St. Mary, Our Lady of the Snows

The Crucifix at St. Mary Our Lady of the Snows



          OUR WORSHIP COMMISSION was aware that for many years that a number of people in the parish were interested in having a hanging crucifix in the sanctuary.  We decided to wait until the renovation was completed before looking at several options for both the cross and the Christ figure.  We looked at modern sculptures and traditional crosses.  We visited Churches and perused Church catalogues. As we studied the different possibilities, we noticed one crucifix with the Christ figure looking heavenward capturing the moment when Jesus said, “Into your hands I commend my spirit.”  The hands of the figure, while attached to the cross were somewhat upraised.  The cross itself was metal but split in such a way as to allow stain glass to be inserted at the top, bottom and sides of the crossbeam.  Because some on the commission thought that the corpus was a little too modern, we found an artist who had fashioned a corpus that was more traditional, but with the same expression of Christ looking upward.  We chose the cross that we see today in Church for a couple of other reasons as well.     

          IF YOU NOTICE, the architect fashioned the support for the altar to look like arms that are raised up in an offering of prayer.  The Eucharist itself celebrates Christ’s once and for all sacrifice on the cross, the offering of Himself in love for us and to the Father.  We enter into this sacrifice each time that we celebrate Mass.  Our prayer is our offering joined to Christ. This is represented by the supporting arms of our Eucharistic table (altar).  That is why we were drawn to the corpus of Christ with His hands somewhat upraised.  There is a movement of upraised arms of the table of the Eucharist to the cross, with Jesus offering Himself to the Father as He says, “Into your hands I commend my spirit.”  We also decided that we would include the stain glass in the cross itself, which would look similar to the stain glass that we find in the windows next to the sanctuary.  The stain glass would be fashioned to appear like the heads of wheat, linking the crucifix again to the Eucharist that we celebrate.

          THIS DESIGN THEREFORE was a collaboration of the Worship Commission, the architect and the artist who fashioned the crucifix.  Our Commission hopes that this new crucifix will aid us in celebrating the Eucharist and will become a valued sacred object of our devotion to Christ for His saving action in our lives.