DimensionsWork : 16 1/4 x 13 x 1 1/2 in. (41.28 x 33.02 x 3.81 cm)
Credit LineGift of Neal and Elizabeth Sobania
LabelAs they do in other Christian denominations, crosses play an important role in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, symbolizing not only the suffering of Christ but also his triumph over death and the hope he offers us for salvation. Processional crosses are mounted on long shafts and are used in religious ceremonies both inside and outside of churches. Their bold forms and shiny surfaces are designed to attract the eyes of worshippers. The visual impact of the crosses is further enhanced by adorning them with brightly colored scarves that are said to symbolize the burial wrappings left behind by Christ after his resurrection. Processional crosses are often commissioned by patrons who donate them to churches in gratitude for blessings received or sins absolved.