How metal crosses are made for graves

Cross 120x60 cm made of Gabbro granite
Before you make a cross for the grave, you need to find out its exact dimensions. You cannot approach this lightly and do it “by eye”. Religious attributes are performed according to strict proportions and dimensions that must not be violated.

It is customary to place a cross on the grave of a believer, which indicates who the person was during his lifetime: a Christian, a Catholic, an Old Believer. Belonging to one or another confession is visible at one glance at the monument, because it has its own religious symbolism.

Materials and execution options for the crucifix

The cross that is installed on the grave can be four-pointed, six-pointed or eight-pointed. Any of these forms is considered correct and accepted by the Orthodox Church.

The eight-pointed one is an ancient version of the crucifix, which was in use even before the division of the church into Catholics and Orthodox. Such a cross does not have one straight crossbar, but two (the upper one is shorter than the lower one) and an oblique crossbar at the bottom. It can be seen in churches, on the domes of cathedrals and on the graves of people who during their lifetime considered themselves true believers, since it was on such a cross that Jesus Christ was crucified. Other names:

  • Russian Orthodox;
  • cross of Saint Lazarus.

Eight-pointed cross
Six-pointed is the most common option. This crucifix does not have a short upper crossbar. Its second name is the Russian cross. There is also an archbishop's or patriarch's cross - here, on the contrary, there is a second straight crossbar, but no oblique one. He is revered by both Orthodox and Catholics, but he is rarely found on graves.

Six-pointed cross

Four-pointed is an ancient form of crucifixion, which also arose before the schism and is common among all Christians today. If the deceased was a believer, but did not identify himself with any denomination, this is the one that will do.

Four-pointed cross

The following materials are used for the funeral cross:

  • metal;
  • tree;
  • granite;
  • marble.

Wooden cross

Such crosses are short-lived and are only suitable as a temporary option. They are installed on fresh burial sites until a replacement is made from a different material. The most durable wood is considered to be oak treated with a protective coating or varnish. It can stand on the grave for 20-25 years. However, it usually lasts a maximum of 6 years.

Cross on a grave made of wood

Metal cross

May be temporary or permanent. According to the manufacturing method - welded (from a profile pipe or plates) and forged. The metal cross on the grave will last a long time and is resistant to weather changes. The most expensive are crosses made of cast iron, the cost reaches tens of thousands of rubles. The master will process and paint the crucifix according to the customer’s wishes.

Metal cross

Granite cross

Durable, withstands heat, cold, moisture, and sudden changes in temperature. A cross made of granite is difficult to damage during transportation, but is easy to process, which allows you to give it any shape or cut out an ornament. Such a crucifix will last for decades without losing its original appearance. It does not need to be painted or cleaned - any dirt can be easily removed from the stone with a damp cloth.

Do not confuse granite, marble and artificial stone, which is made from granite or marble chips. The substitute is much inferior to natural materials in terms of strength and stability.

Granite cross

Marble cross

Marble is one of the most beautiful materials. Works well and is suitable for creating complex compositions. However, in terms of strength it is inferior to granite and even metal crosses standing in the cemetery. The fact is that marble is porous. It absorbs moisture, which leads to the formation of cracks, moss, mold and other contaminants. You can avoid destruction, but you will have to treat the cross with wax or special varnish 1-2 times a year, and order professional cleaning every 4-5 years.

Marble cross

Granite - a combination of aesthetics and durability

Granite is an extremely durable and beautiful rock consisting of several crystals. The combination of minerals makes the structure of the stone grainy and shimmering. The strength of the material determines its age-old purpose - memorial perpetuation. A properly made granite tombstone will last a very long time, since natural stone has important performance properties:

  • natural aesthetics;
  • moisture resistance;
  • stability to temperature changes;
  • Fire safety;
  • anti-vandalism.

Our company also produces products from marble, an attractive rock, but more fragile in practical use.

