Good Friday Image

Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg 11-08-2011
Photo credit:  Ken Steinhoff

If you attend a worship service at Trinity Lutheran Church in Altenburg, you will see another item which came over on the ships in 1838-1839.  That item is shown in the photo above.  It is a wooden crucifix, and it still adorns the altar at this church.  Once again we will use some words written by Rev. Adolph Vogel concerning this work of art:

“The crucifix which has been on display on the altar of Trinity church at Altenburg for 123 years (1962) is another valuable piece of church equipment, and which is perhaps not as much appreciated by some of our people as it deserved to be.  We stated that it is valuable and so it is, not only for sentimental reasons, but even in a monetary way.  It was brought to America by the Saxons in 1839.  Tradition has it that the figure of Christ has been carved out of wood in the city of Oberammergau, Bavaria.  This town is famous for its works of art in woodcraft, which are sold all over the world.  Also our crucifix is a real work of art.  And therefore, should the time ever come that the congregation would feel inclined to sell this crucifix with the proper collector bidding on it, they may be able to realize a sum of money far beyond their fondest expectations.  May that time never come.”

A quick search on the internet tells you that Oberammergau is to this day famous for its Passion Play, the NATO school (a training facility for NATO soldiers), and woodworking.

Sometimes you might hear some discussion about whether a cross in a church should be an empty one or one like the one above which includes the body of Christ suffering upon it.  Needless to say, regardless of which side of that discussion upon which you fall, the crucified body of Jesus on the cross has special meaning for us Christians on this Good Friday.


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