Corpus on a Processional Cross

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: Blessed Advent!

If a parish has a fixed cross with a crucifix, does the processional cross need to have a corpus on it? Or possibly can it have a resurrected corpus?

Thanks so much for your insight!


A: GIRM 122 says, “The cross adorned with a figure of Christ crucified, and carried in procession, may be placed next to the altar to serve as the altar cross, in which case it must be the only cross used; otherwise it is put away in a dignified place.”

The Ceremonial of Bishops 128 lists among the people in the procession “an acolyte carrying the cross, with the image to the front.”

I read this to mean that a processional cross is indeed a crucifix.

The rubrics keep the crucifix central because the Mass is a participation in the sacrifice of Christ. There are lots of signs of the resurrection at every Mass, and the most important is holy communion, the risen Christ among us.