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Shrouded Cross

The Shrouded Cross is a cross adorned with the burial shroud draped over the cross, left behind when Christ rose from the dead1



Shrouded Cross

Also known as the Draped Cross, Empty Cross, Risen Cross or Resurrection Cross

Shrouded Cross
Shrouded Cross

In contrast to the crucifix, the Shrouded Cross is also referred to as an Empty or Resurrection Cross to emphasise that whilst Jesus died on the cross, that was not the end. A plain Latin Cross, or any other cross, without an image of Jesus can also be referred to as an Empty Cross even if there is no shroud present.

Sometimes other items are added to the cross, such as nails and/or a suppedaneum. (See also Armaments of Christ Cross.)

Occasionally, this might be referred to as a Deposition Cross, reminding us of the time of Jesus' descent (the 13th Station of the Cross.

Crucifixes tend to be seen more in Catholic and Orthodox churches, and Empty Crosses seen more in Protestant churches. This is not to say that people who favour the crucifix deny that Christ rose from the grave. On the contrary, Christ's resurrection is central to Christian doctrine, whatever the sect. The cross, whether empty or with a corpus, conveys the message of atonement2, propitiation3, and redemption4.

The cross signifies the future hope of believers. After Jesus died on the cross, he was buried in a tomb5 but he did not stay there6. Hundreds of people saw him7 before ascending to heaven8 where he continues to look after us9.

Voided Cross
Voided Cross

The shroud is also symbolised by the altar cloth. This is invariably pure white linen and covers the top of the altar, extending downward on both sides.

The Empty Cross should not be confused with the Voided Cross, which is a name given to the outline of a cross in heraldry.

See also the Robed Cross and Arms of Christ Cross


1: Shroud location: As we all know, Christ rose from a tomb, not from the cross, therefore the cloth shroud would be more accurately depicted inside the tomb. See also Enshrined Cross.
2: Christ's atonement: Rom. 5:8-11
3: Christ's propitiation: Rom. 3:23-26
4: Christ's redemption: Gal. 3:13-14
5: Christ's burial: Luke 23:50-56, John 19:38-42
6: Christ's resurrection: Luke 24:1-7
7: Christ's witnesses: 1 Cor. 15:3-8
8: Christ's ascension: Acts 1:8-11
9: Christ's promise: John 14:1-3