Posted on in Saints Are Us by The Rev. David Marshall
Our Communion Rail kneeling cushions were made by the members of St. Dunstan’s. The one above is the TAU CROSS stitched by Elsie Ruthford.
The pre-Christian cross is a strong link between the Jewish and Christian traditions. It is sometimes called the Old Testament Cross. The name is taken from the Greek letter “Tau.” The Tau is believed to be the sign that was painted on doorposts the night of Passover. Moses is said to have lifted up the serpent in the desert on the Tau. This is the cross that was used for the two criminals who were crucified with Jesus. It was worn by St. Anthony of Egypt and his followers because the Scriptures say the elect will wear the sign of the Father, and the Tau is said by some to be that sign. The ancient Egyptians used that Tau as the symbol of life. The same symbol served to convey the idea of secret wisdom to other ancient people as diverse as the Phoenicians and the Aztecs.
Insofar as the early Christians pictured the cross of the crucifixion, they thought in terms of the Tau Cross. This was historically accurate, but Christ himself was not portrayed on the cross until a later date in the earliest crucifixion in an illuminated manuscript from the Syriac Raubbula Gospel of 586 c.e.
Remember, carry in you the Risen Christ so that others may see Him through you.
See next week.
bro. John, O.C.P.