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Bible Encyclopedias
Cross of Prelates (or Crosier).

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

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Of this episcopal emblem we give the following additional particulars from Walcott, Sac. Archaeol. s.v.:

"It reminded bishops of their duty, as the pastoral staff was for the direction of the laity. The archiepiscopal cross of Canterbury was distinguished from the processional cross (which had but one) by two crucifixes, behind and before. The double-crossed patriarchal cross, so called, formed by the addition of the scroll, was used in Greece, but in the West is merely a conventional and arbitrary invention of painters (it resembles, however, the cross of Lorraine); and the triple-barred cross of the pope is equally modern and unauthorized. The cross was carried by a subdeacon in front of pope Leo IV, when he rode on horseback, according to the custom of his predecessors. The archbishop of Ravenna,was allowed to haven his cross borne before him throughout his province, and within three miles of Rome. Augustine entered Canterbury with a cross borne before him; Thomas a Becket was preceded by his silver cross; and St. Anselm refused to allow the archbishop of Dublin such a privilege in England; while archbishop Peckham, in 1279, excommunicated all persons selling victuals to the archbishop of York, if the latter persisted in having his crosier carried in state within the province of Canterbury. After the 9th century, legates apostolic were permitted to enjoy this distinction; and ill the 12th century it was extended to metropolitans who had received the pall; but in the 13th century it became common to all archbishops. Innocent II and the Council of Lateran, in 1215, granted the use of the banner of the cross to be carried before the patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, except in the city of Rome. The cross-bearing is a prerogative, not an act of jurisdictian, but simply a sign of honor and reverence due to a dignity. The bishop of Lucca wears the pall, and, like the bishop of Pavia, has his cross carried before him by grant of Alexander II, 1070; his canons walk mitred in processions, like cardinals. The kings of Hungary also carry the cross, in memory of king Stephen, to whom it was granted, in 1000, by pope Sylvester II. The archbishop of Nazareth had the right of using the cross everywhere; and the archbishop of Toledo throughout Spain. In 1452 Booth, of York, by a compact made in 1353, gave an image of himself to Canterbury, having carried his cross within the province. The bishop of Funchal, on certain days, has a crosier carried before him, instead of the staff, in memory of the see having once been metropolitan. The pope never carries a crosier, unless he should be in the diocese of Treves, where St. Peter is said to have given his staff to its first bishop, Eucherius. The reason is, that the bend at the top of a crosier betokens restricted jurisdiction, while the pontiff claims unlimited sovereignty. It is certain, however, that originally he received a ferula, or staff, at his inauguration. The bishop of Capetown was the first colonial metropolitan who carried a crosier. There is a fine crosier of the 15th century at Toledo, which cardinal Mendoza, in 1492, planted on the Alhambra; and another, with enamel work, at Cologne. Ragenfroi's cross, of the 12th century, with Goliath in the head, is at Goodrich Court; a third, with enamel and figures, is in the British Museum."

Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Cross of Prelates (or Crosier).'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​tce/​c/cross-of-prelates-or-crosier.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.
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