Question from ESally on 3/21/2008:
Hi, Our Parish is in a small rural part of the South. During the Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday... this year a cross was used -- no corpus on it, instead of a Crucifix. Although a Crucifix was available or could have been acquired from one of it's parishioners for this purpose. This is the first time in my life I have encountered this. And I was truly very upset by this change in that which has been a Tradition, to kiss the feet of Jesus on the Cross.
Is this a problem because the English word Cross, (the Non-Catholics use a Cross-without the Corpus) as oppose to the Crucifix.
If it is that a Cross could be used instead of a Crucifix please let me know. Or if they have a misunderstanding, because of the language?-- let me know. Where in the Rubrics or the GIRM does it state that a Crucifix is to be used? Please provide the numbers so that I may be able to give it to my Pastor. Or better yet is there a definition for the Cross when used in the Mass or Veneration, what exactly is a Cross and should it contain a corpus? That may be the problem... Not knowing the Church's definition of the word. I understand that the Latin Crux loses in translation. The word translates to Cross... some in the South would automatically assume that the Corpus can be omitted.
I truly love the Church and the traditions that we follow -- it is constant and a solace... never flighty with times... it is forever.
I thank you very much... God love and protect you
E. Sally Russell
Answer by Fr. John Echert on 3/22/2008:
The rubrics read "Cross" but the long-standing traditional practice of the Church has been to use a crucifix, that is, a cross with the image of our Lord affixed. One would expect that especially on Good Friday, when we commemorate the crucifixion of our Lord, a crucifix would be used for veneration. It may be difficult to fight this, as I imagine this was done quite intentionally by the pastor, in spite of the traditional practice.
A blessed Easter to you,