Tuesday, July 19, 2011

NLM Quiz: Can You Guess What This Is? (No. 4) [The Answer]

Can you guess what this ecclesiastical item is, and what exactly it was used for? As with our previous quiz, please give your answer in the comments, and give whatever detail you can about what you think its use was and its context.

(As with our earlier quizzes, to make this more interesting, please make your answer in the combox before reading the other comments)

The Answer:

It is indeed a Cross held by a wooden arm fixed to the side of a pulpit, as was very often the case in Franciscan churches, where the preaching was so frequently focused on devotion to the Cross and the Passion. Congratulations to all those who guessed correctly; unfortunately, none of the answers this time around really deserves the "Most Creative Wildly Incorrect Answer" award. Here you can see the pulpit in full.

This photograph was taken on Spy Wednesday of 2010 in the Franciscan church of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. I have been looking for an excuse to show this photograph of the line for Confessions that day, which literally went half-way through the church and out the door; I saw similar lines in front of several other churches that day.

Finally, the pulpit of the Barnabite church of Bologna, San Paolo Maggiore, which also has a Cross fixed to the side, but a bit less creatively:

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