The Cross is held dearly to those of the Christian faith. In fact it has a sacred and has deep meaning for all Christians. The Cross implies redemption of our sins, because Jesus Christ was nailed to death on a cross for the sins of mankind. The Cross was not so common in the first three centuries. It became very prominent among Christians during the end of 3rd century.
We can find crosses in different shapes, sizes and styles. It is often seen on the top churches and used as jewelry. It is a prominent feature in cemeteries of Christians where you can find it often either carved upon gravestones or scriptures. It is widely believed that crosses were in existence even before the times of Christ. It was used in sacred acts of the churches.
The grave of kings, heroes and bishops were differentiated from others by using a cross on them. In the middle ages, crosses were mostly set up in the market places. In those days the churches and the cathedrals were built on the shape of a Latin Cross. In ceremonies of the church, the clergy and the followers trace the cross with their fingers. Crosses are also used for processions. There are different types of crosses for different sects of Christians.
The Latin Cross is the type of cross on which Christ died. The characteristics of this cross are that it has an upright long pole and a crosspiece fastened near to its top. The cross used by Saint George or the Greek cross has four arms which measure in same length. This cross is mostly used with the cross of Saint Andrew which is a part of the British Union Jack. In this flag, the cross of Saint Andrew depicts Scotland and the cross of Saint George stands for England.
The characteristic of a Maltese cross is that there are eight sharp points and it was the emblem of the knights in the middle ages. The earlier references to a cross can be found from 6th century. The Cross with the dying image of Jesus Christ is called a Crucifix. The Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross and this was why Christians regard cross with such importance.
In early times Catholics prayed with their arms extended which was a sign of the death of Christ on a Cross. This tradition can be traced back to the third century and is in existence even now. Most of us cannot travel to the Holy Land. A unique gift that a person visiting the Holy Land can bring back is a cross made out of olive wood. The crosses are mostly hand made from olive wood, harvested from tress which are thousands of years old and found only in the area of Bethlehem. The gifts made out of this olive wood are considered Holy by Christians and there is much demand for it.