The Latin cross symbolizes the Passion of Christ and the atonement, and is considered the universal symbol for Christianity.
Whenever you envision a “plain” cross, chances are pretty good that you are imagining what’s called a Latin cross. The Latin cross is one of the oldest forms of the cross, and some believe it was the shape of the actual cross on which Jesus was crucified.
Today, we find many variations on the Latin cross in churches and homes everywhere.
Almost all of the Church’s oldest crosses (before the fifth century) are Latin Crosses. As recently as the 1850’s, Protestants in the United States rejected the Latin cross, claiming it was “too Catholic.” It took many years for American Protestants to accept this basic form of the cross as a legitimate Christian symbol.
Read I Corinthians 1.18-25. According to this passage, what is the central message Christians are to preach? What does the cross stand for?
Think about Latin crosses that you own, including wall crosses, jewelry, paintings, and even decorations. Do any have particular sentimental attachment?
Reflect back on I Corinthians. Why do you think the Latin Cross has become such a prolific and significant image.
Similar to the Celtic Cross, the Latin Cross has become almost commonplace. Because of that familiarity, the Latin Cross can appear to be unremarkable to many people. This provides an opportunity to juxtapose the revolutionary power we find in I Corinthians 1 with an image that has become all too familiar. It could also be interesting, if done cautiously, to contrast the Latin Cross with the Tau Cross, helping people to rethink what has become familiar about the crucifixion.
One obvious option is to use this symbol along with Holy Week. It could also be interesting to use the Latin Cross at any point during "ordinary time," highlighting what has become an "ordinary" image to discuss the presence of God even during normal days.