Help: Cross or Crucifix


#1

Hello there, so I’ve started down a path of becoming a Catholic and I have a personal question regarding the personal wearing of a cross or a crucifix.

I have a cross necklace that was made as something to remember my grandmother by before she passed away from cancer. I wear it because I want to feel close to her, and I feel it’s an expression of my growing in faith. I enjoy being able to wear my cross. (I haven’t worn it since she passed away and that was at a time where I was non religious, but recently I’ve started to wear it)

  • Side note * My grandmother was raised Catholic but she later on left the faith.

I recognize the theological difference between the wearing of the cross over crucifix, the cross only symbolizes the resurrection according to Protestants. Whereas the crucifix symbolizes Christ dying for our own sins, that’s the general thought and feeling of most Catholics I imagine and from what I can see. I personally feel that I can recognize Christ dying upon the cross even while wearing my necklace.

I guess what I’m saying is that as a prospective Catholic on the road to entering the Church I don’t want to give up wearing it. I realize that it’s a matter of personal choice and that the church doesn’t have a set position on this, but I’d like to see if I’m alone in my position as someone on the road to being a faithful and practicing Catholic.


#2

You’re not alone. :slight_smile: Both the cross and the crucifix symbolize Christ. Wear the cross in good health. :slight_smile:


#3

I will be sure to do so. And I guess for the future I can wear a crucifix as well, I think both the Protestant view and Catholic view on this each have merit and either or can be incorporated into the wearing of a crucifix or a cross


#4

You are in good company @OnAJourney . :smiley:


#5

You may not be alone, but there is no reason to give up wearing it


#6

@OnAJourney

Yes Jesus should be on the cross.

1 Corinthians 2:2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Galatians 6:14 May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p2s2c4a1.htm

1667 "Holy Mother Church has, moreover, instituted sacramentals. These are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy."173

The characteristics of sacramentals

**[1668] Sacramentals are instituted for the sanctification of certain ministries of the Church, certain states of life, a great variety of circumstances in Christian life, and the use of many things helpful to man. In accordance with bishops’ pastoral decisions, they can also respond to the needs, culture, and special history of the Christian people of a particular region or time. They always include a prayer, often accompanied by a specific sign, such as the laying on of hands, the sign of the cross, or the sprinkling of holy water (which recalls Baptism).

**[1669] Sacramentals derive from the baptismal priesthood: every baptized person is called to be a “blessing,” and to bless.174 Hence lay people may preside at certain blessings; the more a blessing concerns ecclesial and sacramental life, the more is its administration reserved to the ordained ministry (bishops, priests, or deacons).175

**[1670] Sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but by the Church’s prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it. "For well-disposed members of the faithful, the liturgy of the sacraments and sacramentals sanctifies almost every event of their lives with the divine grace which flows from the Paschal mystery of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. From this source all sacraments and sacramentals draw their power. There is scarcely any proper use of material things which cannot be thus directed toward the sanctification of men and the praise of God."176

1677 Sacramentals are sacred signs instituted by the Church. They prepare men to receive the fruit of the sacraments and sanctify different circumstances of life.

1678 Among the sacramentals blessings occupy an important place. They include both praise of God for his works and gifts, and the Church’s intercession for men that they may be able to use God’s gifts according to the spirit of the Gospel.


#7

There is nothing wrong with a Catholic wearing just the Cross. The important thing is to not be opposed to the Crucifix, like many protestants.


#8

@francis - There is no reason why the OP should not wear the Grandmother’s cross. Bishops typically wear just the cross.

All of what you posted is really addresses the people who claim it’s wrong to have Jesus on the Cross.

Now, if the OP said, I don’t like crosses with Jesus on them, that would be a different story. But that’s not what the OP said. I know many people who wear a simple Cross because it was a gift to them.

My grandmother, a devout Catholic her whole life wore a simple cross, while my grandfather wore a crucifix. My grandparents grew up in a very catholic area and there was a UN-CONSCIENCE cultural tendency among the people that men wore the crucifix while women wore the cross. There wasn’t a rule about it or a spoken consciousness about it, but it simply was the tendency among many devout men & women of that time.

God Bless


#9

Sorry, i didn’t say you shouldn’t,i wanted the Op to wear it so i posted the CCC on sacramental,i am sorry you got me wrong,or perhaps i misread it? but it’s nice to have Jesus crucified on the cross ,its fine to wear it ,without too .


#10

Yet the Church does not ban Catholics from wearing a bare cross.

https://www.catholic.com/qa/is-it-proper-to-wear-a-cross-or-must-it-be-a-crucifix


#11

I’m not opposed to the wearing of a crucifix or for Christ to be shown on the cross. I grew up relatively non religious so I take the approach that Christ dying can be respected with the wearing of a crucifix or a bare cross


#12

I’m not formally a Catholic, but I’m pretty Catholic in practice and belief. I started wearing a cross necklace last year. I had the same decision to make: cross or crucifix. Either one is fine; the crucifix reminds us more of Christ’s sacrifice and the empty cross more of his triumph over death, both of which are absolutely worth remembering. I ultimately decided to wear an empty cross to avoid antagonizing my wife, who is not nearly as friendly with Catholicism as I am (I have trouble saying the creeds because I find it hard to say that I believe in “one holy Catholic and apostolic church” while I’m in a splinter denomination off the Anglican church, while she has trouble saying it because it has the word “Catholic” in it).


#13

Ah, you’re an Anglo Catholic I take it. And I think I find myself taking your position on the issue with the more thought I put into it.


#14

Yeah, very much an Anglo-Catholic, and strongly considering dropping the Anglo. After which I’d still keep the empty cross, because I’d still want a harmonious marriage :slight_smile:


#15

At some point I think I’ll get a crucifix. But for now I’ll just keep the bare cross necklace with my grandmother’s name inscribed on the back


#16

Purely personal choice.

I’d wear my grandmother’s cross every day!!


#17

That’s basically how I feel about it. My grandmother actually was raised in a traditional catholic home with her parents and siblings, but she left the church. I think if she stayed catholic she would’ve wanted me to continue wearing my cross


#18

That kind of thing is adiaphora. We all know what the cross and crucifix stands for. If you want to wear your grandmother’s cross, I completely sympathize. I personally prefer a crucifix (assuming I am looking for a new piece of jewelry as opposed to wearing something with personal significance), but that’s just my preference.


#19

Now did is say it ? no what am saying is its nice to have a crucified Christ on the cross we wear ,this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t its your personal choice .

It’s Indeed, many who have assisted at exorcisms can attest , there is wonderful power in holy water, relics, the exorcist’s cross, the touch of a priest’s stole, and so forth in afflicting demons and urging them to leave. Yet so many Catholics and others discount these sacramentals (as well as the Sacraments), using them carelessly, infrequently, or not at all. Even Many people, even faithful Catholics, consider them of little significance. But demons do not. Shamefully, demons sometimes manifest more faith (out of fear) in these things than actual believers who ought to revere them out of loving faith.In fact many saints used a crucified Christ affectedly to drive out demons away.

am not insisting that you should wear a crucified Christ or a crucifix ,if you like a plain cross without the image of Christ wear it ,am just saying its nice to have them ,for the the edification of faith and the signification its has.


#20

You don’t have to. I wear a cross that is of sentimental value. I wear it everyday. I also acquired a crucifix when I decided to convert to Catholicism. I wear that too. No one has ever questioned me about it.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.