A View from the Sacristy: Lenten Cross

February 17, 2016 § 3 Comments

Cross 1I had mentioned on Ash Wednesday that the parish has three processional crosses: our Icon Cross which we use most of the year; the silver Easter Cross (which seems to weigh a ton); and the brass Lenten Cross.

The Lenten Cross has been with us for over 100 years and it’s really very beautiful. It’s just a shame we never really get to see it because it’s veiled during the time we use it in the liturgy.  When Graham French created our Lenten Array and Passiontide vestments he also created veils to use with this cross. The veils fit the cross like a glove. In this post, I have “lifted the veil” for us so that we can see the cross.

It is a humble cross. If you have ever been in the sacristy during the year, this processional cross lives very quietly by a pillar near the shelf where we keep the altar book, clergy prayer books, and lectionary readings book, going almost unnoticed. The brass cross has the Lamb of God, now broken, in the center, and the symbols of the each of the evangelists on the ends of each cross beam.

Cross 2

One of the alternate Anthems from the Good Friday liturgy in the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) says,

We glory in your cross, O Lord, and praise and glorify your holy resurrection; for by virtue of your cross joy has come to the whole world.

Even on the day when we are memorializing Christ’s passion on the Cross, the BPC calls us to find joy in the cross. I hope are here at the beginning of our Lenten observances, this glimpse of the beauty of what’s hidden underneath this plain veil will help to bring you a spirit of anticipation to the glories of Easter which will lie beyond the horror of Good Friday and the crucifixion.

– Sean Scheller

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