The Byzantine Forum
Newest Members
Sergiusz, zeroneet, Atomic Parakeet 1, Anna777, HeraclitusTheObscu
5,830 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
2 members (Adamcsc, akemner), 62 guests, and 19 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Latest Photos
Holy Saturday from Kirkland Lake
Holy Saturday from Kirkland Lake
by Veronica.H, April 24
Byzantine Catholic Outreach of Iowa
Exterior of Holy Angels Byzantine Catholic Parish
Church of St Cyril of Turau & All Patron Saints of Belarus
Byzantine Nebraska
Byzantine Nebraska
by orthodoxsinner2, December 11
Forum Statistics
Forums26
Topics35,141
Posts414,752
Members5,830
Most Online3,380
Dec 29th, 2019
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 2 of 2 1 2
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,466
Likes: 3
G
Member
Offline
Member
G
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,466
Likes: 3
Originally Posted by sotnyk
As a side note...does anyone know what will be placed on top of the UGCC Cathedral in Kyiv when its completed?

The crosses have been in place for quite some time and none of them have the third bar in the pictures I have seen.

Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,760
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,760
Originally Posted by nicholas
Originally Posted by Fr. Jon
Originally Posted by nicholas
The three bar parallel cross is a masonic symbol, used by free masons for a few centuries. That is probably the way it has come into use in the Greek Catholic Church.

The Masons are NOT the origins of the 3rd parallel bar.

Father, bless.

I am glad to know that. But can you say where they took the symbol from? The freemasons have been using the symbol for several hundred years. The Greek Catholics have been using the symbol for less than 50 years.

Nick

Sts Peter & Paul Church, Punxsutawney PA is about 107 years old and has the parallel bars, so the "50 year" theory is wrong!
From the wooden church link that was posted take a look at the cross http://www.drevenechramy.sk/en/drev...e/mikulasova-bardejovske-kupele/?gallery and these churches date back to the 18-19th century.

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,373
U
Member
Offline
Member
U
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,373
Supposedly, sometime after the Union of Uzhorod, the Hungarian Roman Catholic Church as well as the Hapsburg monarchy, wanted to deferentiate those "Uniate" Greek Catholic churches from their Orthodox brethren of Austro-Hungary. So the non-slated foot rest bar is not slanted in order to signify that particular church is "Uniate"

U-C

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,466
Likes: 3
G
Member
Offline
Member
G
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,466
Likes: 3
In the Q&A section of the OCA website, a question [oca.org] was asked about the three bar cross. A reference is made to parallel and diagonal crosses (which I have put in boldface).
Quote
QUESTION:

Could you explain the symbolism of the [shape of] the Orthodox Cross?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ANSWER:

The significance of the three-bar cross is a simple one. The short bar on the top represents the sign that was placed on the cross which read, "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" (in Latin the initials are "INRI"). The middle bar -- the longest -- is the bar upon which Our Lord's arms were stretched and nailed. The bottom bar is the footrest which supported Our Lord's body.

While many people popularly refer to this cross as a "Russian" cross, it actually predates the Christianization of Russia in 988 AD, although generally, in earlier depictions of the Crucifixion, the bottom bar is horizontal rather than angled. Very early depictions of the crucifixion, even those originating in Egypt, generally portray the triple bar cross. In certain parts of Central and Eastern Europe, the triple bar cross with a slanted footrest indicates that a given church is an Orthodox one, while a triple bar cross with a horizontal footrest indicates that a given church is a Byzantine Rite, or Greek Catholic, one.
Various reasons have been given for slanting the bottom bar. There is one tradition which states that, at the moment of His death, Our Lord's foot slipped and the footrest tilted. A highly symbolic interpretation states that the slanted bar refers to the thief crucified on Our Lord's right side -- the "Wise Thief" who repented -- who went to heaven and to the unrepentant thief crucified on Christ's left side who did not. Another explanation is that the slant is an attempt to depict that the footrest slanted downward, toward the viewer, albeit in a two, rather than three, dimensional form.



Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 979
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 979
Dear grego catolico:
With all due respect the statement: "While many people popularly refer to this cross as a "Russian" cross, it actually predates the Christianization of Russia in 988 AD......." is not quite correct.
There was no Russia in 988 - the area was known as
Kievan Rus. Kiev of ancient times is today the age-old capital city of Ukraine [aka Kyiv].



Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 61
S
sotnyk Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
S
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 61
So why are both the UGCC & UOC-KP using the three bar parallel cross as of late? Obviously, the KP is not a "Uniate" church.

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,466
Likes: 3
G
Member
Offline
Member
G
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,466
Likes: 3
Originally Posted by Pavloosh
Dear grego catolico:
With all due respect the statement: "While many people popularly refer to this cross as a "Russian" cross, it actually predates the Christianization of Russia in 988 AD......." is not quite correct.
There was no Russia in 988 - the area was known as
Kievan Rus. Kiev of ancient times is today the age-old capital city of Ukraine [aka Kyiv].

Hello Pavloosh,

Oh, I agree with you. There was no Russia in 988.
I was simply posting what a priest from the OCA had to say about the three bar cross. I don't necessarily agree with all he had to say in his answer.

God bless.

Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,231
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 1,231
Holy Trinity in New Britain, CT has horizontal 3 bar crosses on 3 of the 4 domes. The main and largest dome has a latin cross. The current building was built in 1927/28 by Fr. Ivan Romhza. Interestingly enough, the first church building, finished in 1909 and destroyed by fire in 1910, had slanted 3 bar crosses on the domes. Different priests had different ideas.

Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 61
S
sotnyk Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
S
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 61
I googled the issue came across this article. Some interesting empirical data if its true...

Forms of the Cross [members.optushome.com.au]

THE FORMS OF UKRAINIAN CROSSES
Back To The Main Page

The holy cross for Christians is the sign of Christ's love and sacrifice, the symbol of our redemption and salvation. The Sixth Ecumenical Council (692) in Canon 73 decreed that the holy cross be venerated, but said nothing about its form or shape. Since earliest times there was not everywhere one form of the cross. The Western Church had its own form of the cross, and the Eastern Church its own form. What is the form of the Ukrainian cross?

1. The Forms of Crosses in Rus-Ukraine
a) According to the documents of the period of the princes

When our ancestors accepted the Christian faith from Byzantium, they adopted at the same time the Byzantine cross. The usual form of the Greek cross is four-cornered. This was the form of the cross used in the period of the princes. Metropolitan Macanus in his History of the Russian Church said, "('Equal-to-the-Apostles') Volodymyr brought from Kherson holy crosses and icons, which he afterwards placed in the Tithe Church, in Kyiv. But of those and other crosses that were used at that time in our churches, not one was preserved. And the cross that was discovered amid the ruins of the Tithe Church could have come from later times. One thing, however, is certain; the cross used at that time was the four-cornered cross." (Ill. I) Macanus's History of the Russian Church informs us about the kinds of crosses used in the period of the princes.
St. Volodymyr the Great is depicted on his coins with a crown mounted by a four-cornered cross. He holds the same type of cross in his right hand. On a sarcophagus discovered amid the ruins of the Tithe Church, where St. Volodymyr and and his wife Anna were buried, we find depicted eight four-cornered crosses.
Similarly, the sarcophagus of Prince Jaroslav the Wise was decorated with four-cornered crosses. A mosaic in the cathedral of St. Sophia in Kyiv, depicts the Last Supper with a four-cornered cross in the middle of the table. On the frescoes and mosaics of the same church the Blessed Virgin Mary and the martrys are portrayed holding in their hands crosses that are for the most part four-cornered; some of the saints are depicted holdng in their hands also five-, six- and eight-cornered crosses. (111.2,3)
In the illustrations of the Collection of Sviatoslav of the year 1037, four-cornered crosses are held in the hands of the saints. In the eleventh century Collection of St. Gregory the Theologian there is a drawing of a six-pointed cross at the end of the last sermon. We may conclude that besides the Greek form of the cross, other forms of crosses gradually developed in Rus-Ukraine.

