Types of Cross
There are many types of crosses belonging to a variety of Christian sects, old and new. Each cross represents the culture or the belief-system within which Christianity has blossomed. Below is a selection of crosses which represent the most common types of cross, as well as some esoteric and lesser-known ones.
The Armenian cross incorporates floral elements and has postaments symbolizing the Holy Trinity. This cross design is exclusively used in the stone cross (khachkar) prevalent in Armenian religious statuary and masonry.
There are a large variety of budded crosses. Buds are used to meaningfully embellish the more common types of cross designs, which is why budded crosses come in many forms. The example here is the most common type of budded cross.
The Byzantine cross is most commonly seen in Eastern orthodox churches, though not all such churches use this type of cross. Other types of crosses are sometimes referred to as Byzantine when in reality they simply have Byzantine cultural heritage.
The Celtic cross design emerged from the British Isles, and incorporates the traditional Roman cross that has a halo or ring which crosses all four arms of the cross.
Chi Rho Cross
The Chi Rho is the oldest form of Christian crosses which is created by overlapping the first two letters (XP) of the Greek word Christos.
The Coptic cross (or ankh) is the primary cross design used by the Coptic Church which is the main Christian church of Egypt. In some cases, variants of the Coptic cross incorporates a circle derived from the Egyptian Ankh symbol.
Cross of Lorraine
Otherwise known as the two-barred cross, the Cross of Lorraine is comprised of one vertical and two horizontal bars. The horizontal bars appear in a variety of forms and shapes.
Cross of Salem
Also known as the pontifical (the Pope?s cross), is often carried before the Pope in processions and other events. The Salem Cross is also a prominent icon in Freemasonry.
East Syrian Cross
Alternatively known as the Syriac Orthodox cross, it is the primary symbol of the Syriac Orthodox Church which traces its roots back to the Saints Paul & Peter.
Originally a prehistoric symbol, the Gnostic Cross is comprised of a vertical bar, a horizontal bar, and a circle which sits atop of the horizontal bar crossing the vertical.
Also known as the Saint George's cross, the Greek Cross has two equal-length arms. It is most prominently used as the universal recognized symbol of the Red Cross.
Also named the Crusader's Cross, was originally used as a symbol of the kingdom of Jerusalem. It resembles a Greek with smaller Greek crosses in each of its angles. It is often depicted with crossbars at the end of each primary bar.
The Maltese Cross is the form most closely associated with the Order of Saint John. It is also used by the Order of Malta, the island of Malta, and the Knights Hospitaller.
It is the cross of the Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch. It is a budded cross consisting of one vertical bar crossed by three horizontal bars of varying lengths (each longer than the one above).
The Papal Cross, as the name suggests, serves as the official ecclesiastical heraldic sign of the office of the Pope. It often appears in the coat of arms and statues of popes.
Also known as the archiepiscopal cross (curx gemina), it is a double-barred cross. The shorter top cross-bar represents the plaque affixed to the top of the cross upon which Christ was crucified.
Also known as the Latin cross, the Roman cross is the most familiar form of the Christian cross with a vertical bar, and equally wide, but shorter horizontal bar crossing the top portion of the vertical beam.
The traditional cross form resting atop three horizontal bars forming ?steps?. Also known as the Calvary cross, it originates and is most commonly found in the Brittany cultural region of France.
Tau Rho Cross
Also known as the Monogrammatic Cross, it symbolizes Christ upon the cross. It is shaped like the letter P with a long vertical bar, crossed by a short horizontal bar.