Turf Celtic Cross
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The Celtic Cross, like the Shamrock and Harp, is symbolic of Ireland and its Celtic heritage. Though used by early Christian monks (600 A.D.) to mark the limits of an ecclesiastical enclosure, around 800 A.D. its primary use was a visual one in the propagation of Christianity. It was in the period 800 A.D. that the Celtic Cross with a circle surrounding the vertical and horizontal bars was popularised. The now familiar ring added to the simple Latin Cross and interlacings similar to those in the Book of Kells, Durrow and other such manuscripts of the period began to appear on the Crosses as also episodes recorded in the Gospels resulting with the Celtic Cross sometimes being referred to as a Scripture Cross. This Celtic Cross handworked in turf though in miniature form, is typical of the Celtic Crosses carved by those early Christian monks. Panel Explanation The front of the cross in panel 1 shows the arrest of Christ in Gethsemane with panel 2 showing soldiers guarding the tomb of Christ. The Crucifixion forms the central ornamentation above which are the tools of the Crucifixion and to the left is a lash depicting the scourging at the pillar, and to the right is a rooster which bears reference to the warning by our Lord to St. Peter that he would deny him before the cock crows three times. The back of your Celtic Cross has as the main insert the risen Christ with the Dove, with worshipping figures on either side. Panel No. 1 (beneath the risen Christ figure) portrays the parable of the shepherd and his flock. Panel No. 2 portrays the private confession. Due in particular to the Anglo Saxon invasion of Britain (circa 800) communications between Rome and Ireland were interrupted for a period of approximately one hundred years, during which the Church in Ireland developed a pronounced Celtic character with difference to Rome being in practice rather than in principle. One difference being of private confession rather than the public confession was retained and is today the universal practice. The third or bottom panel signifies the joining of hands, the unity of Christianity in early Celtic times and is now becoming more significant in these modern days. The panels to the right of the cross portrays the might of the Roman Empire at the time of the Crucifixion in the form of a guard with a sword and shield crossed. The panels to the left of the cross portrays the parable of Adam and Eve with the serpent descending from the tree Approx. 5 inches tall. Click the image for a larger view.