Built of Living Stones 83: Good Friday’s Veneration of the Cross

Good Friday’sVeneration is important enough for serious consideration in the planning of a church:

§ 83 § The celebration of the Lord’s passion on Good Friday has its particular spatial requirements. After the proclamation of the passion and the General Intercessions, the entire assembly rise to venerate the cross or crucifix.(Circular Letter Concerning the Preparation and Celebration of the Easter
Feasts
68) The cross used for the veneration preferably should be of sufficient size to be held easily, be carried in procession, and be venerated. After the veneration, the cross remains in the sanctuary.

That 1988 CDWDS letter gives this note: “For veneration of the cross, let a cross be used that is of appropriate size and beauty, and let one or the other of the forms of this rite as found in the Roman Missal be followed.”

Over the years I’ve heard of and seen multiple small crosses used like stations for the distribution of the Eucharist, or one large cross passed overhead in the assembly. The Missal calls for movement of the people. Veneration represents a commitment. Movement helps reinforce that.

All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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One Response to Built of Living Stones 83: Good Friday’s Veneration of the Cross

  1. Liam says:

    Since Paschale Solemnitatis was issued in 1988, the norm is for a single cross (see #69). At my now soon-to-be former parish, the way this was done was to have a single large cross in the crossing in the middle of the nave, and have two lines processing back to it from the front half of the nave, and two lines processing forward to it from the back half of the nave. It worked very well.

    One option that Paschale Solemnitatis permits is by necessity in the case of overwhelming numbers (I’ve seen that – I remember a GF when it took over an hour for the veneration rite….) for all to venerate simultaneously with a profound bow; individual veneration can follow the service with the cross left in place (with 4 candles) for private veneration as required after the service. See #71. How many parishes forget this last requirement?

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