'The Instruments of Passions' - 'Arma Christi'


Arma Christi ('Weapons of Christ'), or the Instruments of the Passion, 
are the objects associated with Jesus' Passion in Christian symbolism and art.

Depictions of the 'Instruments of the Passion' may include 
many combinations of those following. A primary group of the most 
frequently used instruments can be distinguished, fx: The Cross on which Jesus 
was crucified (True Cross), either depicted alone or with the crosses of the two 
thieves. The Crown of Thorns. The whip(s), in Germany often birches, used 
for the 39 lashes.The Holy Sponge set on a reed, with which gall and  
vinegar were offered to Jesus. The Holy Lance with which a 
Roman soldier inflicted the final of the Five Wounds in 
his side.The Nails, inflicting four wounds 
on the hands and feet, etc.

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 An image of the 'Arma Christi', divided into a series of 38 compartments, 
each of which depicts an instrument of the passion or some other object or
 event emblematic of the passion - the hammer, the cock that crew 
three times, the dice, the pelican, the wound in Christ's side, 
and so forth. The text declares that whoever recites the 
prayer 'Ave facies praeclara'

 Medieval manuscript, 14th century


The Instruments of the Passion. Left to right: chalice, torch, 
 lantern, sword, flagellum, pillar of flagellation, Veronica's veil, 
30 pieces of silver, dice(?), reed sceptre, hand which 
struck Christ, torch, pitcher of gall and vinegar



 The Instruments of Passions,
All Saints, Stradbroke, Suffolk

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