Tag Archives: Chi Rho

ALPHA & OMEGA

Alpha (A) and Omega (Ω) are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. These letters are often reproduced on gravestones, and when displayed separately Alpha is depicted on the left and Omega on the right.

Frequently the letters are combined to create a recognized Christian symbol derived from the book of Revelation in which they are mentioned in separate verses.
1:8: “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
22:13: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

They are commonly used in conjunction with a cross, a crown or the Chi-Rho (a monogram of chi (Χ) and rho (Ρ) which are the first two letters of the Greek word Khristos.

chi-rho

On a side note, there is a cemetery in Henderson, Vance County, North Carolina, USA which bears the name Alpha Omega Cemetery.

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Cross Images

Although the Crux Immissa (LATIN cross) is commonly acknowledged as the type used to crucify Jesus, it is a source of debate between theologians and historians. There are many other forms of a cross.

Latin

A GEMMATA cross may have 5 stones representing the five wounds suffered by Jesus on the cross; or 13 gems representing Christ and the twelve Apostles.

gemmata

A ship portrayed with a mast like a cross represents a place of refuge and is acknowledged as the church. The Ark of Noah is a symbol of refuge and salvation.

noahs ark

The cross encompassed within a circle is often found on altar tables. It is also used in processions to represent eternity.

eternity

The IXTHOS cross is a combination of a Latin cross and a fish symbol. The Greek word for fish is an acronym for “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior” and secretly identified others of the faith during dangerous times of persecution.

fish

This symbol represents Peter, the apostle, who was crucified head down because he did not feel worthy to die in the same position as Jesus.

peter

The TAU cross is one of the oldest forms of a cross and is believed to have been held by Moses in the wilderness.

tao

The dove on this Tau cross is symbolic of the Holy Spirit.

tau

This cross form is created with four Tau crosses, each arm also resembling a crutch.

tau cross

Although a FORKED cross was known in the Middle Ages as a thief’s cross, it also represents the Holy Trinity and is symbolic of arms lifted in prayer.

forked

The ANKH, originally the Egyptian symbol for life, is shaped like the letter T surmounted by an oval or circle. It symbolizes eternal life; peace; and truth.

ankh

CHI-RHO is an ancient Christian symbol representing the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ: χριστος – Chi (X) and Rho (P)

chirho

This Chi Rho cross also displays letters of the Greek alphabet: Alpha (the first) and Omega (the last) are symbols representing the beginning and the end of all life.

 alpha gamma

ST. ANDREW’S cross was named after the disciple Andrew who was crucified on a cross of this shape. It came into use during the Middle Ages.

andrews

In the Greek language, the first letter of the word Jesus is I; and the first letter of Christ is X. When these symbols are combined this cross represents Jesus Christ.

crosses

The SHEPHERD’s cross has a crooked apex and represents the Christian faith and Jesus’ role as the Good Shepherd.

 shepherds crook

The MALTESE Cross has four arms of equal length ending in a “V” shape which creates eight points representing the Beatitudes.

maltese

 

 

Religious Crosses

Although the Crux Immissa (Latin cross) is commonly acknowledged as the type used to crucify Jesus, it is a source of debate between theologians and historians. There are many other forms of a cross.

A gemmata cross may have five stones representing the five wounds suffered by Jesus on the cross; or 13 gems representing Christ and the twelve Apostles.

gemmata

A ship portrayed with a mast like a cross represents a place of refuge and is acknowledged as the church. The Ark of Noah is a symbol of refuge and salvation.

noahs ark

The cross encompassed within a circle is often found on altar tables. It is also used in processions to represent eternity.

eternity

The Ixthos cross is a combination of a Latin cross and a fish symbol. The Greek word for fish is an acronym for “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior” and secretly identified others of the faith during dangerous times of persecution.

fish

This symbol represents Peter, the apostle, who was crucified head down because he did not feel worthy to die in the same position as Jesus.

peter

The Tau cross is one of the oldest forms of a cross and is believed to have been held by Moses in the wilderness.

tao

The dove on this Tau cross is symbolic of the Holy Spirit.

tau

This cross form is created with four Tau crosses, each arm also resembling a crutch.

tau cross

Although a forked cross was known in the Middle Ages as a thief’s cross, it also represents the Holy Trinity and is symbolic of arms lifted in prayer.

forked

The Ankh, originally the Egyptian symbol for life, is shaped like the letter T surmounted by an oval or circle. It symbolizes eternal life; peace; and truth.

ankh

Chi-Rho is an ancient Christian symbol representing the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ: χριστος – Chi (X) and Rho (P)

This Chi Rho cross also displays letters of the Greek alphabet: Alpha (the first) and Omega (the last) are symbols representing the beginning and the end of all life.

alpha gamma

St. Andrew’s cross was named after the disciple Andrew who was crucified on a cross of this shape. It came into use during the Middle Ages.

andrews

In the Greek language, the first letter of the word Jesus is I; and the first letter of Christ is X. When these symbols are combined this cross represents Jesus Christ.

crosses

The Shepherd’s cross has a crooked apex and represents the Christian faith and Jesus’ role as the Good Shepherd.

 shepherds crook

The Maltese Cross has four arms of equal length ending in a “V” shape which creates eight points representing the Beatitudes.

maltese

The letters IHC represent the first three Greek letters of the name Jesus when it is translated into Latin.

ihc

CROSS CELTIC

The Celtic cross is a Latin cross surrounded by a circle. Its origin can be traced to the Celtic cultures of the British Isles. A legend tells of St. Patrick preaching to heathens when he was shown a sacred standing stone marked with a circle (symbolic of the moon goddess.) St. Patrick made the mark of a Latin cross through the circle, and blessed the stone, thereby creating the first Celtic cross.

Dalkeith_celtic crosses

In pagan times, this cross with its axis enclosed by a circle was a symbol of fertility and life, the cross representing male potency, and the circle, female power. Prevalent in Ireland, it is now primarily a Christian symbol signifying the unity of heaven and earth.

This symbol incorporates the letters IHS which is a monogram of the Greek word for Jesus.

DSCN4187

The circle is a symbol of eternity and God’s endless love through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. It is often richly decorated with Celtic knot work.

An Ionic cross is very similar, but its ends flair outward.

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This Celtic cross is created using a Botonee cross, named because of its modified trefoil (three-lobed) ends. It represents the Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

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A modification to the Celtic cross is this addition of the Irish Claddagh symbol. A symbol of enduring love, the two hands represent friendship, the crown signifies loyalty and lasting fidelity, and the sign of the heart symbolises  eternal love.

Cross Irish Milton

This stone clearly belongs to a Christian woman. The Celtic Cross has multiple symbols all within a circle which represents eternal life.

  • The six points of the star relate to the six days of creation and also represent the six attributes of God: power, wisdom, majesty, love, mercy and justice.
  • In the center of the cross is the symbol IHS which is a monogram of the Greek word for Jesus.
  • The cross symbol has four arms of equal length. It is the traditional symbol of Christian faith.
  • On the left arm of the cross is a monogram of the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ: XP. Known as the Chi Rho one letter is superimposed over the other. It is one of the earliest Christian symbols.
  • The symbol on the right is Alpha and Omega, the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet, also represents the beginning and the end.

IMG_0462

This memorial is a stylized Celtic cross. The circle is a crown of thorns. The message is biased towards Christ’s crucifixion rather than the resurrection.

CA_Colma_Holy Cross_floating cross