When I was very young, I visited my grandparents a lot. I loved going to the farm to see them and explore the farm and their old home.
On one occasion I asked my grandfather about the crucifix on the wall because it was very unique. He took it down, removed the body of Jesus, and inside were two candles, a bottle of holy water, and of course, the crucifix that goes into its base. He then told me it was called a “Sick Call Set”. He explained to me that he would serve if a priest came to anoint my grandmother or him, if they were sick. From then on, I fell in love with this crucifix and called it the ‘sickle game’ – or so I’ve heard it said.
The “sickle game” reminded me, each time I visited, that my family was Catholic. They also had other religious art in their home, but this crucifix reminded me how important their faith was to them.
What religious art do you have at home? Our homes are our sanctuary. It’s where we go when we’re down and where we go to recharge after the challenges of the day.
Our homes can also serve as a visible reminder of our faith. We all need reminders in our lives. Just think of all the notes you write daily to remind yourself to do something that day. We all carry a lot of things in our daily life and reminders are a good way to stay focused.
Religious art is no exception. Do you have a cross or a crucifix at home? Do you know where it is?
In my household, I have a crucifix, as well as other religious art objects. Although I don’t consciously think about this crucifix every day, I know it’s there, and when I need a “pick up”, I know I can see this crucifix and be reminded of the love of Jesus for me.
Our children, who learn so much about our faith by watching us, can really benefit from seeing religious art in our homes.
Do you buy religious art for your loved ones? Often we don’t think about buying expensive art for ourselves, but about five years ago my wife made a big purchase.
She shopped at a woodcarving event in Jerusalem held after church and bought a hand-carved hand with a baby in the palm. This beautiful piece of art is on a ledge in our kitchen and I see it every day. This is a great reminder of the scripture passage, “It shall be a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead, that the teaching of the Lord may be on your lips; for with a strong hand the Lord t brought out of Egypt.” Exodus 13:9.
Our homes create an environment for our children to see how important our faith is in our lives. It is also a reminder for all of us.
Hope you get out there soon and buy some new religious art for your home.
Mark Nuehring is Director of Faith Education at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Rochester.
From the Pulpit” features reflections from religious leaders in the region. To contribute, write to us at
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