Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Why Catholics Hang Crucifixes




Alleluia! Christ is risen!

So why do Catholics still depict him hanging on a cross?

A crucifix is a cross on which hangs the crucified body of Christ.  It is a sign of Christ's unconditional love for us and a way we can express our faith as Catholic Christians. 

Archbishop Fulton Sheen summarized the reason for using a crucifix instead of an empty cross when he said, “Keep your eyes on the crucifix, for Jesus without the cross is a man without a mission, and the cross without Jesus is a burden without a reliever.”

Earlier this year when I was teaching Kindergarten faith formation, I asked the class "When people visit your house, how can they tell you are Catholic?"  The answers I got included: we pray before meals, we have rosaries in the home.......and we hang crucifixes.  When a child answered this, I quickly thought of my house.  We have a small cross in our kitchen where we do school.  I am embarrassed to say, however, that it is partly covered with CDs and unless you know where to look...you probably wouldn't even notice it.

Well, that had to change.

In my day to day life, I need to know that I am working for a greater good...that I am working for Christ.  What better reminder than a crucifix to make me remember this.

Our new beautiful crucifix is in the picture above. I placed it beside our front door so that our whole family can see it daily.  It is the last thing we see before we leave our home and the first thing we see when we enter.  It is in a prominant place in our home where it can not be covered with stacks of paper and, because of it's size, can't be missed!  Perfect.

It's also a beautiful reminder of our faith.  You can see this crucifix from our dining table making it a conversation starter for people who may visit our home.  It's also a reminder to me to pray and thank God daily for his sacrifice.

Finally, the crucifix offers spiritual protection.  Yup, it's not just something we see in the movies!  Crucifixes proclaim for all to see, the triumph of Jesus over sin and death.

"At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth" Philippians 2:10.

Our crucifix pictured above is from Discount Catholic Products.  They carry a huge assortment of Catholic gifts, jewelery, Catholic Bibles and crucifixes.  If you head over to their facebook page right now, they are holding an awesome sweepstakes if you Like their page!  Stay tuned for a guest post from Emily Kirchner of Discount Catholic Products coming soon!

9 comments:

  1. Your crucifix is beautiful! We received a lovely one for a wedding present that we hung over our front door. We also put one over each bedroom door, as well. I love for our children to see it everytime they go in or out of their rooms. :-) Hope you had a blessed Easter!

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  2. Hi Lisa! I would love to put one in each girls' room! I need to do some shopping :)
    Our Easter was lovely, I know yours was too because I saw your beautiful pictures!!

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  3. Beautiful! We had one on the alter when we were married. The priest blessed it during our ceramony and it now hangs in our house.

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  4. Wow, I can't believe I hadn't thought about that question before. Thanks for bringing it up and answering it [smile].

    ~Luke

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  5. I'm doing a happy dance here! SO thrilled to find another Catholic homeschooling momma who is heading to the 2:1 Conference! PLEASE look me up when you're there!

    You did a great job with this post about crucifixes. I host a weekly link up - Saints and Scripture Sundays - would love to have you stop by!

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  6. Hi Dianna! I'm heading over to your blog right now! I will DEFINITELY look you up at the conference!! It's getting closer...I'm so excited!

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  7. I didn't think about getting it blessed! Good idea! I think I'll bring it to church this weekend :)

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  8. I have always wondered why Catholics hang a crucifix. Thanks for the explanation! I am non-denominational, and was raised in a Baptist church, so I always wonder about other churches traditions.

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  9. Beautiful post- and St Paul says I preach Christ Crucified- yes- we always remember the resurrection, but that happened because of His sacrifice

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