“Ask a Priest: Is a Cross With a Risen Christ OK?”

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Q: A parishioner mentioned to me, the director of religious education, that there is a crucifix with a risen Christ in the parish hall, and that it was inappropriate because we are in Lent. The church, though, has the crucified Christ on the cross. So, is it inappropriate to have the risen Christ on the cross in the parish hall where the children also have religious education? – C.C.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: There are a few observations you could consider.

First, Church documents speak of the use of crosses with a crucified Christ on them. They don’t call for a risen Christ on them. (See my colleague Father McNamara’s article.)

Whether it’s appropriate at all to use a cross with a risen Christ is another question.

In some places such crosses have been in use for decades. This doesn’t necessarily make them correct, but it could stir up a lot of discord to remove them. It would require a prudential decision.

It might be good to speak with the pastor about the issue, or direct the inquirer to approach the pastor.

Depicting the crucified Jesus is a powerful way to teach what he did for us, to win our redemption. In any case, having a risen Christ on the cross might confuse the children who are receiving religious education.


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