Risen Christ/Crucified Christ?

Hi all - I’m looking for some help with a friend’s dilemma. He’s on a committe at our parish that is developing plans for a new church building. A discussion came up about having the crucified Christ versus the risen Christ at the head of the Church behind the alter. Most wanted the risen Christ. He (and I and a few others) want the crucified Christ there, with the Risen Christ in the back of the church near the baptismal font (another source of controversy that i won’t get into now).

It seems to me that the GIRM indicated somewhere the the crucified Christ was to be in the Sanctuary behind the alter, and the risen Christ placed in the back of the church. Am I correct in this?

I guess I’m just looking for some feedback from this much-learned community. Your thoughts, confirmations, contradictions are appreciated by me (and my buddy on the committee who wants a church where Jesus is center, not a monument to ourselves - his words, not mine, but I agree wholeheartedly).

God bless everyone, everywhere, and THANK YOU!

  1. 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.

The General Instruction mandates a cross with the image of the crucified Christ upon it. It says nothing about a risen Christ image. Therefore, it does not say where a risen Christ image would be placed. Some parishes have placed a risen Christ image in the back rather then dispose of it but I have not heard of purchasing a new one for the sake of putting it in the back. Others have reasoned for this position because, once we celebrate the Sacrifice, we go forth in the power of the Resurrection. This seems like simply an attempt to feel good about the repositioning of the risen Christ cross.

Although it seems strange – even bizarre – it might be allowed to have both in the front. The Instruction mandates a crucifix. It does not prohibit a risen Christ. There is a general – although modern – principle that discourages multiple images.

The Sacrifice of the Mass IS the Sacrifice of the Cross.

The image of the Risen Christ would be more appropriate near the Baptismal font because we are "burried and, Rise with Christ in Baptism.

How about doing what 1 corinthians1:23 tells us?

What’s that? Punt? Roll over? Quote for those of us who don’t have the bible memorized, please!:slight_smile:

A nearby church has a large crucifix in the nathex and an image of Jesus and a woman behind the alter. A smaller crucifix is carried in and placed front and center at the beginning of each mass (in the main building).

I’m certainly not complaining, its a great church. But I was taken by surprize the first time I walked into the church.

I don’t know what posessed me to do that!! I looked it up to get the precise wording and whadaya know, I did the very thing that makes me cringe.


Paul says “we preach Christ crucified”.

Ok, thanks!:slight_smile:

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.