The Russian Cross
Also known as the Orthodox Cross, the Russian Cross is commonly found in the Eastern Orthodox churches in Russia. In the larger Orthodox families, including the Greek Orthodox Church as well as in much of Eastern Europe the footrest is horizontal; not slanting downward. The top crossbeam symbolizes the sign affixed by Pilate which read “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” (John 19:19)
It is a cross, not a crucifix because there is not image of the body of Christ. Nevertheless it is a reminder of the contrast of both the death of Jesus and the kingship of Jesus.
“Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not from this world.’” (John 18:36)
Today Lord we work, live and play within the principalities of this world where greed, violence, and pride abide. Give to us, we prayer, the gifts to live in this world, but not of it, that Your Kingdom may soon abide on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.