Granite has a rich range of natural colors, so a granite cross can be ordered in standard light and dark colors, as well as in emerald, crimson, and pearl colors. The texture of the stone can have an impressive gloss, which is achieved by polishing, or a noble matte, obtained by grinding.

Proportions and dimensions of the cross on the grave

Ritual crucifixes are made according to the principle of the golden ratio. This is the ideal relationship between the parts of the whole.

The standard height of the cross is 1.6-1.7 m. It is divided into three and a crossbar is placed under the upper third. To calculate its length, 1/3 of the height is multiplied by 2.

If the symbol is eight-pointed, the upper third is divided by 2 and a second bar is attached in the middle, the length of which is half the upper third of the crucifix. The oblique crossbar is attached at an angle of 45 degrees at the border of the lower third.

As a result, the crucifix looks harmonious, regardless of what material was used. At the same time, its height can be changed, adhering to the same proportions.

Drawing of a classic funerary crucifix

Tombstone crosses are often made according to free parameters, but it is the indicated proportions that are canon.

Is it possible to place a photo on a cross?

Despite the prevalence of such decoration in Russian cemeteries, Orthodox priests tend to rather condemn photographs on graves. It is believed that the cemetery should remain a place where the image of the cross dominates. Visitors should have thoughts about God and prayers, about the miraculous resurrection and life after death. But the photograph will disrupt this mood and evoke memories.

The cemetery is the city of the dead. The bodies of those who have passed on to another life rest here. Visible evidence of this is the tombstone cross, which is erected as a sign of the redemptive victory of our Lord Jesus Christ over death. Just as the Savior of the world was resurrected, accepting death for us on the cross, so all the dead will be resurrected physically. We come to the cemetery so that in this place of peace for the deceased we can more fully and deeply enter into prayerful communication with them and help them. The photograph on the grave interrupts this mood. It encourages not prayer, but recollection.

Hieromonk Job

But there is another opinion. The photo on the cross will allow the visitor to remember the deceased, even if he did not know him. This way, the good memory of a person lasts longer.

It is believed that the tradition of hanging photographs of the deceased on tombstones appeared after the October Revolution. Many priests have a negative attitude towards this revolution in funeral culture.

There is also a superstitious ban on depicting a person on a tombstone. It is believed that in this way the soul seems to be stuck in this world and cannot get into another. As a result, the deceased is doomed to wander the land of the living, being a restless soul.

How to choose a photo of the deceased

If you decide to leave a photograph of the deceased on the cross, then you need to choose it wisely:

  • the person should be clearly visible at least up to the shoulders, nothing should block him in the photo;
  • Choose a photo that reflects the deceased's personality and character well. You should not take a photo where a person is smiling if he was gloomy during his lifetime, and vice versa;
  • Avoid photos with a laughing person - such an image is inappropriate in a cemetery.

It is still recommended to place photos not on the cross itself, but at its foot. Engraving directly on the crosshairs may be considered blasphemy by Orthodox visitors.

How crosses are made for graves

For work they use different drawings, standard and original. The easiest way to make a crucifix is ​​from wood or by welding iron. Welded artistic elements are attached to the iron product, and carvings are made on the wooden product.

Not every wood is suitable for work. Use:

  • bog oak;
  • ordinary oak;
  • pine;
  • aspen;
  • cypress;
  • teak;
  • Iroko.

Making an iron cross takes less time. A wooden one, made according to all the rules and decorated, can take up to 5-6 months, and even longer for granite and marble ones.

Crucifixes made of cast iron, marble and granite chips are often made by casting: hot metal or a special mixture with crushed stone is poured into a special mold, allowed to cool, and then polished, engraved, and treated with special coatings.

How to install a cross on a grave with your own hands

There are two ways to place a cross on a grave. The first is to dig a hole taking into account the size of the crucifix and, having placed it there, fill it with crushed stone and fill it with concrete. When the mass hardens, earth is poured on top. This method is preferable if the product is metal.

