Crucifix on altar at Mass


Hello, I can't seem to find an answer to this simple question, and I wonder if one of you could enlighten me...
At Mass, is there supposed to be a Crucifix present, on or very near the altar? I remember vaguely that Pope Benedict had sought to correct the practice of not having one there, by insisting on placing a crucifix right in the center-front of the altar when he was celebrating.
I ask this because my parish church has recently been redecorated, nothing too different than before, but for some reason our pastor has taken away the stand, very close to the altar, that usually held the processional crucifix. The redecoration has brought a large crucifix on the wall, but it is too far, visually, to be of any focus during the Mass. I would like to discuss it with him, but first I need some "official" back-up, so that I can conserve a spirit of Christian brotherly correction!


This is what the GIRM says:

  1. Likewise, either on the altar or near it, there is to be a cross, with the figure of Christ crucified upon it, a cross clearly visible to the assembled people. It is desirable that such a cross should remain near the altar even outside of liturgical celebrations, so as to call to mind for the faithful the saving Passion of the Lord.

It does not say the crucifix is to be the “focus” at Mass. It says only that it is to be “clearly visible”. If you have a large crucifix hanging in the sanctuary, it would be difficult to argue it is not “clearly visible”.


Thank you so much, 1ke!

Happy Birthday, by the way!!!!!



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