Is there a difference between a cross and a crucifix?

Yes.  A cross is simply the “t-shaped” instrument that was used for crucifixion which now, bears more of a symbol of triumph for Christians.  A crucifix however, is any image of that same cross with Jesus’ body (known as the corpus) depicted on it.

Catholics are free to wear either and to have either on display in their churches although most Catholic Churches would choose to have a crucifix on display while many Protestant churches opt for the cross.  In other cultures the image depicted on the crucifix may also be more vivid depicting a suffering Jesus more dramatically as well.

Mike Hayes

Mike Hayes

Mike co-founded BustedHalo.com in 2001. Currently, Mike is the director of campus ministry at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. A frequent speaker on ministering to young adults, Mike is the author of "Googling God: The Religious Landscape of People in Their 20s and 30s" and "Loving Work: A Spiritual Guide to Finding the Work We Love and Bringing Love to the Work We Do."