Venerate the cross or crucifix?

We had a discussion last night as to the Good Friday liturgy and if it is the cross or the crucifix that is to be venerated. Can anyone point me to where I may find the answer? Comments welcome.

Yeah it’s odd.

In my (admittedly quite limited) experience up til this year it was always a wooden crucifix that we venerated if memory serves. Last year, although I didn’t attend Good Friday services, I did see that a plain wooden cross had been erected in a corner of the church, which I thought must have been the one used for Veneration.

Today (Good Friday services already done over here) the priest made a point of mentioning that it was meant to be a bare cross that was venerated (though he didn’t quote any documentation or nothing).

First I’ve heard of this in my thirty-some years of Catholicism. I wonder if it’s a relatively new tightening of the rubrics or something??

Thanks Lily. I think I remember seeing it both ways, but usually the cross and not the crucifix. Any article you see regarding Good Friday mentions veneration of the cross, not veneration of the crucifix.

It most certainly is a CRUCIFIX and not a bare cross without the Corpus on it. The “Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described” (for the 1962 Missal) explicetly mentions the people are to kiss “the FEET of the Crucified.”

There exists no documents after 1962 that state the Corpus is to be removed or a bare cross used.


My parish also used a wooden cross without a corpus.
It seems EXTREMELY odd genuflecting to a plain wooden cross…

A crucifix would make much more sense…

Veneration of the Cross requires a criucifix.

When I viewd the Good Friday Liturgy last year from St. Peter’s Basilica, the Holy Father Benedict XVI used a crucifix.
I personally don’t like the use of a bare cross. Good Friday seems to be the most proper time to venerate a crucifix.

I’m looking at the current Sacramentary, ritual for Veneration of the Cross for Good Friday, and the wording of the chant (repeated 3 times) is “This is the WOOD of the cross, on which hung the savior of the world.” (Emphasis mine.)

We use a 6-foot bare cross, which, after veneration, is set in a stand and “dressed” with a red drape, nails on a pillow at the foot, and the crown of thorns atop the cross. The mood reflects the bare cross after Jesus has been placed in the tomb, which seems appropriate for the 7 PM hour of the service.

Veneration properly takes place between the hours of noon and three PM, not 7 PM. Nothing should be taking place at 7 PM on Good Friday. The Crucifix should of course be made of WOOD, not plastic or ceramic.

Our priest and parish staff have an aversion to statues and crucifixes (seriously). We use a bare wooden cross. :frowning:

If it weren’t for our Bishop, I was told we wouldn’t even have a crucifix in the sanctuary. The one our priest decided upon is so modern and abstract that even most people in my ‘progressive’ parish hate it.

But the original question was whether the crucifix or cross was to be venerated. My citation from the Sacramentary indicated use of the wording “This is the wood of the cross . . .” This would not seem to be appropriate wording were a crucifix to be venerated, in which case the wording would presumably point to the Corpus, not the material of the “cross.”

It seems like in so many things in our Church, there are some things that appear to be vague. I am currently watching Good Friday Services on EWTN from Rome and will watch how the Pope does it. That will be good enough for me.

In the mean time, thanks for all your responses, and I encourage all to attend Good Friday liturgy services.

God Bless

our church has a 7pm service and uses a wooden cross. are you saying our priest is wrong for having this 7pm service?

Explain to them that it was not the Cross that saved us, but Christ’s death on the Cross!

I’m not in a position to look at the actual words of the Rite. But I remember it refering to the wounds of Christ as the corpus is unvailed.

IT sure does seem a bit out of place since Christ was already in the tomb at that time, and it’s technically already Holy Saturday, Good Friday has already ended liturgically.

Christ was on the Cross from noon to 3 PM and died at 3 PM! Not 7:30 PM. Which reminds me I need to get off of here.

I went to the Good Friday service. The priest had a wooden crucifix which he unveiled first the one arm then he chanted “This is the wood of the cross . . .” We chanted “Come let us worship.” He did the unveiling in 4 steps and the chanting was done after each step. Then we kissed the feet of Christ on the crucifix. Our service was at 3 p.m. We are having Stations of the Cross at 7 p.m.

According to the Sacramentary, it states:

  1. The celebration of the Lord’s passion takes place in the afternoon, about 3 o’clock, unless pastoral reasons suggest a later hour. The celebration consists of three parts: liturgy of the word, veneration of the cross, and holy communion.

In the United States, if the size or nature of a parish or other community indicates the pastoral need for an additional service, the local Ordinary may permit the service to be repeated later.

I suppose that parishes offer Stations at 7PM, because people today just will not stop their day to come to the Church from 2-3PM. IMO after we leave from the church after Good Friday service, there should be nothing, reflecting the emptyness felt by the Apostles until Easter Vigil.

At my parish, probably the largest in Canada, we venerated a cross and sang “Amazing Grace” before hand. I prefer parishes that refuse to discard Catholic Tradition, over those who do out of fear of anger from the so called “progressives”.

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