‘Behold the wood of the cross’ at St. Alphonsus on Good Friday

By Clarion Herald
Photo | COURTESY MICHAEL M. DAVIS

A 6-by-4-foot wooden cross will be placed on the steps of the altar at St. Alphonsus Church on Good Friday (March 30) for veneration from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Friends of St. Alphonsus commissioned the cross last year for Good Friday, said board member Michael M. Davis. In previous years,  a smaller crucifix was laid on a table for veneration by those taking the nine-church walk on Good Friday. Davis, who has a master’s degree in religious studies, said the antique pine cross, sculpted by Matthew Sharai of Covington, is slightly beveled in the center so venerators can place rose petals, strategically placed in baskets on either side of the cross, on top.  Davis said the inspiration for a plain wooden cross, without a corpus, came to him to emphasize the Good Friday liturgy – “Behold the Wood of the Cross,” so when walkers come into the church they can meditate on the cross, which is the focal point, Davis said. Good Friday is part of The Triduum that celebrates the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. Almost 3,000 people came through the church on Good Friday in 2017. Davis said the number has increased every year. “The beauty of St. Alphonsus has caught on,” he said. “The simplicity; people understand that.” St. Alphonsus is located at 2025 Constance St., in New Orleans. A liturgy will be held across the street at 3 p.m. at St. Mary’s Assumption Church.

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