Thursday, December 14, 2006


Theocoid reminded me that we had a discussion regarding the lack of a crucifix in our Cathedral parish, and that at a time in the recent past we had a huge hanging "swan dive" Jesus, the resurrected Lord replacing the crucified Lord on the cross. you've seen them, this sort of thing (currently in the basement parish hall).

I first encountered this after reception into the Church in 1996, and, after the bare crosses of protestantism, found this rather a curious item indeed. Was there a Catholic contigent that, like the protestants, wanted to bypass the cross and go straight to glory? "No greater love" is too great a love so let's all feel good instead? I have long called these things a ressurifix, and I have lost the memory of whether that term was one I received or coined, (I'm inclined to think it was a received term, as I'm not generally that clever).

The question to ponder, is what in scripture does this refer to? A crucifix (a cross with a crucified corpus of Christ) represents a real, historical event, and event that is made present at the mass. But the cross with a resurrected Christ, represents in scripture, well... what?

When reading St. Augustine's commentaries on the psalms, there was a controversy in the fourth century which since then even the Church has apparently conceded to her Jewish controversialists. The Septuagint, as received, contained the following, the second part of the strophe, the Church being accused of adding:


"O sing unto the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord, all the earth,
the Lord hath reigned from the wood."

The one justification in scripture that the resurifix could point to, has been stricken. Personally, I find the ressurifix a symbol of fear of the cross, rather than instilling an adoration for the God who condescended to take our humanity and nail its failings and sins to the cross for our redemption. The traditional crucifix gives me strength, the other, sadness.

BTW, I did enlist the aid of a willing conscript to carry the extremely beautiful original crucifix (which is used to hold a window open in the robing room) and set it on a table next to the altar during the latter part of the Cathedral "Family of God" conference. As the agent provocateur, I accept full responsibility for failing to respect the rule of crufixphobia which is policy in the Cathedral: mea culpa, I was carried away by the spirit of Vatican II, a spirit of community, of support for my marginalized sisters and brothers, a spirit of disregard for legalistic thinking, and a desire for justice...


  1. I'm glad that in my little sheltered corner of BC, we still have a life sized crucifix in the sanctuary with the suffering Jesus there to remind us of us His ultimate sacrifice.

    Actually,I have never seen one of those "resurifix" crosses. I've only seen them on the internet, and for that, I give thanks. There is nothing Catholic about them, and they certainly don't belong in a cathedral.

  2. All you have to do is ask yourself: if Dracula were about to sink his fangs into your throat, would you brandish a crucifix? or a resurrifix?

  3. As usual Anita, to the point. Thanks.

  4. Forgive my ignorance, but why does the position of the corpus matter? It seems to me to be a matter of aesthetics and has never affected this convert's devotion to Our Lord in the Eucharist even a bit. (If they were inverting the corpus, changing His gender, or placing Him face down, THEN I'd have issues with it. At that point it would have ceased to be aesthetics and become blasphemy.) Personally, I'm more concerned by the fact that a number of Catholics downplay or disbelieve in the Real Presence, and treat the Mass like a holy pizza party. Sometimes I think we Catholics are like a farmer who becomes so apoplectic over the flaws in a few of his carrots that he stops weeding and watering the garden altogether. Instead, he starts yanking up all the carrots to make sure they meet his standards of perfection. When the harvest comes he has nothing but a handful of pathetic, withered carrots and a lot of VERY healthy weeds.