Rowe Cross

c. 2000
Sterling silver

This cross was made for the ordination of my hanai sister, Anne Rowe (now Anderson), as a deacon in the Episcopal Church. We had once talked about the design in passing--sort of making things up on the fly--and she came to me before her ordination and asked if we could make it a reality. It was actually originally supposed to be one of a group, the idea being that we'd make a "class cross" for her and the others being ordained with her--but it eventually just became hers. And then, sadly, she forgot it on the way to the National Cathedral for the ceremony. But at least she had it!

The name inscribed across the horizontal is יהושע, which is the Hebrew for Joshua but was (according to many sources) Jesus' actual Hebrew name. Most of the letters are cut out to show that Jesus' life had left the body on the cross. The letter ש (shin), when pictured alone, represents שדי (Shaddai, the All-Sufficient One), one of the seventy names of God--so the fact that the shin is raised indicates that regardless of Jesus' death, God is still present. The wire wrapped around three of the extremities of the cross represent where Jesus was bound/nailed to the cross. Each extremity has the wire lashed around them 13 times (11 straight lashings and two diagonal) which come to a combined total of 39 lashings, the same as the number of lashes that Pontius Pilate had his centurions give Jesus. The diagonal lashings on each extremity form three letters "X," which calls to mind the Crux Decussata—the "X" shaped cross that is the symbol of St. Andrew, an important saint in the Episcopal Church.

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