[Some people] say that [a] crucifix freezes salvation history at Good Friday. [A] bare cross, on the other hand, takes that history all the way through Easter. The absence of a corpus
symbolizes the risen Christ.
No, it doesn't. All it can mean is that Christ is not on the cross. But where is he? Moldering away in the tomb? That's what the skeptic would say, and he'd have a point.
If you want a symbol for the Resurrection, it can't be either the crucifix or the bare cross. It must be the empty tomb. I have never seen a church feature a representation of the tomb on its steeple.
Yes, both the crucifix and bare cross "point" toward the Resurrection, but they do not artistically show it. The crucifix shows Good Friday. The bare cross shows--what? The situation on Palm Sunday, as the Romans tidied up Golgotha in anticipation of whoever would be sent their way next? One could argue that way.
The bare cross, as an artistic symbol, is vague. The crucifix, pointing to a narrow sliver of time, is closer to a snapshot.
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Things people say
Not I, but another: