The cleric or minister who carries the processional cross, that is, a crucifix provided with a long staff or handle. An archbishop's cross is borne with the figure of the crucifix towards the prelate, but in all other cases the figure should be turned forward. The cross-bearer should, whenever possible, be a cleric (Council of Milan, seventeenth century), but in lay processions the most worthy of the laity should be selected for the office. In the more solemn processions such as those of the Blessed Sacrament, Palm Sunday, and Candlemas Day, the cross should be borne by a subdeacon vested in amice, alb, and tunic ; on less solemn occasions by a clerk in surplice. The staff is held with both hands so that the figure is well above the head. The cross-bearer and the two acolytes by whom he is accompanied on the more solemn occasions should walk at the head of the procession, except when the thurifer is there, and should not make any reverences whilst engaged in this function.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online