St. Michael’s talented organist and choirmaster, David Donaldson, gave an interesting and informative presentation about crosses at XYZ’s February meeting. Jane Cook, our program planner, had noticed that the crosses David wears at the services always seem to be appropriate to the church season, so she figured he must have a good collection of crosses! David explained that he is not a “collector,” but an “accumulator.” He admires and loves crosses and enjoys finding odd ones in strange places.
After a brief history of the use of crosses by Christians, mostly as tomb decorations in the first three centuries of the Common Era, David described the use of crosses as sacred objects which began in the fifth century. It spread from Rome throughout the Roman Empire and has traveled through the rest of the Christian world over the centuries.
David displayed his crosses on a lengthy table in the Parish Hall. He walked down the display (assisted by David Wright who carried the microphone) to explain the organization of the exhibit. The crosses were metal, wood, and pottery; they ranged in size from crosses worn around one’s neck, to processional crosses for church services or reliquary crosses on tombs, to large wall crosses for cathedrals or manor houses. Although most of the crosses are authentic, some are fine reproductions of older crosses. The older ones were decorated with inlaid stones whose color had faded through constant use, but the bright colors and design of the Latin American cross attracted much attention.
To conclude the session, we talked about the large cross in the Parish Hall, built by a member of the congregation many years ago and displayed in various locations in the church over the years. Many members of the audience had brought their own special crosses and we enjoyed hearing the stories associated with each cross.