Glory Cross

Glory – yet another word that has crept into everyday use and in doing so, lost some of its glory

Glory Cross

also known as the Rayed Cross

Glory Cross
Glory Cross

Glory Cross
Musketeer Cross

The Glory Cross is a cross adorned with some sort of shining light, with or without rays emanating from that light. (Such a Rayed Cross is known in heraldry as Rayonny, Rayonnée or Rayonnante.) The cross can be any form but is usually a simple Latin Cross so that the light remains the centre of focus.

The sunburst can be seen in front of, or behind, the cross. The lower example on the left was an emblem used by French Musketeers

Another example of a cross with rays is the St. John's Cross. The ends of the four arms of this cross have pointed corners, given eight points in total. Eight is the number associated with Baptism and the points on this cross also appear as light rays.

St. Viator Church Cross
St. Viator's church

Glory cross in the logos of:
EECMY logo
Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus

ECCTP logo
Evangelical Christian Church in Tanah Papua
(Click any image to enlarge)

The photo on the right shows the cross atop St. Viator's church, opened in 1995 in Las Vegas, USA. It is a St. John's Cross with a concave square in the centre, which adds four more 'points' to the existing eight. The total number of points correspond to the twelve Apostles of Jesus, branching out in all directions to spread the Gospel.

(A pragmatic reason for including the square may be to give the structure strength against the strong winds blowing in from the desert. You'll also notice the cross is not a solid, putting less strain on the roof. There is additional meaning to such a voided cross.)

A shining Glory Cross helps Christians to contemplate the glory and true meaning of the Cross; the powerful love shown by Christ's Crucifixion, and like the sparkles of the Jewelled Cross, the light reminds us of his Resurrection. Torches are emblems of enlightenment, truth, and divine wisdom.

Cynics might say the Glory Cross is evidence that Christians are really sun worshippers or fire worshippers; an idea discussed on the Sun Cross page. We also debunk that idea on our page: Glory Be.

In another context, this form is known as the Nativity Cross. Other crosses with flames include Flaming Cross, Sun Cross, Rising Sun Cross and the Star Cross.

(See also Old Glory and Glory.)


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