My formation was in a Dutch Reformed school and so the notion of crucifix and candle was hard for me to digest. I was and still am rather low church and tend toward the evangelical traditions of the church. But I am increasingly aware that as I learn more about other forms of church tradition, i can see why they are attractive and find them so myself at times.
My spiritual director once told me that the power of the crucifix was that it offered companionship to us when we suffer. That seems to me to be true. In the hospitals of the middle ages there was always a rather gruesome crucifix at the alter at the head of the room of beds so that the sick could see the body of Jesus hanging in glory and gore and take some solace that they were not alone in their suffering.
The truth is we suffer. Sometimes they are big sufferings and others are small. But suffering hurts and knowing that God has experienced, through Jesus, what hurts us, comforts me and makes it easier for me to pray when my life gets hard.