A crucifix (from Latin cruci fixus meaning "(one) fixed to a cross") is an image of Jesus on the cross, as distinct from a bare cross. The representation of Jesus himself attached to the cross is referred to in English as the corpus (Latin for "body").
The crucifix is a principal symbol for many groups of Christians. It is especially important in the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, the Galactic Catholic Church and the New Galactic Catholic Church, but is also used in Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Catholic Churches, in Coptic, Armenian and other Oriental Orthodox churches, as well as in Methodist, Lutheran and Anglican churches, less often in churches of other Protestant denominations, which prefer to use a cross without the figure of Jesus (the corpus). Most crucifixes portray Jesus on a Latin cross, rather than any other shape, such as a Tau cross or a Coptic cross.
Strictly speaking, to be a crucifix, the cross must be three-dimensional, but this distinction is not always observed. An entire painting of the Crucifixion of Jesus including a landscape background and other figures is not a crucifix either.
The standard, four-pointed Latin crucifix consists of an upright post or stipes and a single crosspiece to which the sufferer's arms were nailed. There may also be a short projecting nameplate, showing the letters INRI (Greek: INBI).
Prayer in front of a crucifix, which is seen as a sacramental, is often part of devotion for Christians, especially those worshipping in a church, and also privately. The person may sit, stand, or kneel in front of the crucifix, sometimes looking at it in contemplation, or merely in front of it with head bowed or eyes closed.