b) Forms of crosses used on the churches in Ukraine

What kind of cross is mainly found on the churches in Ukraine? As to the form or shape of the Ukrainian cross used on the churches in Ukraine, the well-known scholar of Ukrainian antiquities, Professor Vadym Scherbakivsky, informs us that "The ancient Ukrainian Kyivan State accepted the form of the Greek cross, which was automatically adopted by the Church of Muscovy. . .The form of the cross was not discussed during Nikon's liturgical reform; thus, it remains unclear when the official form of the Muscovite cross was approved, i.e., the eight-cornered cross with the slanted bottom bar representing the footrest for Christ's feet (111.6).. .What then, was the shape of our Ukrainian cross? The crosses in the Kyivan churches provide us with a clear answer to this question. The crosses on the churches in Kyiv and on the churches throughout Ukraine did not have a bottom horizontal slanted bar; the bottom bar was horizontally straight. Sometimes the crosses did not have the bottom bar at all. However, besides the Greek form of the cross the Ukrainian Church had its own form of the cross which was already known in the fifteenth century." Professor Scherbakivsky mentions the icon of St. Parasceve in the Kyivan museum. In the icon, St. Parascevia holds in her hand a five-cornered cross, which has no bottom horizontal bar, but has a top horizontal bar for the tablet with the inscription surmounting the cross (III. 2). In an icon in the church, built by Hetman Danylo in the village of Sorochyntsi, in the province of Myrhorod, St. Julianna holds a similar cross in her hand.
Professor Scherbakivsky further commented, "We have depicted in the Ukrainian Orthodox icons of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries also the seven-cornered crosses, one of which Christ holds in his hand (III. 4) .. .We also find the same seven-cornered cross in our sculpture. Such crosses were carved especially by the Hutzul sculptors and were used as altar-crosses. . In any event, not one Greek cross had anything in common with the Muscovite form of the cross. I at one time visited more than three hundred churches in Ukraine and not once have I seen in any of the churches a Muscovite cross on the altar. . . Nowhere have I seen the Muscovite cross with the slanted horizontal bottom bar on the churches in Kyiv nor on the village churches throughout Ukraine." (The Ukrainian Newsletter, No. 2, 1963)
Gregory Lohvyn in his book In Ukraine (1968) also furnishes us with similar testimony. regarding our crosses. The book contains numerous illustrations of the old churches in Eastern and Western Ukraine, and all except three churches, do not have the Muscovite triple bar cross with the slanted transverse bar at the bottom. Ukrainian churches are known for the fact that below the cross there is normally a crescent, the symbol of victory of Christianity over Islam.
The normal Ukrainian cross, then, is the four-cornered cross; though there are also Ukrainian five-, six-, seven-, and eight-cornered crosses, all with the bottom bar horizontally straight, and not slanted. The three-bar cross with the bottom horizontal bar slanted is typically and strictly the Muscovite cross.


2. The Forms of Crosses in Muscovy
a) During the time of the Kyivan State

The crosses during the time of the Kyivan State and in present day Muscovy were the same as those which existed in Rus-Ukraine; they were mainly four-, six- and eight-cornered crosses, and not one of them had a slanted bottom bar. Metropolitan Macanus mentions them in his The History of the Russian Church.
On the cover of the Gospel, copied at the beginning of the twelfth century for the Novhorod Prince Mstyslav Volodymyrovych, there was a drawing of a six-cornered cross. The same cover also portrayed Borys and Hlib holding four-cornered crosses in their hands. The stone cross on the grave of Venerable Anthony the Roman (t 1147) in Novhorod is a six-cornered cross. In the cathedral of Polotsk there was preserved a six-cornered cross of Venerable Ephrosyna from the year 1161. On this same cross were two small crosses: one a four-cornered cross in the middle of the top transverse bar and the other a six-cornered cross in the middle of the bottom transverse bar. In Boholiubov, near the church of the Patronage of our Blessed Lady, there stands a four-cornered cross of white stone; it supposedly dates back to the times of Andrew Boholiubskiy (d. 1175).
In the cathedral of St. Sophia, in Novhorod, is found a six-cornered altar-cross which was donated by archbishop Anthony (t 1229). In the monastery of Khutyn there was preserved a bronze eight-cornered cross of Venerable Barlaam of Khutyn (+ 1193). In the imperial public library there exists the Book of the Apostle from the thirteenth century. On its second page there is a church depicted with five domes, each surmounted by four-cornered crosses.

