10 January 2017

The Christian symbol Chi Rho - not really P and X



 

The Chi Rho is a very old Christian symbol. It is made up of two Greek letters - the Chi (pronounced ki to rhyme with sky) and the Rho (pronounced row to rhyme with grow).

The Chi is the one that looks like an X. In the Greek alphabet it represents two letters, CH. 

 

  








The Rho is the one that looks like a P. In the Greek alphabet it is R.

Together, the letters represent CHR, the first letters of the word CHRIST.

The Chi Rho is a Christogram - a combination of letters that forms an abbreviation for the name of Jesus Christ.

You will see Christograms in icons and in religious buildings, clothing and furnishings.

The Chi Rho is a common symbol and because it is compact, you will see it on quite small things like a chalice, a lapel pin or a pyx (a small box for communion wafers and a terrific Scrabble word).

Keep an eye out for this symbol next time you are in St Mary Magdalene’s.

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