O Sacred Head

MarjorieB

Lockport, IL, United States

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Artist's Description

This crucifix stood on my grandmother’s dresser for as long as I can remember. It was a wedding gift to her from her father-in-law, who was very pleased with his son’s choice of bride. Originally it had a music box base, now lost, which played the Bach chorale we know as O Sacred Head Surrounded.

O Sacred Head surrounded
by crown of piercing thorn!
O bleeding head so wounded,
reviled and put to scorn!
Death’s pallid hue comes o’er thee;
the glow of life decays.
Yet angel hosts adore thee,
and tremble as they gaze.

More information and video about the chorale

The leaves in the carving are symbolic, representing the Tree of Life, lost to mankind through Adam’s sin, and restored by Jesus’ sacrificial death. The scroll above his head reads INRI, abbreviated from the Latin inscription stating the “crime” for which he was executed by the Romans: “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”.

Nikon Coolpix S3000 with Photoshop effects.

Featured on 03/13/2011 in Living Christianity
Featured on 04/04/2011 in Religious Art and Photography

Artwork Comments

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