Resurrection Crucifix

Sculpture by Arye Shapiro

Dimensions: 15"H x 5½"W x 2¾"D

Material: Bronze on black walnut cross

Date: 2004


This crucifix was commissioned by Monsignor Richard McCabe for processional use at Emmaus Catholic Church (Lakeway, Texas.) It is a resurrection crucifix, depicting Christ ascending from the cross. Arye’s commission was to create a crucifix similar only in concept to the huge existing one behind the altar.

Weight was an important concern because a processional crucifix is carried down the aisle by altar boys during Mass. To minimize the weight, the bronze was cast hollow and mounted on a wooden cross.

This crucifix made its debut during Easter services in April 2004. Some 1500 people who attended Mass on Easter Sunday watched as it was borne aloft in the procession.

The Creative Process

Christ’s pose contains several important elements. The ascending Christ is apparently no longer bound to the cross. Christ, self-propelled is pushing downward with his left leg in the way Lance Armstrong, champion cyclist, might push the pedal of his bicycle. Christ reaches down with his left hand as if to hold the hand of a child. Meanwhile, Christ extends his right arm upward, his face expressing the expectation and euphoria of connecting with God.

This pose was sculpted using a live model, a tall thin 24-year old carpenter. To give the effect of flight, the legs of the Christ figure were modeled while the model was airborne. Arye modeled Jesus’ nose after his own Jewish nose.

The resurrection crucifix was cast in bronze by the Schaefer Art Bronze Foundry ( Arlington, Texas).