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Pectoral and Choir Cross
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Pectoral & Choir Cross

The Pectoral Cross

The Pectoral Cross, also known as pectoral is a large cross on a chain. It is a simple cross, usually made of silver or gold. Some Pectoral crosses contain gems, as well. When clergymen wear the Pectoral cross, it is located in the center of the chest. Laymen, who wear the Pectoral cross, normally wear it at a shorter length above the chest. It is more like a pectoral necklace when worn by lay people.

Roman Catholic Pectoral Cross
The pectoral cross is worn by the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. The Pope, bishops, archbishops and cardinals wear a gold pectoral cross or a silver pectoral cross with their habits. The cross must be on the outside so it can be seen or it can be tucked in the left pocket but still worn around the neck.

When bishops wear pectoral crosses, it helps tell the difference between the bishop and a monsignor because their cassocks are similar in color. When wearing the vestments for praying in public, the bishops and archbishops wear the pectoral cross from a green or gold silk cord. Cardinals use red and gold, while the Pope uses a gold cord.
Pectoral Cross
If priests wish to wear the pectoral cross, they must wear it under their vestments or clothes so they are not mistaken for bishops.

The pectoral cross must be kissed before putting it on and a prayer must be said. The prayer, Munire me digneris originated in the Middle Ages and asks for protection from all enemies.

The Laity and the Pectoral Cross
Pectoral Cross Necklace Many Catholic laity wear the Pectoral cross necklace because of its simplicity and beauty. The pectoral necklace is appropriate for church functions or everyday use. The necklace usually has a gold pectoral cross or a silver pectoral cross. It is perfect for gifts for receiving Sacraments, anniversary gifts, or wedding gifts.

Pectoral Cross


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