The second one is more difficult. The legs are attached to the base of the cross: two pairs at the very bottom (looking to the sides and down) and two pairs not far from the surface (located horizontally). If the crucifix is ​​metal, it is pre-treated with an anti-corrosion compound and painted. The wooden surface is protected from moisture and fungus and covered with varnish or paint.

Method of installing a cross with legs at the bottom

Then they place it in a prepared hole and cover it with earth. The clay holds well - it is viscous and almost does not sag.

After 3-6 months, after allowing the soil to compact, the hole is backfilled to the desired level.

Stone products are rarely installed independently due to their heaviness. Metal piles are screwed into the lower part of the product - vertically and horizontally, and then the cross is lowered into the hole and covered with earth. Thanks to the weight of the stone symbol, it will hold firmly.

What kind of crosses do Old Believers put up?

If the deceased was an Old Believer, an eight-pointed, ancient cross is installed on his grave. It is he who denotes belonging to this branch of Christianity.

The second version of the Old Believer funeral symbol is cabbage roll (cabbage roll). This is a cross with a “roof” on top. In the early tradition - a column with a small house or “roof”. It was believed that this is a refuge in which the soul rests in peace and security.

Cross cabbage roll (golubets)

Design and shape in the form of a cross

In the form of an Orthodox cross - a complex structure of several elements: a pillar, three crossbars. But there are also laconic models that can be bought inexpensively, made according to Catholic canons: from a pillar and one crossbar. Alternatively, the cross can rise from a stone pedestal of a strict or arbitrary shape. The price of the product, small in size and without frills, is quite affordable. And the natural spectacular beauty of the stone will replace all decorative decorations.

You can also make a massive and voluminous figured cross with rounded lines and curves. Such products look more presentable in a cemetery - they often decorate memorial complexes.

Laser engraving and bas-relief decorations are quite acceptable for a cross. But it is better to capture photos and dates of the deceased’s life cycle on a separate plaque or pedestal. And the cross itself, as a rule, is decorated with words of prayers and bas-relief images of Jesus Christ and the faces of angels. The miniature figurines of birds and other natural elements along the contour of the product look very touching. At the customer's request, decorative elements can be made in a contrasting color, for example, white.

The iGranit workshop offers to purchase a stone tombstone cross of any shape. You can view product samples in the catalog on our website. Extensive experience in Moscow, our own well-functioning production are obvious guarantees of high quality products.

Is it possible to replace a rotten or broken cross?

If the crucifix has become unusable, it is replaced with a new one. In this case, the wooden product must be burned.

If it is made of a different material, there are three options:

  • give to those who do not have the money to order their own;
  • divide into parts and bury next to the burial;
  • take it to a chapel or temple;
  • leave it within the cemetery near the fence.

Taking a crucifix home, using it for household needs, or throwing away the traditions of Orthodoxy is not directly prohibited, but such treatment of the symbol of faith is condemned.

Should I leave the cross after installing the monument?

When a monument is erected on a grave instead of a funeral cross, you can do the same with the crucifix as when replacing it with a new one. If no hand is raised to get rid of it, it is simply dug into the ground behind the monument, next to it, or placed on the ground.

So, with regular care, the cross on the grave will last for many years, even if it is made of wood. But if finances allow, a crucifix made of stone is preferable - it is beautiful, durable and does not require constant attention.


You can buy tombstones with a cross (see photos in the photo gallery) here on our website. Just click on the model and send it to the cart.

You can place an order and sign contracts in our office. If you are busy, then order. He will come to your home or work at the appointed time (Moscow and the nearest Moscow region).

You can order an exclusive granite Orthodox grave sign; its price is slightly higher than regular models. Show your drawing (sketch, photo) to our designer. It will create a 3D image, and you will see an exact image of the future product. After making corrections and agreeing on all the details, your order will be processed and completed within the agreed time frame.

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