The Cross

Today we celebrate the feast of not a person, but a thing: The Cross.  The Western branch of the Catholic Church, for the greater part of the 1st millenium AD celebrated the feast of The Cross on this date in the Gallican Rite.  The Feast of the Cross, or “Crouchmas” (for “Cross Mass”) celebrated the “Finding of the Holy Cross,” when the cross of Christ was said to have been first rediscovered.

The J2A group is going on pilgrimage this summer (August 5-13) to Wales.  They have commissioned a ceramicist to create a special cross for them that they will wear as a sign that they are on pilgrimage.  It looks like this:IMG_3053

If you count, you’ll see 15 points set within the boundary of the circle and between each of the four arms of the cross.  Each point represents one of the pilgrims.  The shape of the cross is a saltire, the cross of St. Alban.   The color of the medallion is an earthy color, representing the landscape of Wales.  Also, like the landscape, the clay itself is called “earthenware,” and is formed in a primitive shape.  The color of the cross is almost a light sky blue–blue being one of the colors of St. Alban’s, but also the color of both sea and sky.  Finally, you’ll notice that the arms of the cross break the boundary of the circle, extending out into the world.  This is how we hope our faith will be changed on pilgrimage–breaking out from the bounds in which we currently believe, extending us out into the world, past what we currently know and experience in our faith lives.

As we all examine our faith lives, what it is that is holding us back from deepening and extending our faith?  Where are the areas we feel we are penned in, unable to break through?  How can we live our faith more like the arms of the medallions of the J2A pilgrims, extending ourselves, our faith out in to the world around us?

In Christ’s name,



About matthewhanisian

Associate Rector at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C.
This entry was posted in The Rev. Matthew R. Hanisian and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Cross

  1. Penny says:

    How wonderful, literally!

  2. Wow! This is beautiful, meaningful, and fanciful all at the same time. Somehow I count 16 points, but maybe that means that God is alongside as a pilgrim as well?

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