Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Another Pectoral Cross

I have a pectoral cross that I wear quite often; probably more often than the others I wear. It’s called a Consecration cross. It’s also known as a Rounded Cross and is similar to the more widely known St. John’s cross. It has four arms of equal length. Usually, the end of each arm is rounded or the cross may be held within a circle so it’s sometimes confused with a Sun cross.

Very old European cathedrals and churches might have several of these crosses carved into them. It would be associated with the bishop consecrating the building as a cathedral or church. Usually, there are twelve such crosses signifying the love and support of the twelve apostles for the church. Bishops would have either used baptismal water or chrism during the act of consecration at each of the crosses.

The back of my cross is engraved. There is an eye ball, a heart, the letter “U” and “Keely and Riley.” If you can put those symbols and words together in a sentence you will be able to guess why this is my favourite pectoral cross.

For me, my pectoral Consecration cross is more than a mere decoration. It symbolises a connection with Jesus and the apostles. Not “my” connection, but “our” connection with Jesus and his community. The simple act of bowing my head to place the cross around my neck is an acknowledgment and acceptance of God’s love. A love that found expressing in Jesus Christ and that continues to be expressed in our community today.

During Lent we prepare for the great celebration of Easter, a journey that will have many stops along the way, such as Christ’s death on the cross. My pectoral cross reminds me that nothing can separate us from God’s love because it proclaims, loud and clear, that Christ is risen! Alleluia!

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