b) In later times

Prior to the One Hundred Chapters Synod which was held in Moscow in 1551, crosses of all shapes were used in the Muscovite churches without exception, such as the four-, six-, and eight-cornered crosses. At
that same Synod a discussion arose regarding the form of the cross, because having rebuilt the cathedral of the Assumption in Moscow following the fire of 1547, Ivan the Terrible surmounted it with an eight-cornered cross. It was the shape of the hand altar-cross which was used for blessing. The Czar, having in mind his own eight-cornered cross, ordered the Synod to give its decision as to the kinds of crosses that were to be used in the future. The Synod, taking the Czar into consideration, decreed that the old four-cornered crosses were to remain unchanged, but in the future the eight-cornered cross was to be used.
It is difficult to ascertain when the three-bar, i.e., the eight-cornered cross in Muscovy began to appear with the slanted horizontal bottom bar. It is certain that this occurred in recent times.
From what has been said above, we may conclude that the form of the Ukrainian cross could be four-, five-, six-, seven- and eight-cornered, but never with the bottom horizontal bar slanted; this is a characteristic of only the Muscovite cross. Professor Scherbakivsky reminds us: "Let the Kyivan crosses remind us that Ukraine has its own form of the cross developed centuries ago - a fact we should never forget."

Other Forms of Crosses

http://www.classic-crossandcrucifix.com/byzantine_crosses.htm
http://www.seiyaku.com/customs/crosses/eastorth.html
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04517a.htm
http://heralds.westkingdom.org/Templates/Crosses/index.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_cross Forms of the Cross [members.optushome.com.au]

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,466
Likes: 3
G
Member
Offline
Member
G
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,466
Likes: 3
Originally Posted by Michael_Thoma
The Three bar parallel cross has long been in use in the Middle East among Maronites, and among some other non-Byzantine Churches...

The bars of the Maronite cross (also known as the papal cross) are arranged differently with all three horizontal bars on the upper part of the cross.

The shape of the cross bears a resemblance to the general shape of the cedars of Lebanon.
I am guessing this may be the reason why Maronites use this particular form of the cross.


Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 61
S
sotnyk Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
S
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 61
A little different point of view from Dr. Alex Roman, in Canada. I think many of you might know him.
----------------------------------------------------------

Dear Friend,

Very nice to hear from you!

The issue of the three-bar Cross with either the parallel or diagonal foot-rest is an interesting one that actually has a long history in the Ukrainian tradition. It was the Ukrainian Orthodox Professor Vadim Scherbakivsky in his “History of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church” who proposed that the Cross with the parallel foot-rest is the “Ukrainian Cross” while the one with the diagonal foot-rest is the “Muscovite Cross.”

In response, the Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolitan Ilarion Ohienko wrote a book entitled, “The Three-Bar Cross with the Slanted Foot-rest - the National Cross of Ukraine.” Ohienko went to great lengths in the book to not only show how popular the Cross with the diagonal foot-rest was and is in Ukraine, but also that even when church iconographers depicted the parallel foot-rest – they did so by way of mistake e.g. not knowing the theology behind it. Other iconographers depicted the diagonal foot-rest on the wrong side i.e. on our right as we face the Cross rather than on Christ’s right (which would be our left).

Ohienko also presents copies of ancient manuscripts where Crosses of St Andrew are depicted alongside the Cross with the diagonal foot-rest where the latter also symbolizes the Cross of the Apostle of Scythia and of the Kyivan Church. As such, the Cross is a Patriarchal Cross with the Cross of St Andrew at its base to indicate the Apostolic foundation for the Kyivan Church’s claim to patriarchal status.

The diagonal Cross is depicted in this fashion mainly, however, as a result of our liturgy seeing it as a “weigh-scale” where Grace triumphed over sin. In the Troparia of the Lenten service of the Ninth Hour, overt mention is made of this and how the Good Thief, through his confession of faith in Christ and his repentance, was brought up to heaven, while the other thief was brought down. So too we will be on Christ’s Right if we imitate the Good Thief. There is also the tradition in our Church to kiss the Cross on the upward pointing edge of the diagonal foot-rest.

Ohienko also discusses our people’s common understanding of the diagonal foot-rest in these terms: After the Good Thief’s confession of faith and our Lord’s exclamation that “This day you will be with Me in Paradise,” He inclined towards the thief by putting pressure on His left Foot and releasing His right. This brought the foot-rest up into its diagonal position.

The Cross with the diagonal foot-rest was mainly popular in western Ukraine and among Greek Catholics, especially in areas where they experienced religious-cultural repression by their Roman Catholic neighbours. It was a sign of identity among both Ukrainian Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholics (e.g. the Cross on the grave of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest and writer, Fr. Markian Shashkevych). Metropolitan Ilarion Ohienko even shows a copy of a depiction of an Eastern Catholic priest wearing the three bar Cross with the diagonal foot-rest.

It was really only in the twentieth century that the three-bar Cross with the diagonal foot-rest came to be an issue in the Russian-Ukrainian struggle. The Ukrainian Catholic Church accepted Professor Scherbakivsky’s arguments in favour of the parallel foot-rest. However, many priests and laity in the UGCC love and honour the traditional three-bar Cross with the diagonal foot-rest. I would add that if we, Ukrainian Orthodox or Catholics, use the argument that since a certain religious or cultural symbol that was always in use among us should be now rejected on the grounds that the Russians or others have adopted it – then we would have very little left of our heritage indeed! Ohienko calls such an attitude “cultural suicide.” The Ukrainian Cross-Trident is also used by the Russians – and I hope no one suggests that we should divest ourselves of that symbol as a result!

The parallel foot-rest, in fact, has no theological context as deeply rich as the diagonal foot-rest. And if Ukrainian Catholics take seriously their vocation to be true to their Eastern Christian traditions, then we shouldn’t be in the business of recreating such symbols to suit contemporary attitudes and fads.

Please give my best to everyone on the Byzantine Forum!

Alex

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,466
Likes: 3
G
Member
Offline
Member
G
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 1,466
Likes: 3
Alex,

We miss you! As always, you come through for us with your wealth of knowledge and we are enriched by it.

So, if the three bar diagonal cross is proper to Ukrainians and Russians, is it proper to all Slavic peoples (Ruthenians, Byelorusians, Serbs, Bulgarians, etc.), to some of them, or only to Ukrainians and Russians?

Yet, the cover of Byzantine Daily Worship has the three bar diagonal cross even though it's a Melkite publication. It this type of cross then applicable to all Byzantine Catholic/Eastern Orthodox churches?


Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 7,461
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 7,461
Metropolitan Ilarion of blessed memory was not unknown to take liberties with his historical interpretations. I believe the parallel cross to be every bit as ancient as the diagonal. Since his feast day has just passed on the Gregorian Calendar and will soon be here on the Julian, St. Athanasios of Mt. Athos is a case in point. This ancient Serbian icon of St. Athanasois clearly shows a parallel third bar: [Linked Image]

And this Greek icon, a later repainting of an ancient original on Mt. Athos:
[Linked Image]

The late medieval Serbs and Greeks at the time of these icons would have had no dog in the fight with later Greek Catholic/Orthodox polemic. Again this shows that what is sometimes assumed to be a latinized symobl is nothing of the kind, but retaining an older symbol of the Constantinopolitan tradition. Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, who was not adverse at all to the slanted third bar, wanted his pastoral staff to have three parallel as he had researched himself the design of the ancient Kyivan metropolitan's staffs and wanted to reflect that tradition.

Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 61
S
sotnyk Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
S
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 61
Interesting regarding Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky. How do you know he was not adverse to the diagonal cross and what exactly did he find in his research? Is this all written in some sort of biography? Please pardon my ignorance.
(Did Patriarch Josyf Slipyj have similar feelings?)

Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
Likes: 1
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Nov 2001
Posts: 7,309
Likes: 1
I merely want to ask, what the heck does it matter, anyway?

Page 2 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Alice, Father Deacon Ed, theophan 

Link Copied to Clipboard
The Byzantine Forum provides message boards for discussions focusing on Eastern Christianity (though discussions of other topics are welcome). The views expressed herein are those of the participants and may or may not reflect the teachings of the Byzantine Catholic or any other Church. The Byzantine Forum and the www.byzcath.org site exist to help build up the Church but are unofficial, have no connection with any Church entity, and should not be looked to as a source for official information for any Church. All posts become property of byzcath.org. Contents copyright - 1996-2022 (Forum 1998-2022). All rights reserved.
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5