Crosses in procession

The processional crosses are four in number. The cross most commonly in use in processions at church festivals and special services in the Abbey is that given by Rodman Wanamaker of the USA and first used on Christmas Eve 1922. This is of ivory and silver gilt, adorned with a series of panels of beaten gold and sapphires. On one side the panels show the Crucifixion with representations of the annunciation, nativity, resurrection and ascension on the arms of the cross. On the other side is Our Lord in Glory with groups of apostles on the cross arms. Smaller panels are filled with emblems of the Evangelists and figures of angels. The cross was re-gilded and new ivory inlaid in 1964. At this time seventy two diamonds were added. It was designed by Walter Stoye and made by the firm of Barkentin & Krall. The staff is of silver gilt and the Latin inscriptions on this record the gift by Wanamaker and the Biblical quote "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more". The cross of Westminster is also used in Westminster Hall at the head of the coffin when monarchs and others lie in state there.

The silver gilt cross of Abyssinian workmanship was presented, together with its ebony staff, by Ras Makunan, envoy of the King of Abyssinia in London at the time of the sudden illness of Edward VII just prior to his coronation in 1902. The cross is overlaid on the back with a net of wirework soldered and gilt with inscriptions in Amharic. On the staff there is a Latin inscription which can be translated "Given by Ras Makunan to greet King Edward 8 Kalends of July 1902 [ie.25 July]" The cross stood at the head of the grave at the burial of the Unknown Warrior in 1920.

A cross of Abyssinian ivory, studded with silver gilt pins and decorated with shields showing the cross keys of St Peter with the ring of St Edward the Confessor and arms of the Collegiate Church, was made up from a tusk presented in 1924 by Haile Selassie, later Emperor of Ethiopia. On the shaft are some smaller shields. The cost of making this cross was borne by Mrs E.B. Wright. It was dedicated in 1940 and designed by Omar Ramsden and completed after his death by Laurence Turner. This cross was carried in front of the coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales at her funeral.

A cross of English wood painted red with gilt decorations of a sun and star, the gift of the Brotherhood of St Edward (made up of former Abbey choristers) in 1933, is used during Lent.

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