Crucifixion Pax Tablet,
How It Works
“Crucifixion” Pax Tablet, Italian master, brass, c. 1550-1650.
This metal relief was not just an image of the Crucifixion to be hung on a church wall or in a private chapel for contemplation. The relief probably had a specific function during the Catholic Mass. It resembles the tablet that is passed around during Mass and kissed by the congregants immediately preceding the Eucharist. Pax tablets were associated with the tradition of the “kiss of peace,” where congregants would kiss either a pax or the priest as a seal of prayer. They were also used during confirmations of new members of a church and of new members of the clergy. The presiding priest offered the pax to the candidate, and the candidate would kiss it.
Question: Why did people kiss holy objects in church?