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A crucifix is a cross with a representation of Jesus' body, or corpus. It is a symbol of primarily used in the Roman Catholic Church, certain Lutheran churches, Orthodox churches, and the Anglican church. It emphasizes Christ's sacrifice — his death by crucifixion.


The standard, four-pointed Latin crucifix consists of an upright stand and a crosspiece to which the sufferer's arms were nailed.

The Eastern Orthodox crucifix includes two additional crossbars: the shorter nameplate, to which INRI was affixed; and the shorter stipes, to which the feet were nailed, which is angled upward toward penitent thief (to the viewer's left) and downward toward impenitent thief (to the viewer's right). It is thus eight-pointed. The body (corpus) of Christ on Eastern Orthodox crucifixes tend to be two-dimensional icons that show Jesus as already dead, as opposed to the depictions of the still-suffering Jesus that can be found in some other Churches.

Among Protestant denominations, some prefer to depict the cross without the body in order to emphasize the resurrection or because the image of Christ's death is too intense while others claim that including the corpus is idolatry. Some Protestants assert that portraying the body of Jesus on the cross is to profess that Jesus is not yet risen, though this is of course not what the various churches which use the symbol teach.



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