Monday, April 7, 2014

Passion Week

This is known in the liturgical calendar as Passion Week, from the Fifth Sunday of Lent to Palm Sunday. The plot is thickening and in the daily readings of the Mass Jesus makes various references to his impending death.  The focus starts to turn towards the last few days of Jesus, his trial, flogging, carrying the cross on which he is eventually crucified. Various images of the Crucifixion have come down to us throughout the centuries. This is one of the earliest representations of the moment Jesus dies, taken from a sarcophagus in the catacombs of St Domitilla, from the 4th century AD.  It shows 5 panels all related to the last few hours of Jesus with the cross in the middle, showing also the Chi Rho monogram, the first two letters of the name of Christ in Greek, Christos.
Two soldiers are seen watching the cross, while what seem to be like two crows stand on the horizontal bar of the cross. This sarcophagus was used as a grave for some wealthy unknown person, who had enough money to demand this elaborate sculpted masterpiece. Ordinary people were buried in unknown graves, also in catacombs, especially those who were Christian.

No comments:

Post a Comment