The Old Rugged Cross

My parents married on September 1st, 1949. My mother told me this crucifix was given to them as a wedding gift.

As far back as I can remember this crucifix hung over my parents bed. I thought it was beautiful. Even as a very young child, when I looked at this crucifix, it represented love, comfort, strength, and stability to me. It was the one constant in an ever-changing environment within our home.

I remember the first time my mother showed me the secret within the crucifix. She told me this was not just a crucifix it is also a complete Roman Catholic LAST RITES SET. It may be used by a priest for administering the Last Rites to a dying person or in giving Holy Communion to the sick on first Fridays, for example. When used for these purposes, the crucifix can be opened to create a small altar when set on a bedside table.

Inside the crucifix are two candles made of 51% beeswax to conform to the rules of the Roman Catholic Church. There are two small holes in the base of the crucifix to hold the candles upright and a slot to place a small bottle of Holy Water.

The ten important points to remember when the priest calls instructions are also included in the Last Rite set. It gives very clear instructions on how the priest is to be greeted at the door, how to prepare the “sick room”, and how to prepare the person receiving the Last Rites.

I remember a crucifix like the one in our home being used when my Grandfather, Curly, lay dying in his family home.

I found the old rugged cross of my childhood, and our family bible, in a garage cabinet in my parents home when my brother, Stephen, and I cleaned out my parents home after my father died. It was dirty, broken, and had black electric tape wrapped around it but it was still the most beautiful crucifix I’d ever seen. Stephen wanted the bible and I was happy to get the beautiful crucifix.

Tears filled my eyes as I fixed and cleaned the crucifix. It’s not perfect now, but it’s still beautiful to me.

I now have a collection of crosses, but my first and most precious to me, is the old rugged cross that hung in my childhood family home, and now hangs in mine.

Stay Tuned

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gotham girl
    Oct 16, 2012 @ 18:06:26

    Wonderful treasures! I love how you framed the last capture! xoxo MORE!


  2. Ellen Kaufman
    Oct 16, 2012 @ 23:42:14

    That is a beautiful story about the family cross and it looks exactly like the cross that hung in our home also which we have from my mom. Like you I use to open it up and show my children how it was use if and when someone in the family was sick and was given the sacrament of healing or when a person was going to have an serious operation or if need again when the person’s condition became gravely worse or anytime during aging. These traditions in our faith are scraments that are so meaningful and beautiful.


  3. Megs
    Oct 23, 2012 @ 21:49:18

    So cool that you have such wonderful treasures from your childhood. Xo


  4. Trackback: My Precocious Cross | Paula Reed Nancarrow

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