, , , ,

This particular post is a little beyond the borderlands of the whisky universe, and yet I share it because I had the wonderful privilege of collaborating in the design of a rather exquisite pectoral crucifix now being sold at one of the finest—if not the premier—of online merchants in Christian handiwork, Ad Crucem!

Simply, Ad Crucem deals in the higher tiers of artisanship when it comes to churchly merchandise. As they offer on the website, the effort “grew out of our frustration with the tacky Christian gifts market that doesn’t look a whole lot different from the local party or dollar store.” And they’re right. The usual sources in this arena are nothing to herald, and in comparison to these supply houses, Ad Crucem more than takes the market to a higher level. Whether it’s liturgical artwork, decorative christmonscertificates and banners, or this new pectoral crucifix, Ad Crucem stands apart. I dare say what they offer, in many instances, is very nearly regalia.

It’s for this very reason that I reached out to Wanita, both a friend and the proprietor, when I was in search of the item you see here.

Essentially, the story is that of a kindly family in my parish, having heard I’d always wanted a pectoral crucifix, they decided to gift one to me for my birthday. Over the years, I’d searched, but I was never able to settle on one from the typical retailers that didn’t appear cheap, and most importantly, wasn’t a cross absent the corpus. “We preach Christ crucified,” Saint Paul said. If it doesn’t have a corpus, I’m not interested. As far as the pectoral crucifixes I did discover, it seemed that most were far too avant-garde in their designs, so much so that they looked, well, stupid. I suppose I might’ve been interested in wearing them if my regular preaching duties took place in the Jackson Pollock or Andy Warhol wings of the museum, but until that happens, I’m a classics kind of guy and more likely to be found doing mission work over by Caravaggio and Rembrandt. But whatever. Together with Ad Crucem, a classical pectoral crucifix was designed.

The item, comprised of sterling silver, is itself 3 inches tall by 2 inches wide. It weighs 25.5 grams. The corpus is scaled to a truer rendition of the Lord’s frame rather than being flattened as on most crucifix jewelry. Equally, incredible detail was achieved. The rib wound, facial features, crown of thorns, toes and fingers are all visible. Also, unlike most corpus’ you might find elsewhere, this one is a solid piece and not hollow. Finally, the titulus crucis is one with the cross and not attached as a separate piece. There’s no chance of it ever breaking free and being lost.

I suppose the most exciting thing for me in all of this is not only that I finally have the pectoral crucifix I’ve always wanted, but that I had a hand in imagining it. Perhaps even better, I own the original handcrafted edition used to make the mold for all others of its kind. They’ll all be born from this one. Of course to celebrate this gift, you know me. I first gave thanks to the Lord for the benefactors who showed me such love, and then I popped open one of my better whiskies and poured myself a dram… or two.

The sterling silver crucifix is available for $250, and in my opinion, that’s a steal. I say this because if I were running Ad Crucem, based on what’s available through other sources, I’d add $100 to the price tag.There’s nothing else like it out there, which means it’s certainly worth every penny and then some. A 14 karat gold version is being fashioned, too. It’s considerably pricier, coming in for a landing at $1,950. But whichever you choose, I’d say it’ll be more than a lasting treasure that silently proclaims the Gospel to both those who wear it and those who view it.

Visit www.adcrucem.com to learn more or to pre order. It won’t be long before it’s in stock and ready to ship.

Cheers and blessings,

The Reverend+