Originally posted by FMF
I'm just back from Good Friday mass and there was one thing I quietly declined to do during the proceedings. Before the communion section of the mass, some men brought largish crucifixes to various parts of the church and its surrounds where the congregation was sitting under tent things, all able to see TV monitors showing the altar and choir etc., and everyone ...[text shortened]... p to kiss the feet of Jesus. Surely this falls foul of one of the 10 commandments or something?
Firstly, this is a technicality, but you did not actually attend a Mass. Good Friday is the one day in the Christian calendar when a Mass is not celebrated. Communion is consecrated the night before on the Good Thursday Vigil. The tabernacle is then emptied and Communion is reposed in a vault to be used the following day for commemoration of the Passion.
Secondly, as twitehead pointed out, the crucial qiestion is whether this can be called worship. The use of images in itself is not idolatrous (Christians happily have depictions of bible scenes in their bibles.) In a discussion with Galveston, I also pointed out many times in which God orders the construction of images to be used in the temple:
There was the brazen serpent (Numbers 21:9), not destroyed till Ezechias [worshiped them] (2 Kings 18:4), there were carved and moulded garlands of fruit and flowers and trees (Numbers 8:4; 1 Kings 6:18; 7:36); the king's throne rested on carved lions (1 Kings 10:19-20), Iions and bulls supported the basins in the temple (1 Kings 7:25, 29). Especially there are the cherubim, great carved figures of beasts (Ezekiel 1:5; 10:20, where they are called beasts), that stood over the ark of the covenant (Exodus 25:18-22; 1 Kings 6:23-8; 8:6-7, etc.)
Thirdly, it is important to remember that the cross is the supreme symbol of Jesus Christ. Details about Jesus' physical appearance are simply unknowable and mayve even irrelevant. The cross, however, which represents his redemptive mission in the world and the love of God who sent His only son is of much greater value. So the veneration of the cross really should not be considered idolatrous. Whatever gestures people make to the cross are ultimately intended for Jesus Christ. Such loving devotion should be commended.