Veneration of the Cross or Crucifix

Does anyone know if the object of veneration on Good Friday is the Cross or if it is the Crucifix? I am looking for what the Church’s official position is on this question please.

Here’s what I could find:

The document that provides for liturgical rubrics during Holy Week is Paschale Solemnitatis. On the matter of the veneration of the cross on Good Friday, it provides:

For veneration of the cross, let a cross be used that is of appropriate size and beauty, and let one or other of the forms for this rite be carried out with the splendor worthy of the mystery of our salvation (PS 68).
Since it is not precisely specified, at least in the English translation, that a corpus is required, it is reasonable to assume that a cross without a corpus will suffice.


When one reads “cross” in Catholic liturgical documents it is found that they presume you understand it to mean a cross with the body of Christ upon it.

That’s what I originally thought, but I just read Paschale Solemnitatis, and it does not specify crucifix, it just reads “cross.”

OK, but then why not say “crucifix” in the document, instead of just “cross?” Confusing.:shrug:

Remember that the documents are originally written in Latin and are translated.

Since it is not precisely specified, at least in the English translation, that a corpus is required, it is reasonable to assume that a cross without a corpus will suffice.

I find this statement very misleading. When are past long held traditions of Venerating a Crucifix on Good Friday determined by a rational assumption. An ambiguous statement if you ask me. Given the timely article Paschale Solemnitatis dated in the late 1980’s. This seems to recall to my mind when I myself witnessed changes in the way many Catholic Churches opted to use alternatively styled corpse-less Crosses being used for Veneration on Good Friday. Some of these Corpse-less Crosses even up today look disgustingly ugly.

How many Catholics on Good Friday today can remember humbly venerating the feet of a blessed crucifix with a kiss while a priest, deacon, or altar boy wiped the feet of the crucifix with a purificator for the next devout Catholic.

Far, far more meaningful and symbolic that seeing Catholics walking up the center aisle in procession to simple touch an ugly Corpse-less cross with their fingers.

My father refers to the wiping as “spreading the germs around.” :wink:

I do remember a small bottle of alcohol with the server doing the wiping and the other the holding. I remember having to wait for it to evaporate.

Ah! but if Catholics were to adhere to the rational you respectfully suggested by your father I strongly doubt too many Catholics would dare place their germed lips on the edge of a Chalice and reverently drink the consecrated precious Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ.

Point well taken though. Perhaps what your father suggested is the humanistic rational why we see Good Friday Veneration with ugly corpse-less crosses in many parishes.

hello friends, am happy to be part of you.
please, why do we venerate the cross. Is it necessary for salvation. Is it sinful if one does not do it.

It is in honor of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, it’s showing reverance and honor to him. It’s not necessary for salvation, and it’s not sinful if you opt not to do it.

From that same document in #69 it states:
“The cross is to be presented to each of the faithful individually for their adoration, since the personal adoration of the cross is a most important feature in this celebration. Only when necessitated by the large numbers of faithful present should the rite of veneration be made simultaneously by all present.”

Isn’t adoration associated with worship? So wouldn’t adoration of a cross without that corpus be idolatry?

For what it’s worth my 1962 missal says Crucifix.

That’s what we did today, for the first time in at least 2 decades, although we did it minus the purificator. Guess nobody was too worried about germs because over 90% kissed the corpus anyway.

Ahhh… I remember that now. I didn’t until I read your post. I was a child last time I saw that. Wow. Why was it changed?

We did that at the Tenabrae service on Wednesday.

At the veneration of the cross or crucifix. What happens after everyone comes forward to venerate the cross.

We used to dress the cross in a red robe but this year for some reason it wasn’t done. What is the normal procedure in the catholic church

I remember it very well. That’s exactly what we did yesterday, and what we do every year (and, yes, our Parish is an “Ordinary Form” Parish").

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