What is this....Crucifix?

It’s a large one one in Catholic Church, just to be clear. I can’t find anything like it, and wondered if anyone here knew.


It’s just a representation of God as the Alpha and the Omega holding a cross or crucifix - your photo is blurry on my device so I can’t see if there’s a corpus on the cross.

Revelation 1:8 : “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “the one who is and who was and who is to come, the almighty.”


You asking about the whole figure… or only the Cross that the figure holds?

Because Crucifix is the cross with Image of Christ’s on it, from Latin cruci fixus ‘fixed to a cross’.
So if you’re talking about the whole image — it’s not crucifix. This is crucifix:

If you’re asking about only the Cross that the figure holds, I believe it’s the shadow of the horizontal beam of the Cross if the figure is mounted on the wall, something like here:

No matter what you ask, it’s just as @Tis_Bearself said, a picture that shows Our Lord, The Beginning and the Ending, alpha Α and omega Ω letters indicate this. It might be also image of an angel or a saint testifying the glory of Christ (since the figure is very blurred and we can’t say who is this for sure).

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Thanks, and apologies…I should have said I’m in the process of becoming Catholic, so please pardon my lack of knowledge…here’s a clearer image:

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It’s a scepter / stick. The royal staff is one of the symbols of the king’s power and authority, Jesus is the king.

No worries, anyway through my extraordinaire searching skills :smile: I’ve found it:

It’s definitely Christ, just from the fornt angle the figure looks quite strange. From another perspective, you can already see that it is the face of Jesus. Case closed!

PS The church is Holy Rood Catholic Church, Oxford



It looks like he is floating while seated. Not my choice for something on the altar, but someone liked it.


My Latin is poor. What is the meaning of the words along the front of the altar, please?

Something alongs the lines of “He who died reigns.” Referring to the reign of Jesus Christ. Someone else can give exact wording. :slight_smile:


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It’s from the Victimae paschali laudes, it’s a Latin sequence prescribed for the Catholic Mass, assigned on the Sunday of the Resurrection, permitted during the Easter Octave.

Mors et vita duello
conflixere mirando:
dux vitae mortuus,
regnat vivus.

Death and life have contended
In that combat stupendous:
The Prince of Life, who died,
reigns immortal.

PS https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victimae_paschali_laudes
Google is your friend :wink:


2020-10-23 13.58.51 en.wiktionary.org 9d09499257c8

Dux in this place rather is used as a noun, which means prince or leader :
“Prince of Life”, “Master of Life” or even “Lord of Life”


Thank you Erundil.

Thanks…so it’s not a crucifix: what is it actually called? I find it rather beautiful. I’ve been watching the streaming services and find them very helpful. I love the Divine Office, and there aren’t many who do that. My main one is the Dominican Sisters of St Joseph.

Thanks all, for the help.

I have never seen anything like that in the place of the traditional crucifix.

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It literally means “The dead leader of life reigns, alive”.

It’s from an old Easter Mass sequence called Victimae Paschali Laudes. Sometimes they translate it as Prince of Life or King of Life as said above. Edited as I see Erundil already posted link.

As for what the decoration over the altar is called, it’s simply a decoration. Many sanctuaries have some sort of a figure of Christ on the back wall behind the altar. Sometimes painted on the wall, sometimes a sculpture as shown. My home parish has a big painted risen Jesus there. The most unusual one I ever saw (unfortunately I have forgotten the name and exact location of the church, it was in US in the MD/ VA area I think) had the bricks of that wall protruding to make a Christ figure.

Traditionally the figure is Jesus on the crucifix, but it could also be a risen Jesus or, as here, what appears to be Christ the King.

I note that the altar has a small crucifix sitting on it which satisfies the requirement that a crucifix be present for Mass.

This is commonly known as Christ Pantocrator, from panto- (Greek, all) and -crator (Greek, ruler). Christ is often pictured seated, because He sits on a royal throne, and he is holding a book, and often a globe or cross or scepter, a symbol of authority.

The original canonical image is much-imitated:

One eye looks dramatically different than the other – why? Because of his two natures: human and divine. His right hand is raised in a blessing mudra.

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