Each year on the Good Friday service at my parish we venerate the cross, but I really wish it were a crucifix, and I've wondered why we don't have one for that purpose. I've been trying to find one to just drop off at the church with a note saying "this is better, keep it", but before I do, I would like to know if the Catholic Church has any restrictions as to what kind of a cross can be venerated during the Good Friday service?

Does the cross have to be a certain size, of a certain material, or are we even allowed to venerate a cross sans-Corpus?

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    There is an admirable answer to this question at TotusTuus which it would seem inelegant simply to reproduce here, even with attribution. Mar 8, 2014 at 9:18
  • thanks, kind of a bummer though, probably means the priest is doing it intentionally.
    – Peter Turner
    Mar 10, 2014 at 2:40

1 Answer 1


The rubrics for the pre-1955 Missale Romanum (PDF p. 326) seem to assume there is a front and back side of the cross, which could only be possible were there a corpus on it:

Completis Orationibus, Sacerdos…accipit a Diacono Crucem jam in Altari præparatam: quam, versa facie ad populum… etc.

The orations having been completed, the Priest…takes the Cross, already prepared at the altar, from the Deacon: which, [the cross] turned toward the people… etc.

It can also be inferred that the cross shouldn't be so big that it can't rest on the altar.

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