Where is the crucifix?


Not seeing a crucifix in the sanctuary during mass while visiting a different parish,(only a cross against the back wall), I asked Father where is was. He explained that the cross does have a corpus affixed to it, but it was covered with a white cloth, and would remain so for the duration of the Easter season. The white cloth, of course, symbolizes the Risen Christ. It kind of confused me a bit…never saw that before. Is this pretty standard these days?


Sounds weird and the rubrics clearly require a corpus.


Yea, that’s funky.
We draped the white cloth behind another cross that sits to the side of the sanctuary.
The main crucifix of church proper has not been altered in any fashion - our Church is over 100yrs and the congregation is extremely conservative about such things. Holy water remained in the fonts during lent, etc… if it’s required in the rubrics, it’s done. (although I wish they would use the incense more often - it’s an optional in most cases and not often done unless you go to the Hispanic Mass ).


I have not heard of this before. It sound a little like a Protestant practice though I could be wrong. I was a parish once in which the crucifix the placed in the back, behind a projector. The only reason they had that was because the new priest said they had to have one. WHAT? Needless to say I did not remain there long. It was a sad, dark time in my life and that only added to my dismay.

There needs to be a visible crucifix. I really question the white cloth myself.


When I was a boy, way before Vatican II, all statues and crucifixes in Catholic Churches were completely covered in purple cloth during lent, beginning with Ash Wednesday. These cloth covers were not removed until the Easter Saturday Vigil.
All of this changed during the late 1960’s, after V II.
Today only the principal Crucifix is covered during Lent. However this year, in my Parish, which is ethnically Polish and very conservative, the Crucifix was not covered during Lent. I don’t know why, and I have not gotten around to asking about this.


Parish priests need to take the power away from the parish councils.

At my Parish, the council voted to not administer the Precious Blood during Mass on Sundays. Who gave Parish Councils that kind of power? Vatican II surely didn’t. :confused:


The Crucifix may be covered from the Saturday before the 5th Sunday in Lent but it doesn’t have to be.


It sounds like something the priest made up himself. I’ve never seen a white cloth cover the crucifix after Easter.


A Crucifix must be present in the Sanctuary during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass - The Crucifix I the Sanctuary may be covered during the Easter Season as long as a Crucifix is present during Mass …

Our Parish has a very large Cross with out Corpus that is used on Good Friday … One year it was left in the Sanctuary and draped with a white cloth to represent the Risen Christ - because it was large - our priest wanted a curtain placed in front of our large Crucifix and we used the processional Crucifix in the Sanctuary during Mass


I would actually agree with that parish council, there is a high risk of the precious Blood being spilled by an inexperienced Extraordinary MHC when it is administered.


Well, I guess your pastor did, because he certainly does not have to act upon their decisions, which are not really decisions, but recommendations in the technical sense.

Although I am not in this post per se arguing for the distribution of the Blood. Nor am I arguing against it.


As another poster said, the only one giving power to the Parish Council is the priest.

Having been on councils in several different parishes, it came as a surprise to actually read what Canon Law said about them.

Can. 536 §1. If the diocesan bishop judges it opportune after he has heard the presbyteral council, a pastoral council is to be established in each parish, over which the pastor presides and in which the Christian faithful, together with those who share in pastoral care by virtue of their office in the parish, assist in fostering pastoral activity.
§2. A pastoral council possesses a consultative vote only and is governed by the norms established by the diocesan bishop.

Never were the councils that I served on ever told that their role was strictly consultative (you’d think that point would be made each time a new council is gathered for the first time). In every case the PC expected that its decisions were final. I’m guilty of complaining that Fr. did whatever he wanted regardless of what the parish council had decided. I didn’t know any better.

Worse though, is that they expected their vision of the liturgy be implemented at Mass. I’ve heard the Parish Council in my present parish complain that they hadn’t been consulted before the people were told they were not to recite the doxology of the Eucharistic Prayer with the priest.:rolleyes:


Regarding comments on Parish Councils: As a past President of my Parish Council I often found that people did not understand the by-laws, or even know them. As a result not a few members thought they had “powers” they did not. Consequently I made it a standard practice to review and explain the by-laws.

Some general things folks needed to understand included: 1. The final say comes from the priest, not a consensus of any kind. Parish Councils are not a “democratic” entity. 2. Parish Councils are not mandatory and the current Pastor can decide not to have one if he wished. Based on some of the nonsense folks tried to establish via our council I sometimes thought we should just do away with it. 3. Everything discussed is confidential and those on the council are expected to publicly show support of the Pastor’s decision even if they disagree. If you disagree, silence about the matter is expected. I spent one entire council scolding folks over that one, who had made it their business to complain about a decision handed down by the pastor. If someone can’t handle that aspect of being on the council they really should remove themselves from this ministry.4. Anyone coming to a council, who is a non-parishioner, must be invited by and approved of by the Pastor and then can only remain in the meeting long enough to present the reason for their visit. After that they are to leave. (Confidentiality is the reason.)

