Crosier: Difference between revisions

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(Moses was not commanded to strike the rock. He was told to speak to the rock and glorify God for the miracle.)
[[File:Bale-coat of arms.svg|thumb|150px|A crosier on the coat of arms of [[Basle]], which was ruled by [[Prince-Bishop]]s during the [[Middle Ages]]]]
The traditional explanation for the form of Western crosiers, beyond the obvious reference to the bishop as a shepherd to his flock, is this: the pointed [[ferrule]] at the base symbolizes the obligation of the prelate to goad the spiritually lazy; the crook at the top, his obligation to draw back those who stray from the faith; and the staff itself, his obligation to stand as a firm support for the faithful.{{citation needed|date=September 2011}} It is considered to be both a rod and a staff ({{bibleverse||Psalm|23:4|HE}}): a rod for punishing the recalcitrant, and a staff for leading the faithful.{{citation needed|date=September 2011}}
The Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Rite Catholic crosier is found in two common forms. One is [[tau]]-shaped, with curved arms, surmounted by a small cross. The other has a top comprising a pair of sculptured serpents or dragons curled back to face each other, with a small cross between them. The symbolism in the latter case is of the [[Nehushtan|bronze serpent]] made by [[Moses]] as related in {{bibleverse||Numbers|21:8-9|HE}}. It is also reminiscent of the [[caduceus]] of [[Hermes]] or the rod of the ancient Greek god [[Asclepius]], whose worship was centered around the Aegean, including Asia Minor, indicating the role of the bishop as healer of spiritual diseases.{{Citation needed|date=September 2011}}
Additionally, there is a probable link between the shape of the crosier and that of the [[lituus]], the traditional staff of the ancient Roman [[augurs]].<ref></ref>
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