Crosses as Decoration
#1
I am curious about y'all's opinion of the cross being used as decoration.

I was raised mormon, and we didn't use the symbol of the cross at all. We were told to focus instead upon the resurrection of Christ rather than the method of his death. We were discouraged from wearing or displaying crosses or crucifixes.

Now, as an aspiring Catholic, I do wear a cross and I have a beautiful little crucifix I wear with my medals. For me they are a symbol of who I am and who I am becoming as well as a reminder of how I should deport myself.

However, seeing a cross picked out in rhinestones on a purse, dangling from the ears, cut out of leopard print leather, embossed on wallets, embroidered on jackets, and printed in glitter across t-shirts still bothers me.

It seems to me that the sign of the cross shouldn't be used as mere decoration. If we wear it or display it it should be done in a reverent manner, always with a mind toward who we are representing at that point.

I was at the grocery store when I saw a teenage girl wearing dangly cross earrings. For some reason that has always elicited a negative reaction from me. (I don't know why, I try to repress it as it seems fairly silly.) At the same time though, there is a gorgeous ornate cross I want that is made of silver and is decorated with garnets, peridot, an amythist. I ask myself, why do crosses as earrings bother me, but a jeweled pendant does not? Is it the casualness with which it's treated? If it's a reaction of the cross being used as decoration, then wouldn't the pendant strike me as just as wrong? Anywho, enough with the arm-chair philosophy.

What do you all think about the cross used so casually as decoration on every day things?
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#2
As you said, it depends on the spirit in which it is worn.  If the cross is shown with an awareness that one is dedicating something to Christ, for instance, as on the Swiss flag, then it is good for ornamentation.  If there is no appreciation for the sacrifice, then it is not good.
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#3
The Cross of Jesus Christ symbolizes many aspects of life: the Incarnation, Christ's humble life of preparation, the brutal rebuke from His own chosen people, His painful and humiliating death to atone for all sins, and His triumph over death.

Our Lord has given us the precept, if we are to follow Him, we must also take up our own Crosses.  For many, this meant martyrdom and for others life-long trials or sacrifice.

The Cross is a symbol of great power when the bearer also carries faith in what is stands for.  To use the Cross as a mere ornament or 'artistic expression' is a sacrilege.  Too often, people talk of the Church in terms of 'my faith.'  Sometimes this term is used correctly, but usually the person should be thinking instead 'the Faith.'

Speaking from experience, I have silenced rooms by wearing out my crucifix so that it is just barely visible to the side of my tie knot, knowing beforehand and during that the intent is to wear this as a pennitential badge, one that signifies my enmity with the ways of the world.  Yes, it is a symbol of triumph ultimately, but not without the suffering first.  

By the way, welcome to the Church!  Have you already gone through all the entry Rites (Baptism, Confesssion, Confirmation, Communion)?
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#4
Every Catholic should have a reasonably (not ridiculously) large and well made crucifix displayed somewhere in their home.  We aren't iconoclasts after all.  As for wearing a crucifix, I'm ok with that although I choose not to myself.  Just make sure you wear a crucifix, not just a plain old cross, lest someone mistake you for a prottie.  I'm always suspicious of people who wear plain crosses.  Makes my prot-dar go into overdrive.  
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#5
Thank you for the welcome kingthoden. I have not gone through the entry rites sad I'm having a hard time locating a priest who'll baptize me without having gone through their stupid RCIA class for months and months. (I've tried. I always leave angry.)

Thank you too for your view of displaying the cross. I think my misgivings about the ubiquity of the cross as decoration fall in line with yours.

And DrBombay, I do indeed have a lovely simple crucifix on my wall, as well as a rosary in each bedroom. I have a lovely tapestry of Our Lady of Guadelupe, and I'm looking for a statue that I like. Big Grin
My cross is indeed a cross not a crucifix, but I've yet to find a crucifix I like as well as I like my cross, and I can afford.
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#6
Are there any FSSP or ICKSP parishes remotely close (or even a diocesan Priest who will say the TLM)?  If not you can probably contact one of the apostolates, explain your situation, and something be arranged.

SSPX is an option in my view if the diocese has not done anything to create a stable TLM community, but that is a decision I've never had to make and is one I would prefer, for now, not having to have to make.
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#7
There aren't any of those close by, the nearest being 4.5 hours round trip. And gas is *expensive* XP I've been muddling through with the deacon of the least annoying church in town. However, he still seems bound and determined to 'teach me the catachim' even though I often know it better than him. *sigh* I smile and nod a lot, because correcting him annoys him.
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#8
I thought that this thread was about the sign of the cross and not about crosses and crucifixes.
You might want to change the threads title.
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#9
good point, will do. I hadn't thought of that.
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#10
I wear a Jerusalem cross because I made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land when I was 13, and my parents bought it for me there. I don't wear a crucifix, but mostly because I can't afford the ones I like. I wear a miraculous medal on the same chain as my cross. I don't buy accessories with crosses on them but we have many crucifixes and other religious artwork on the walls of our home
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