“Now that’s just plain silly. I can not think about the crucifixion without simultaneously thinking about the resurrection. How could it be any different for any Christian who knows the story? “
Perhaps you link the two automatically, but I don’t know that this is true of all.
If a simple cross was posted up, (He is risen!), would you start thinking about the crucifixion? I don’t know.
But I don’t think my observation is “silly,” even if I may be wrong, perhaps you can take it as food for thought.
In parishes served by the Dominican order, the processional crucifix is carried with the “corpus” facing the priest — who presumably is going to preach. The idea is that seeing the crucified Lord he will be stirred to deeper meditation on the love of IHS.
A self-professed atheist friend who worships at the Episcopal parish near her home said to me, “Episcopalians are about the resurrection; Catholics are about the crucifixion.” I was stunned. I asked my bubba and sissie lay Dominicans, and we all were taken aback and said, “How can you distinguish them?”
Among Cat’licks the period from the evening of Thursday of Holy Week to the Evening of Easter Sunday is all the “Triduum Sacrum” — the Three Holy Days. And I think of it, really, as one big, long service with time out to sleep, eat, go potty, etc. And the church starts vested in festal array for Maundy Thursday, then is stripped for Friday and daytime Saturday.
Then festal decorations are prepared but not put out. At the Vigil the church is in nearly utter darkness as we hear readings of Man's fall and God's gracious response before the Incarnation.
Then there is a great fanfare and ringing of every bell in the place as people appear with flowers for the altar and various other areas, the altar is draped in festal cloths, candles are lit, and a huge banner is unfurled which proclaims “Worthy is The Lamb.”
And before all that, in between what one might call the “proper services” there are devotions of various kinds. So, as I say, for those able to be there for the whole thing it's just one long “trip.”
So while I can see that some might easily separate the two, it's hard for us to do so conceptually. And if the cross sometimes seems more prominent, it's a trick of foreshortening. After all, we are carrying our crosses,as instructed, so they are closer and sometimes seem bigger than the celestial city.