Many of us perceive the cross almostas part of his body. However, we do not always understand how and for what people wear a cross on their chests. After all, a cross is not a jewelry or a tribute to tradition.

Orthodox cross. What is it?

To the cross should be treated as the greatest Christian shrine, the visible evidence of our redemption.

In the Temple on the Feast of the Exaltation, during the service, they shower with praise the tree of the Lord's Cross, he and the beauty of the Church, and the keeper of the whole universe, and the glory of the angels, and the plague of demons.

The Orthodox cross is given to a person,who was christened, and he became a Christian. The permanent place of wearing - at the heart, as a symbol of the image of the Cross of the Lord, is a sign that he is an Orthodox Christian. This also reminds us that the nativity of the cross of Christ is a powerful defense against fallen spirits, it has the power to heal a Christian and give him life, that is why he is called the Life-Giver.

It is considered a sin to wear a cross for fashion. A conscious wearing of it is a silent prayer, allowing the cross to protect the wearer at any time, even if he does not ask for help or can not cross himself.

Baptizing an infant, the priest puts on him a cross that will become from now on an inseparable companion of a Christian. It does not need to be removed when changing or bathing.

Forms of crosses and material for their manufacture

There is a canonical form - four-, six-or eight-pointed crosses; with the semicircle below and other forms. Each line is endowed with a deep symbolic meaning. In Russia, it is customary to wear eight-pointed crosses, on the back of which it is traditionally written "Save and Preserve".

There are no specific rules for the material forthe manufacture of Orthodox crosses. For the decoration use precious metals, because the Christian refers to the cross as the most expensive that he has, so lovingly seeks to decorate it. But at the same time, simple metal or wooden crosses are closest in spirit to the Cross of the Lord. There is also no fundamental difference in what it holds - on a chain or braid, here it is more important that the cross is firmly attached. The cross must never be removed, even during sports activities. Orthodox laity wear it under their clothes, not showing off specially.

A bit of history

In the first centuries after the adoption of Christianity, Russiacrosses were worn "overtly" over clothes, and not on the body; later, only the bishops and then the priests had the right to wear the cross over the clothes before the eighteenth century. The breast cross of the priest is called napersnym, which comes from the word "Percy", meaning "chest" in Church Slavonic. Along with the pectoral cross, the priests also wear a cross.

Russian people swore allegiance on the crosses andThey were considered to be cross-swords, exchanging crosses. When building houses, bridges, churches, a cross was laid in the base of the building. There was an ancient custom from a broken bell to cast many small crosses, which were especially revered in Ancient Rus. To take off the cross from oneself or not to wear it was always considered as apostasy. Over 2000 years of Christianity many people suffered for their faith, for their unwillingness to renounce Christ and to give up the cross. Such a feat was repeated in our days.

There are many superstitions associated witha cross: lost a cross - to trouble; raised someone lost - to trouble; A cross is not given, you can not wear a cross on a chain and the like. These superstitions are completely groundless. You can buy a new cross, wear it found or donated, after having been consecrated in the temple. The same crosses that are sold in the temple are consecrated in a special way.