Q: A friend from the parish is sharing some of your blog posts with me. The most recent Cross and Crucifix post made us wonder about the crucifer and if there is an instance when a cross would be used instead of the crucifix. In our church, the crucifix hangs in our Altar and the crucifer carries a crucifix. The crucifer continues processing to the sacristy and leaves the crucifix there until processing out at dismissal.
A: The cross bearer sets the cross next to the altar if there is no other cross in the sanctuary (GIRM 122, 188). Otherwise, it goes to a dignified place, such as the sacristy. I’ve treated this in my book Let Us Pray: A Guide to the Rubrics of Sunday Mass.