The history of the cross is inseparable from Christianity. Baptized followers of Jesus have been wearing crosses on their chest as a display of their faith. Over time, however, the cross ceased to be an exclusively religious symbol. Nowadays, it turned into one of the most popular motifs in costume jewelry. Fashionistas wear crosses made of precious metals as a means of decoration without giving them divine significance.
Ornament or Amulet?
For many people, crosses are a symbol of Christianity and, simultaneously, an amulet. Since time immemorial, individuals have been hoping that the cross is able to save from evil eyes, diseases, and slander.
The very first crosses were made of wood. As people developed metalwork skills, metal crosses became more and more pervasive. Commoners used to wear iron crosses while affluent and noble individuals could afford gold ones. In addition to the precious metal, their crosses often carried gemstones and enamel.
While the first crosses really corresponded to the concept of an amulet (they were small in size and had no material value), their precious counterparts acquired the role of body ornamentation. They eventually turned into a symbol of the wealth and prosperity their owners possessed.
What are Crosses?
Cross pendants are available in a few variations:
- simple unadorned crosses;
- crosses embellished with enamel or precious stones.
Crucifixes are considered to be exclusively Christian amulet. They are worn by people who have been baptized. A crucifix bound to be sanctified in the church must be discreet. The church calls to abandon large items adorned with precious stones. It recommends wearing the symbol of your religion under clothing, away from prying eyes, because faith is an intimate thing.
Another option appropriate for believers is a simple cross made of gold or silver. These items do not have inlays or decorative elements. However, the back of the cross may carry engraved prayers or Bible quotes. Such a cross is sacred, it, on a par with the crucifix, should be honored and treated with care. Once you have chosen the cross as a symbol of your faith, you should not remove it as long as it diligently fulfills its function.
Crosses embellished with precious stones or enamel belong to the category of jewelry rather than religious attributes. Although the church discourages the use of its sacred symbol without faith in the heart, no one can forbid you to have a decorative cross-shaped pendant. Jewelry like this is not suitable for sanctification but it will make a delightful addition to your daily or festive outfits.
Materials for Cross Crafting
A wooden cross is a canonical object. Despite this, the church recommends wearing crosses made of imperishable material. The truth is that crossed featuring wood can darken and break, and this can be seen as a sign of your faith fading away. Precious metals, in contrast, are not affected by external factors. Therefore, in a symbolic sense, they are as strong as your faith.
Crucifixes and pectoral crosses should be pretty discreet. Ideal metals for their execution are silver and white gold. Such pieces have a versatile quality, they are suitable for men and women alike. If you pick silver, you should remember that it may tarnish with time. When it happens, it is generally accepted that your cross absorbed negative energy, thereby protecting you from evil. You can easily restore the sheen and beauty of your talisman with soapy water and gentle rubbing. Overall, silver possesses powerful energy in itself, it is not for nothing that it is capable of destroying harmful germs. Combine its healing properties with the power of a religious symbol and you’ll get the strongest protection against adversity.
Yellow gold is a fitting option for both small crosses and cruciform jewelry. Jewelry adorned with small diamonds or colored enamel can become part of your ensemble for an evening out or a standalone piece of jewelry.
Which Cross to Choose?
When choosing a cross pendant from the variety of options, you should keep in mind its purpose. If this is a gift for baptism, it is better to stick to a modest item with a minimum of decorative elements. Choose a cross for yourself in a similar vein if it is destined for the role of the symbol of your faith.
If you found somebody’s lost cross, you shouldn’t put it on. Such an item must receive a blessing from a priest. Otherwise, you can become a victim of stranger’s negative energy. The most powerful crosses are those that you received as a gift or by inheritance. Again, you need to make sure that such a cross was given to you with good intentions. Products purchased in stores do not have a history with another person, so they are suitable as your pectoral cross. Nevertheless, the church recommends that purchased crosses be consecrated with prayer.