Hanging Cross in Mainz — some thoughts

What is a hanging cross? Most may find a silly question here. I checked hanging cross in the Google images, and find an interesting hanging cross over the altar, which is the image below.

Source : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cross_hanging_over_the_High_Altar_in_Sint-Andriesabdij,_Zevenkerken.jpg

I happened to visit the Cathedral of Mainz in Germany. I found two interesting depictions in the church. The first one was the statue of risen Christ, about which I am not going to write here. The second one is the huge hanging cross (image below), which is just above the altar (where the Holy Eucharist is celebrated). In my memories, I have never seen such a huge cross hanging (by the help of cords/strings from the ceiling of the church). In most of the churches, we find huge crosses attached to the walls or to the ground. I couldn’t find the theological interpretation of hanging cross. My friend told me that there are similar hanging crosses, atleast in a few churches in Germany. Two thoughts went through my head…

  • When the Eucharist is celebrated, most of the churches have a small cross on the altar. But this hanging cross on the top of the eucharist table is an apt symbolic depiction of what is happening in the Eucharistic table. It is the best reminder for all celebrating the Eucharist.
  • Probably an unconventional interpretation can be…. When the eucharist is celebrated with the priests and faithful Christians, hanging cross stands as a reminder to them that failing to live out the eucharist can be a way for each of them to take the role of Jewish leaders (of Jesus’ time) who handed Jesus for the crucifixion.
Cathedral @ Mainz (Photo by a friend)



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arun simon

arun simon

A Jesuit with all the crazyness… Loves Jesus…Loves church, but loves to challenge too… Loves post modern philosophy & Gilles Deleuze.. Loves deep conversations…