Crosses and Crucifixes in the Easter Season

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q:  During the most recent Easter Season my parish I feel went overboard on the use of Crosses and Crucifixes. We normally have a free standing  large crucifix in the nave. One Crucifix in the sanctuary (fixed to wall) and the processional Cross with corpus. The pastor has now taken to placing a small standing crucifix facing himself (and the one on the back wall) on the altar. To this during Lent and Easter they used the cross used on Good Friday (normally) in Lent prominently displayed in Sanctuary with a purple fabric draped over it and in Easter adjacent to the Easter Candle draped in a white cloth.  (This took the count to 5. ) All banners in the church featured either a purple cross (Lent) or white cross(Easter). This is a total of 8 banners (13 crosses in all). Your opinion, please, in light of GIRM 325 and “noble simplicity.” (I call it facetiously duelling crosses.)


A:  It does sound like a lot – especially if you roll in stations of the cross and other decorative items. Sometimes the cross is overused.

GIRM 325 encourages noble simplicity. GIRM 318 asks that images “be so arranged so as to lead the faithful toward the mysteries of faith celebrated there. Care should, therefore, be taken that their number not be increased indiscriminately, and moreover that they be arranged in proper order so as not to draw the attention of the faithful to themselves and away from the celebration itself.”

I’m sure the people responsible mean well, but we all sometimes fall short of the ideal.