Expert Answer Forum

Crucfix in the Sancturay QUESTION from Wally Weitzel February 13, 1999
After our Sanctuary was remodeled some years ago a Jerusalem (I beleive that is what it called) was placed in the Sanctuary. At most Masses a Processional cross is used but at times is forgoten. It was mention to me that it was only necessary to have a cross not necessarily a Crucifix. Can you enlighten me on what is right? Thank You, ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on February 16, 1999
Dear Wally, Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in answering. The Ceremonial of Bishops is an authoritative publication carrying the full weight of liturgical law. The Ceremonial obviously envisions a crucifix as opposed to a plain cross; As the entrance song is being sung, the procession moves from the vesting room (sacristy) to the sanctuary (chancel) in the following order; -- censerbearer carrying a censer with burning incense --an acolyte carrying the cross,with the image to the front, walks between seven other allocates, or at least two, carrying candlesticks with lighted candles; --clergy, two by two. In the Appendix to the General Instruction for the Diocese of the United States we find; Only a single cross should be carried in a procession in order to give greater dignity and reverence to the cross. It is desirable to place the cross that has been carried in the procession near the altar so that it may serve as the cross of the altar. Otherwise it should be put away during the service. In the Book of Blessings we read; The image of the cross should preferably be a crucifix, that is, have the corpus attached, especially in the case of a cross that is erected in a place of honor inside a church. I hope this helps. In Christ, John Miskell Back to Index Page

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