On the Crosses in Parishes, Cathedrals, Rosaries, and any other place that there is a Catholic image of a Cross, you will find Jesus on the cross. But this is not true for Eastern Orthodox or Protestant groups. Why is this?

Related: Why the difference in depiction of the cross between Catholics and Protestants?


3 Answers 3


A Lutheran pastor explained the difference to me. He said Lutherans display the cross without the body as a reminder of the resurrected Christ. Catholics display the cross with the body as a reminder of the Christ crucified.

  • ...although as another answer noted, some protestants, including Lutherans, do use crucifixes. My church's processional cross has a removable corpus, and the cross above the altar has an ascending Christ.
    – Matthew
    Commented Dec 14, 2021 at 15:18
  • @Matthew No single representation is a complete depiction of Christ. The empty cross does serve as a reminder of the Resurrection; the cross with the body is a reminder of the Crucifixion. Both are equally important. I suppose the merit of Catholic form is the emphasis it gives to the cost of salvation. Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 15:36

Catholics portray Jesus on the Cross [...] this is not true for Eastern Orthodox or Protestant groups.

Eastern Orthodox and traditional Protestant icons of the crucifixion do exist; as do traditional Protestant crucifixes. Since Eastern Orthodox art does not include tridimensional statues, Eastern Orthodox crucifixes (containing a tridimensional statue of the crucifies Christ) do not exist; but Eastern Orthodox crosses with a flat or plane or bass-relief depiction of Jesus do.

  • This doesn’t answer my question. I don’t care who does it, I want to know WHY They do it.
    – Luke Hill
    Commented Dec 11, 2021 at 1:53
  • @LukeHill You said this is not true for Eastern Orthodox or Protestant groups, which is a wrong claim. This answer explains it.
    – arrowd
    Commented Dec 11, 2021 at 8:19
  • @LukeHill: Technically, it answers part of your question, as it currently stands. It's not entirely clear how down-voting partial answers is going to encourage people's willingness to address your questions in the future. I'd suggest deleting the post's second sentence, which seems false or misleading.
    – user46876
    Commented Dec 11, 2021 at 12:23
  • @lucian just remembered that I put that in! I was speaking in general terms, but that’s on me.
    – Luke Hill
    Commented Dec 11, 2021 at 16:29

But we preach Christ crucified (1 Corinthians 1:23)

We do it to remember and honour the sacrifice Jesus made for us. We also meditate on His wounds the pain and suffering He went through out of His love for us.

"The purpose of the crucifix has always been to display the immense love Christ has for all humanity and to remind us of the hope of the Resurrection won by that victory of Jesus’ Passion." https://aleteia.org/2019/03/22/why-do-catholics-use-crucifixes-that-show-jesus-on-the-cross/

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