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  #1  
Old Mar 24, '13, 7:33 pm
Pancakes Pancakes is offline
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Default Giant pole with cross on it

Hi all .

I have yet another silly question regarding Mass haha.

Basically, I seem to recall at 2 points there being an altar boy, who was dressed in vestments of some sort, coming down the aisle between the pews to / from the altar with a really really really long pole, on which there was a crucifix - I think this was done just before the offering was collected, and also before the Eucharist (but my memory may be foggy). My question is simple - why, and why then?

Thanks .
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  #2  
Old Mar 24, '13, 8:18 pm
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Default Re: Giant pole with cross on it

It is done to lead processions.
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  #3  
Old Mar 24, '13, 8:28 pm
Pancakes Pancakes is offline
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Default Re: Giant pole with cross on it

Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungTradCath View Post
It is done to lead processions.
But why?

Like, I can understand wanting to lead a procession, but why with a crucifix on such a long pole and not something else? Why twice? Etc.
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  #4  
Old Mar 24, '13, 9:16 pm
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Default Re: Giant pole with cross on it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pancakes View Post
But why?

Like, I can understand wanting to lead a procession, but why with a crucifix on such a long pole and not something else? Why twice? Etc.
I don't understand what your objection is. The Processional Crucifix has always lead liturgical processions.

Now, I know not all masses have processional crucifixes but I'm simply noting the historical legitimacy the Crucifix holds.
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  #5  
Old Mar 24, '13, 9:16 pm
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Default Re: Giant pole with cross on it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pancakes View Post
But why?

Like, I can understand wanting to lead a procession, but why with a crucifix on such a long pole and not something else? Why twice? Etc.
It is called a processional crucifix, usually about five or six feet long. I don't know what you mean about "such a long pole." It is long, but not 20 feet or something. Or is it?

It is the custom for the crucifix to lead the procession at the beginning and end of Mass. It is also the custom in many places for the crucifix to lead the procession when the bread and wine are brought to the altar, if this is done (it doesn't have to be).

Why not something else? I guess it just makes sense for the crucifix to lead the procession and not, for example, an image of Mary on a pole. The symbolism of the procession--an element which is found in practically all liturgies--is going from one place to another. It is really so simple that we don't think about it. Christian eschatology (study of the end times) is linear, not cyclical as in some religions, and so a major Christian focus in liturgy is the procession, the going from a less sacred place, like the porch of the church, to a more sacred place, like the sanctuary at the end of the nave. Christ leads this in spirit, so we symbolically have Him lead us in liturgical processions.
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  #6  
Old Mar 24, '13, 9:24 pm
Pancakes Pancakes is offline
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Default Re: Giant pole with cross on it

Thanks for the answers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bl Pope Pius IX View Post
I don't understand what your objection is. The Processional Crucifix has always lead liturgical processions.

Now, I know not all masses have processional crucifixes but I'm simply noting the historical legitimacy the Crucifix holds.
I don't have any objection to it and think it's excellent, to be honest - I'm trying to understand the reasoning behind it, if anything. For example, Baptists don't have anything similar, as far as I'm aware.

When did it start? What was the reasoning behind the practice? How has it evolved? Does it have different styles like the bishop's crosiers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungTradCath View Post
It is called a processional crucifix, usually about five or six feet long. I don't know what you mean about "such a long pole." It is long, but not 20 feet or something. Or is it?

It is the custom for the crucifix to lead the procession at the beginning and end of Mass. It is also the custom in many places for the crucifix to lead the procession when the bread and wine are brought to the altar, if this is done (it doesn't have to be).

Why not something else? I guess it just makes sense for the crucifix to lead the procession and not, for example, an image of Mary on a pole.
It must have been my mind playing tricks on me haha. It seemed really quite long to me, but then maybe I exaggerated it when I remembered it (probably) or I was concentrating on it because I wasn't expecting it. Is the crucifix portion itself made of gold? Who carries it if there are no altar boys present?
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  #7  
Old Mar 24, '13, 9:42 pm
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Default Re: Giant pole with cross on it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pancakes View Post
Thanks for the answers!



I don't have any objection to it and think it's excellent, to be honest - I'm trying to understand the reasoning behind it, if anything. For example, Baptists don't have anything similar, as far as I'm aware.

When did it start? What was the reasoning behind the practice? How has it evolved? Does it have different styles like the bishop's crosiers?



It must have been my mind playing tricks on me haha. It seemed really quite long to me, but then maybe I exaggerated it when I remembered it (probably) or I was concentrating on it because I wasn't expecting it. Is the crucifix portion itself made of gold? Who carries it if there are no altar boys present?
Don't know, don't know, probably not much. Yes, there are different styles.

The crucifix portion is made out of anything, really. If there are no altar boys present, typically it will not be carried.
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  #8  
Old Mar 24, '13, 9:50 pm
Pancakes Pancakes is offline
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Default Re: Giant pole with cross on it

Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungTradCath View Post
Don't know, don't know, probably not much. Yes, there are different styles.

The crucifix portion is made out of anything, really. If there are no altar boys present, typically it will not be carried.
Awww .

Also, is it present in the Latin Mass? The older one - Tridentine (sp?) Mass?
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  #9  
Old Mar 24, '13, 9:56 pm
Aggies08 Aggies08 is offline
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Default Re: Giant pole with cross on it

If you are in a big group of people, it makes it easy to tell where the actual group is, and not just the crowd!
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  #10  
Old Mar 24, '13, 10:28 pm
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Default Re: Giant pole with cross on it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pancakes View Post
Hi all .