A lot of folks like to be on the council out of sense of “importance.” There is nothing glamorous about the council. It is a place to address parish needs, finances, building concerns and repair, and even possible problems of scandal, errors in liturgy etc. It is not democratic, though people do vote and a consensus is desired but not required. It is not a time for idle socialization and having coffee, tea and cookies as some would desire.


I am a voting member on our Parish Council,
We have no such authority. I thoroughly researched thru the Vatican website, the USCCB website, and I have a close contact with our Archbishop so I had a very nice conversation with the AB about the role of the council before I accepted a position on the board.
We are to advise about the day to day operations of the Church. For example, setting rent rates for the Parish Hall and Social halls, Renovations, etc… and we also have a budget committee and a trustee council to administer the funds… we only advise where the funds are to be spent.
We are to advise about programs available for the evangelization to the congregation such as TMIY or a new program brought to us via the Faith in Life office (and the Pastor actually set up a special panel made up of members from the School, the PRE, DRE, and current pre-teachers - no, he didn’t ask us for permission - nor does he need to).
We are to advise about a number of things… we’re there to help brainstorm for solutions for issues that Father brings to us, as he is only one person, whereas we are many and have the pulse of the congregation.
However, we really have no authority to do anything… we have 48% of the vote, Father has 52% and that’s the way it should be.


OK, gang…now that we have gone sideways with how parish councils work, I would like to ask if anyone has anymore thoughts on having the corpus on the crucifix in the sanctuary covered and hidden by white cloth (draped, like linens that might have been left by Christ as He rose on Easter morn). Father said it will remain like that through Easter Season (until Pentecost). Is this off base or what? :confused:


Sorry :blush:


Oh, don’t be sorry…I thought the parish council thread that was taking shape was very interesting. I had no idea that is how they operate in fact and that how they are supposed to operate is fairly unknown. It should be a thread!:popcorn:


Ahhh but I should know better :frowning:

However, let’s see if I can redeem myself by tying the Parish Council into the thread. :smiley:

The Parish Council is now more properly known as the “Pastoral Council” in order to emphasize the role the council plays in directly advising the Pastor of the Church and helps to over see all of the various committees to co-ordinate their activities (prevent duplication of efforts etc…) So, in this case with the covering of the Crucifix (or out right removal) this action most likely would been taken the liturgical committee. As a member of the Pastoral Council, either myself (and most likely others) would have taken notice of this action and more than likely researched it and if found to be potentially liturgically incorrect, because we are to advise the Pastor, would bring the action(s) to the attention of the Pastor.
So in this case, if it is an improper act, the council has an obligation to advise the Pastor, present why we think it is an improper act, and then let the Pastor take action as he sees fit. For example, it had been the custom of my Church for over 50+ years to remove the Holy Water from the fonts at the START of Lent. However, when I assumed my position as a voting member I pointed out that The Congregation for Divine Worship had a position that this should not be done prior to the Sacred Triduum. And for the past 5 years, that practice has stopped and will not be continued unless something else is handed down.

So with this in mind, I looked into this question of removing or covering the Crucifix and other statues during Lent and Easter…
It does seem to be a common practice during Lent to cover the statues and other holy images during the last two weeks of Lent (with the exception of the stations of the cross)
(Covering of Crosses and Images in Lent)
Here again it seems in England:
Why are Crucifixes and Statues veiled in Church at the end of Lent (PDF so I’ll subquote)
The Roman Missal provides that before the Vespers
of the Saturday preceding Passion Sunday the
crosses, statues and pictures of Christ and of the
saints throughout the church, with the exception of
the Stations of the Cross, are to be covered with a
plain opaque violet veil. The crosses remain covered
until the Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday; the
other statues remain covered until Easter Eve. The
reason the statues of the saints (in our case St Mary
the Virgin) should be covered is that it is improper
for the servants to show themselves when the
master is hidden

MIND YOU: I did NOT do a very deep search/research into this as I would for my Parish.
As for the Covering of the Crucifix after Easter, from those two sources and pulling out my revised copy of the revised Roman Missal (yes I have a copy, I was on our RCIA team and we teach right from the book! ) I do not see any permission granted to cover the Crucifix AFTER the Easter Vigil or indeed at anytime. SO I asked the Deacon to allow me to read thru the Sacramentary, It appears there that the practice has historical merit, has not been officially voted on by the Bishops, and therefore is optional.
I find nothing in the Sacrastan’s Manual that allows for the Corpus to be covered or removed at any other time in the liturgical year.

In my church, the Main Crucifix has a White Vail that Drapes BEHIND and around the Corpus but not covering the Corpus. As the Archbishop was with us for confirmations and Divine Mercy Sunday he must not have found it to be an issue, and he’s somewhat conservative!

If I were in the Parish that OP was at, and a voting member of the pastoral council for that parish, I’d have to ask the Pastor why the Corpus was being covered/removed against what I understood the rubrics to require.


Thanks for looking into that, z 0101. Bottom line, council or no council, the priest in charge can do what he wants, it appears. :shrug:


Within limits… pretty much.
Now in this case, I think the covering/removal of the main Crucifix after Easter is most likely out of line; however, I’d have to verify it with our Deacon who heads our liturgical committee and there may be something within the diocese where doing this is a historical custom.

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