AxiosOrthodoxal news and traditionsShould a child wear a pectoral cross all the time?

Should a child wear a pectoral cross all the time?

The pectoral cross is a symbol of the Christian faith, the first one we get acquainted with during christening as an infant. For a religious person, a cross is a thing that is always with him throughout his life. We identify ourselves with the cross as belonging to the Lord that means we are connected with Him forever: having accepted faith once, it cannot be changed or abandoned. So, a child during the sacrament of Baptism, at the time of his spiritual birth accepts faith and becomes a Christian forever, although he still does not understand the meaning of the cross and cannot perceive it as a shrine.

A person can perceive the tradition of wearing the cross only with understanding the essence of religion and as a reminder of faster Christ's sacrifice for our salvation. Parents should remember this, because the meaning of wearing the cross is often distorted. First of all it concerns the prejudices which raise thousands of questions from anxious parents: will God protect the child when he doesn’t wear a cross, will he be punished for losing a cross, will something bad happen if the cross breaks, and so on. In our article you will find the answer to the question whether the child should wear a cross all the time, and also learn:


• Are there rules in the Church for wearing a cross?

• Does the cross protect the child from scourge?

• Should babies wear a cross all the time?

• When is it necessarily to wear a cross for a child?

• Should children wear a cross in kindergarten and school?

• Should parents force their child to wear a cross?

• Can children wear crosses given by relatives and friends?


Are there rules in the church for wearing a cross?

         Wearing a cross is a tradition. We can also say that this is a pious and good custom, but not obligation. There are no rules in the church by which a child must wear a cross. The person’s attitude to the symbol of faith and to faith itself  is the main thing in wearing the cross. It’s good if a person wants to proclaim Jesus Christ. And if a person wears a cross as jewelry, this is condemned by the church. The cross is perceived by the church as a sign that the person who wears it knows the sufferings of Jesus Christ and accepts himself as a servant of God. Since the child does not realize yet the meaning of a cross, parents decide for their child to wear it all the time or not.


Does the cross protect the child from scourge?

         When choosing to wear a cross for the child all the time or not, it is important for parents to understand that the cross is not an amulet that protects it from scourge. Amulets and talismans have nothing to do with the Christian faith. The Lord always protects the child, regardless of whether he is wearing a cross or not. Perception the cross as a talisman is wrong, it gives rise to fears and anxieties. If the child suddenly loses or breaks the cross, which often happens, parents regard this as a bad sign or wait for punishment. This is a pagan perception. God does not get angry with children and does not send punishments. If you loose the cross, you just should buy a new one and consecrate it in the church. If you are very worried that the child will lose the cross playing at school or outside, then it’s better not to wear it all the time. God always protects the child, just pray for him and do good deeds. But you do not need to put all the meaning of faith and spiritual protection only in a cross.


When is it obligatory to wear a cross for a child? Do babies must to wear a cross all the time?

         Children must wear a cross when you go to church with them. It’s not obligatory to wear a cross for babies all the time; you can hang it at the head of the crib or in the prayer corner. If you want your baby to wear it constantly, it is important to choose the right cross for the child. Gold crosses and silver crosses are considered less allergenic. The edges of the cross must be rounded so that the child doesn’t get hurt. It’s better to choose a lace with smooth clasp instead of chain. The length of the lace should not allow the child to take the cross into his mouth. These recommendations are based on safety, not on church rules. It does not matter for church what material the cross is made of, the main thing is its meaning.


Should children wear a cross in kindergarten and school?

         At the age of 4-5, there is no longer any danger that a child may be injured with a cross. The child can already be explained the meaning of wearing a cross at this age and you can talk to him about faith, for example, using a children's book. The child can already choose whether he wants to wear a cross or not. Although kindergarten teachers often worry that a child can still get hurt by a cross and some of them forbid wearing a cross in kindergarten, that is also wrong. If a child wants to wear a cross and feels calm with it, he can wear it. In addition, there has not been a single case where the pectoral cross has injured the child neither at school nor in kindergarten.


Should parents force a child to wear a pectoral cross?

         If the child does not want to wear a cross, then you shouldn’t force him. When awareness comes and he understands the sense of wearing a cross and accepts it as a symbol of his faith, he will wear it. The best thing parents can do is to practice Christianity with their lives, actions, preach good deeds, and tell the child about Jesus Christ.


Can children wear crosses given by relatives and friends?

         Crosses can also be given to children and taken as a gift. If a grandmother, relative or friend gave a cross, accept it. No Christian refuses the cross. Just consecrate it in the church, and the child can also wear it.

         Passing on the long tradition of wearing the cross to our children, we should remember that we are adherents of bright faith and explain to our children the meaning of Christian symbols.


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