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The Great Irish Crosses
Meaning And Mystery
by Oliver Crilly
The Great Irish Crosses is a fascinating introduction to the meaning and mystery of the great crosses of Ireland.
Oliver Crilly, Parish Priest of Greenlough in Co. Derry, takes the reader on a journey to explore the Scripture Crosses of the seventh to tenth centuries and those of the twelfth, followed by a look at St Brigid's Cross and the later Penal crosses.
Crilly persuasively demonstrates how the earlier stone crosses were carved with crucifixions based on the narrative in St John's Gospel and other biblical scenes, whilst those of the twelfth century show a quite different and simpler ecclesiastical form.
St Brigid's crosses, woven from straw, are made on the eve of St Brigid's feast (1st February) and often blessed at the Mass of the Feast. Penal Crosses, carved from wood, date from the 18th century.
This is a book about the crosses and the pioneering study of them written in a very accessible form and well illustrated. Having read the book and been totally fascinated, I shall be off to see them for myself!
Reviewer: Graham Wise (07/10/14)