Celtic cross at Monasterboice, Ireland

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Ireland was a trip to Monasterboice, where Gary and I admired (and took many pictures of) the 10th century high crosses there. Long ago as an undergraduate, I wrote a research paper on the iconography of Irish high crosses, so it was a thrill to visit several outstanding ones, including Muiredach’s High Cross, which is generally agreed to be the finest example in all of Ireland.

I’ll have much more to say (and show) in a future post about the high crosses of Monasterboice. For now, though, I’m using today’s Photo Friday theme of Circle as an excuse to share this image of the east face of the Cross of Muiredach, which depicts God standing in judgment above the scale where the souls of the dead are weighed. (Click on the image for larger version.) In Muiredach’s cycle of life and death, souls enter the world and then exit it, being weighed by the scales of judgment according to their earthly deeds: a sober story captured in a circle of stone.