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Free Bible Study on the Calvary Cross:

With its emphasis on the three virtues, the Calvary Cross is easily connected to Bible study.


Read I Corinthians 13, famously known as the love chapter.  You may make mention of the fact that this passage is frequently read at weddings.


Love is sometimes understood to be the lowest step, the biggest step on which everything rests.  Does this fit with your understanding of that passage?  Would you place the virtues on the steps in reverse order?  Would you reorder the steps completely?


Preaching with the Christian Symbol of the Calvary Cross:


The Calvary Cross could be a great symbol for any sermon on I Corinthians 13, or on John 3 or 13.  Pair any of those passages with a Psalm like Psalm 25 which speaks about God's steadfast love, and you can highlight the love of God as the model on which our love is built.  

Using the imagery of the widest step, the one on which everything else rests, you can highlight the crucial importance of either love as the "greatest" virtue, or the commandment given in John 13.


When would the Calvary Cross fit in the liturgical calendar?

Using John 13 could provide a unique approach to Maundy Thursday, and the use of a cross makes this a very appropriate symbol for that part of lent.  If this cross stands on your table or altar, it would also be a great image to use any time you celebrate the Eucharist.

Christian Symbol: 

Calvary Cross

What does this Christian symbol mean?


The Calvary Cross is a Latin cross on three steps. The three steps are understood to symbolize the three cardinal virtues of Faith, Hope and Love (sometimes called charity). 


Some have gone so far as to connect each virtue with a specific step, typically identifying faith as the top, and love as the bottom step.


Where can I find this Christian Symbol?


Many free-standing Latin Crosses are actually Calvary Crosses because the three steps provide a built in stand. This makes it popular as a three dimensional sculpture, or for use on the table or altar (depending on your denomination). 

In my experience, these crosses are fairly common.  If there are free-standing crosses in your worship space, look at them closely to see if they are actually Calvary Crosses - but keep in mind, a true Calvary Cross has exactly three steps.