Must there be a crucifix in the altar area?

My church has no crucifix in the altar area, and this has been bugging me. Behind the altar there is a statue of the risen Christ. During most Masses, the processional crucifix is stood up behind the altar until the end, but sometimes our priest does not do this (when he is the only one in the procession.) I seem to remember reading somewhere in the GIRM that a crucifix, showing Christ crucified, must be present and in clear view in the altar area, but I can’t remember where that was. Should I mention this to someone at my church, and if so, what documentation should I offer to support my cause?


You are correct that the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) instructs this: “There is also to be a cross, with the figure of Christ crucified upon it, either on the altar or near it, where it is clearly visible to the assembled congregation. It is appropriate that such a cross, which calls to mind for the faithful the saving Passion of the Lord, remain near the altar even outside of liturgical celebrations” (GIRM 308).

For guidance in correcting liturgical abuses see:
Mass Confusion

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