the faithful cross-bearer against the evil spirits (God's enemies), and thereby is considered a version of the Exorcism prayer.