Why Put a Crucifix in Every Room of Your Home?

The Manger and the CrossThe Baptism of the Lord officially marks the end of the Christmas season. Time to put away the tree, lights, stockings, and nativity. Images of the Baby King now fade from view, allowing the crucified Christ to once again take center stage. Lent is, after all, right around the corner.

It’s been said the crucifix is the Church’s most powerful visual aid. As the little girl in the cartoon underscores, looking at the crucifix can be tough at times. Baby Jesus in the manger is a lot easier on the eyes, but Christ on the cross is just as much a part of the reality of our salvation. The nativity doesn’t mean anything without the crucifix. The manger and the cross are inextricably linked – life and death, joy and suffering, working together for our salvation.

Many priests recommend having a crucifix in every room of your house. Consider the power of having one in the marital bedroom. It should serve as a powerful reminder to husbands and wives that they are called to give up their bodies for each other in the sacrament of marriage, just as Christ did for his Church. This is the heart of the Ephesians 5 reading that makes the many who misunderstand it squirm. You know Ephesians 5 … the one about wives being subordinate to their husbands (Eph 5:22). Somehow people tend to miss the part just three verses later about husbands being called to die for their wives (Eph 5:25).

One of the places this theology is lived out most clearly within marriage is in the struggles of fertility and pregnancy. Openness to life can also mean openness to heartache.

Two examples:

  1. One couple we know is struggling to discern family size. The mother has potentially life-threatening medical issues that could be exacerbated by pregnancy. Not exactly what they expected. How precisely are they called to give up their bodies? By accepting the potential health risks corresponding to future pregnancies? By accepting a different plan for their family than they had envisioned? Something else, perhaps?
  2. Another couple recently buried their 9-month stillborn son. Not exactly what the parents would have chosen. The priest who celebrated the funeral Mass mentioned that as the grieving father cradled his son’s tiny casket on the ride from the church to the burial site he remarked, “This child has done more for my family’s faith than I could ever have done.”

Both couples get the crucifix –– life and death, joy and suffering, working together for our salvation. It’s probably not the way any of us would have designed it, but His ways are not ours. What a better way to remind ourselves of that, and to trust in the love and mercy of Jesus, than by having a crucifix in every room of our homes?

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  1. says

    Thanks for your post! As a newcomer to Catholicism I’ve oft wondered if we should have a crucifix in every room. So far I’ve accomplished in the entryway, our bedroom and in our children’s bedrooms. Great explanation of why to have it in each room. I’ll keep adding them :)

    • says

      Thank you, Lyn, for dropping by and sharing your thoughts here. We say you are right on track with your ratio of crucifix to rooms. Now to get creative with finding a good one for the bathroom. :)

      Oh, and welcome home. Congratulations and Godspeed.

  2. says

    Your thought-provoking column is a reminder of a lesson that Dee and I learned many, many years ago. A holy woman who has been a big factor in our faith journey came to visit one day. She had a beautiful carved wooden crucifix in her hand. She gave it to us as a gift and recommended we put it near the front door so anyone entering would quickly see it. It is installed there along with a small nearby sign with this legend: This is a Catholic Home.” And we too have crucifixes in several rooms. As a smiling sidenote: we have parishioners and friends (and family) who don’t know what to give a deacon/wife… my office wall has a dozen crosses on display. If any of your readers would like a cross…. :-)

    • says

      Hello, Deacon Tom! We, too, have a crucifix in our entry way. The sign would be a nice touch!

      Oh, and are you giving us a little encouragement to keep at least one wall bare … for when our time comes? :)

  3. says

    Hi Lisa! Happy New Year! This article is so timely. Just this past weekend we started to be more intentional about putting crucifixes and other religious art around our home. It is so important to remind ourselves of both the joy and the sacrifice involved in family life. God bless you and your family always!

    • says

      Hello Angelique! So great to hear from you. Happy new year to you as well. Nice to see we are in good company. We’ve also been more mindful to look for religious art, too! Now if only the paychecks were a little larger!

  4. Rachele says

    When we totally accept our hardships (our crosses) we become as Christ (enlightened). Jesus Christ acceptance of his crucification taught us to do likewise. This is the redemption of mankind. Crosses are things that cannot be changed. Crosses are in every room our our home and hopefully are two teen boys will benefit.

  5. says

    . I was also mad at God and alienated from him. A christian friend started praying for me and she said God told her to give me one of her favorite little wooden crucifix’s. After she had it blessed at church, she gave it to me. Well after I put it on, I couldn’t stop crying for day’s. I felt all of my hurt, pain, sorrow, and the sadness I had carried around with her for so long, lift off my shoulders all at once.


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