"The Bridegroom Cometh" This is the traditional iconography image of Christ the Bridegroom of the Church which is His bride:
This is the "spirit of Vatican II" watered down version of the same:
When I was assigned to St. Teresa's Church in Albany in 1980, we were in the midst of renovating a church building built in the mid 1950's. Rambusch out of New York was the consulting firm. Of course the desire of the consultants was to bring the altar out into the congregation and to have seating on three sides of it. On paper it looked nice, in reality it was a debacle.
One of the things that was suggested and almost passed although I vehemently objected and finally persuaded others to reject was the removal of a large crucifix over the altar in the sanctuary. Rambusch said that the crucifix was "Pre-Vatican II" and that the trend today (1980's) was to replace it with an empty cross or the "Risen Lord" on the Cross rather than the crucified image.
I've never use to think of Christ the Bridegroom as He is depicted in traditional iconography, but in my mind's eye I've pictured Christ the Bridegroom as I picture most grooms on their wedding day, happy, vibrant and virile, ready to meet his bride and begin their life together. I've never pictured Christ the Bridegroom as iconography has done over the years as in the icon above, stripped, crown of thorns slammed on His head, bleeding and seemingly helpless, anything but strong, virile and handsome.
What do the two images of Christ the Bridegroom (and removal of crucifixes which is iconoclasm) suggest to you? How does it shape our understanding not only of Jesus Christ and His relationship to His Bride, the Church, but of how we understand the Church and ourselves who are baptized comprising the "Bride of Christ?" Just wondering.