What is a Comfort Cross?

Holding CrossA comfort cross, or a holding cross, as it is sometimes called, is an asymmetric cross that is made to fit ergonomically into the palm of one's hand and is used during prayer. It is thought that the holding cross is based on an ancient design found in ancient European chapels. Although the origin of the holding/comfort cross tradition is not known, it is thought that it dates back to the early Christians.

Holding crosses are made out of many different types of wood, but in my opinion, none is more appropriate than a cross made out of the olive wood prunings of trees that grow in the very region that Jesus was born - in the area around Bethlehem. Olive trees have scattered the landscape there since biblical times, where they grow both in terraced groves and on the hilltops. The oil from the fruit of the Olive Tree has been used for religious rites since biblical times. Since the olive tree is a protected species in Israel and cannot be cut down, all olive wood artifacts are made only from the trees pruning's. 

Olive wood items are imbued with spirituality, and do not require much care since olive oil is naturally protecting them from corrosion and changes of color. In time the holding cross will develop its own patina from frequent handling. No two crosses will ever look the same due to the variations in the grain on the wood.