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Art and Architecture of Religious Jewelry

 
 

Art and Architecture of Religious Jewelry

When St. Constantine officially made the Roman Empire a Christian region, art and architecture were already thriving. There were many popular symbols that were beginning to come out within Christian jewelry and art items. The symbols included the fish, the rosary, and the cross. The cross was meant to be a symbol of God's love for his people as well as a reminder of Christ's suffering. The rosary beads began in the Roman world, but they are now mostly used by Catholics. They are also utilized in the Buddhist and Islamic faiths. The fish symbol began in Greece when Christians used it to identify one another. It was also used as an acronym for the Christian faith, using the Greek word for fish.

Christians especially used symbols throughout history in art, architecture, and even jewelry. In the earliest days, those symbols were used for many different reasons. Sometimes, they were used as secret signs so the faithful would not be found out and persecuted. Later, they were used as ways to teach the Bible stories to those who could not read the words for themselves. They were also used to remind believers that God was present and sovereign over creation. Today, the mostly memorialize God and his various divine activities throughout human history.

Many pieces of religious jewelry are true pieces of art. They can be personalized, much like an original painting. Customized pieces of religious jewelry are just as personal as a persona's faith. People who focus on their personal beliefs may feel strengthened by special items that remind them of that faith. Wearing cross rings, Biblical animal pendants, cross earrings, or other religious jewelry can feel like a piece of art and it can serve as an excellent reminder of one's faith.

 

The Christian Crucifix

The Christian crucifix is one of the most recognizable Christian symbols in the history of the faith. The crucifix is a bit different from a regular cross because it depicts Jesus hanging on the cross. It is distinct from other crosses that have no body on them. This symbols is especially important to the Catholic Church, but it is used in many other denominations as well. The symbol is meant to emphasize Jesus' sacrifice by way of crucifixion. Christians believe that this brought about the overall redemption of humans. Some of the western crucifixes have three-dimensional aspects while the eastern examples are normally more flat. Paintings of Jesus' crucifixion are not considered to be crucifixes. The item must be three-dimensional and items more like a wall hanging, pendant, or necklace. By the late Middle Ages, many large crucifixes hung in the center of the Western churches. Today, they are very rare except in Catholic churches. Many Catholic churches requite there to be a crucifix on the wall above the altar for the celebration of Mass.

The crucifix is a principal symbol for many groups of Christians, and one of the most common forms of the Crucifixion in the arts. It is especially important in the Latin Church, but is also used in Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, as well as in Anglican, Methodist, and Lutheran churches (though less often in other Protestant churches) and it emphasizes Jesus' sacrifice - his death by crucifixion, which Christians believe brought about the redemption of mankind.