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selecting a crucifix

Saturday, July 07, 2007

I was at the religious goods store to purchase a wall crucifix as a gift. I have now come to realize that I'm quite particular about crucifixes.

My criteria in descending order of importance:
1) I don't believe Jesus was fair-skinned. Crucifixes with a fair-skinned corpus were quickly ruled out.
2) I don't believe Jesus was chubby. Those few were ruled out.
3) I want a corpus that looked proportional--you know, the legs not too short or too long and such.
4) I don't want a corpus that looked as if Jesus was just hanging around, cooling out ... his neck should be at least a little bent so that his head looks like it hangs a bit.
5) Also, the corpus should have some detail so that it's not just a blob.
6) The wood need not be all that much bigger than the corpus.
7) The hole for hanging should be bored on the back. I prefer not to see the hanger attached and visible above the crucifix.

After spending considerable time in front of the wall of crucifixes, I finally came away with one that was suitable and within my $30-$40 range. The wood is walnut and rather narrow; it would look better if there was more wood, but the corpus looked good and overall it was ok. It was a bit weighty, no doubt from the corpus and not the wood. There were maybe three others that I would consider but they were above my range.

I browsed the store a bit more since it was my first time there. Then my stomach ruined my enjoyment and I had to borrow their facilities. Afterwards I decided I better head home before I was too sick to do so.

Arriving home, I unboxed the crucifix and showed it to Tonto. My choice was affirmed with oohs and ahhs. It should be a fine gift then.

I don't know who our artisans are for these crucifixes. They could be Religious Brothers, Sisters and Nuns. Whoever they are, I hope that they've not lapsed into mediocrity. Wall crucifixes are large enough to allow us to see flaws. The corpus should be formed with care. The resin ones looked pretty bad to me, and I don't see how those crucifixes will ever sell.