I have a question regarding the the Russian Orthodox Cross. Can you tell me the symbolism of the cross and how it originated? I’ve heard various interpretations, but I believe them to have been more supposition rather than fact.
Concerning the Orthodox Cross:
The top bar signifies the sign that was placed above Christ’s head, reading, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” In Orthodox iconography the phrase “King of Glory” is often written on this bar instead.
The center bar is that upon which Christ’s arms were stretched and nailed.
The bottom bar signifies the footrest which supported His body.
While there are a variety of pious understandings as to the slanted position of this bar—even though in earlier Byzantine iconography the bar was generally depicted as being horizontal rather than slanted—these are of somewhat later origin.