This beautiful St. Andrew's (three-barred) gold-plated Russian Orthodox Priest Altar ceremonial hand blessing crucifix was crafted by Russian monks living and working in The Sofrino Monastery, Russia. In Orthodox churches hand-held altar crosses, such as this one, are presented by the priest at the end of the service for the faithful to kiss before leaving the church. The hand cross is used in blessing and preaching and symbolizes the bishop's office of teaching and sanctifying his flock. The last picture shows a ceremonial blessing cross, just like this one, held by an Orthodox priest during Holiday ceremony. This altar cross comes in a very nice gift box.