I have yet another silly question regarding Mass haha.

Basically, I seem to recall at 2 points there being an altar boy, who was dressed in vestments of some sort, coming down the aisle between the pews to / from the altar with a really really really long pole, on which there was a crucifix - I think this was done just before the offering was collected, and also before the Eucharist (but my memory may be foggy). My question is simple - why, and why then?

Thanks .
Since you're asking lotsa questions it might make sense to put your religious affiliation down in your profile so other posters know where you are "coming from."
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  #11  
Old Mar 24, '13, 11:09 pm
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Default Re: Giant pole with cross on it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pancakes View Post
Awww .

Also, is it present in the Latin Mass? The older one - Tridentine (sp?) Mass?
Yes, although usually not at Low Masses, which usually have minimal music and are done on days when resources are scarce, like weekdays.
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  #12  
Old Mar 24, '13, 11:27 pm
tbtcom1213 tbtcom1213 is offline
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Default Re: Giant pole with cross on it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pancakes View Post
Awww .

Also, is it present in the Latin Mass? The older one - Tridentine (sp?) Mass?
The role of Crucifer (one who bears the processional cross) is not mentioned in the Extraordinary Form (Tridentine Traditional) rubrics and is left to local custom.

The processional cross is normally carried by an ordinary altar server.
If one is available a subdeacon can carry the processional cross for a procession
(i.e Candlemas, Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Holy Saturday, Corpus Christi & Solemn Pontifical Masses are such occasions)

A metropolitan archbishop in procession usually has the arch-episcopal cross carried before him with the corpus facing him. In such an occasion there are two crucifers.

The rank of altar servers is usually as follows:

Master of Ceremonies (MC) : Handles the Sacred Minister(s) and servers at High Mass
Thurifer (Th) : Handles the thurible (as well as the holy water at the principal Sunday Mass)
Acolytes (Aa) : Handles the candles and cruets (as well as the Missal & biretta during Low Mass)

If there are an abundance of altar servers:

Torch bearers (TB) : Handles the torches in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament
Crucifer (Cr) : Handles the processional cross as well as other items if necessary
Boat (Bb) : Handles the vessel of incense

In a liturgical procession the order is as follows:
(parenthesis indicates optional roles)

(2nd MC)

(Boat) Thurifer

2nd Acolyte (Cross) 1st Acolyte

(Torchbearers)

(Clergy in Choir)

Master of Ceremonies

Sacred Minister(s)
(i.e Celebrant (preceded by the Deacon and Subdeacon at Solemn Mass))
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  #13  
Old Mar 25, '13, 8:29 am
Pancakes Pancakes is offline
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Default Re: Giant pole with cross on it

Thank you for the responses!

Quote:
Originally Posted by triumphguy View Post
Since you're asking lotsa questions it might make sense to put your religious affiliation down in your profile so other posters know where you are "coming from."
Errr. Yeah, that would help but I don't feel quite so comfortable doing it yet. Suffice to say I'm trying to learn about Catholic beliefs, and have attended a Mass maybe once or twice before, and have called myself a Christian for all my life but am trying to find the true faith that Jesus left behind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungTradCath View Post
Yes, although usually not at Low Masses, which usually have minimal music and are done on days when resources are scarce, like weekdays.
Hmmm... Okay. So like, is there a way to tell the difference between a Low Mass and a High Mass? Like, I recall a thread in which someone was saying the earliest Masses at a parish are usually solemn, where the later ones are usually family-oriented, and the late ones tend to be geared towards teens (or something - this was the post):

Quote:
Originally Posted by LINVS View Post
You'll find that each Mass has a different character to it. Where I live Saturday evening mass seems "busy" with activity. It seems well attended as folks are trying to get their Sunday obligation out of the way. On Sunday, the early morning Masses (6am-8am) tend to be more solemn. "Family Masses," usually have something for young children. Later morning Masses are a little more formal. Sunday evening masses are often "Lifeteen" which means it's organized for teenagers.

Don't worry about knowing what to do. Basically, stand up when everyone stands, sit when everyone sits, and kneel when everyone kneels. You can use the missil to follow along.

Know that parishes differ a lot in culture, too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbtcom1213 View Post
The role of Crucifer (one who bears the processional cross) is not mentioned in the Extraordinary Form (Tridentine Traditional) rubrics and is left to local custom.

The processional cross is normally carried by an ordinary altar server.
If one is available a subdeacon can carry the processional cross for a procession
(i.e Candlemas, Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Holy Saturday, Corpus Christi & Solemn Pontifical Masses are such occasions)

A metropolitan archbishop in procession usually has the arch-episcopal cross carried before him with the corpus facing him. In such an occasion there are two crucifers.

The rank of altar servers is usually as follows:

Master of Ceremonies (MC) : Handles the Sacred Minister(s) and servers at High Mass
Thurifer (Th) : Handles the thurible (as well as the holy water at the principal Sunday Mass)
Acolytes (Aa) : Handles the candles and cruets (as well as the Missal & biretta during Low Mass)

If there are an abundance of altar servers:

Torch bearers (TB) : Handles the torches in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament
Crucifer (Cr) : Handles the processional cross as well as other items if necessary
Boat (Bb) : Handles the vessel of incense

In a liturgical procession the order is as follows:
(parenthesis indicates optional roles)

(2nd MC)

(Boat) Thurifer

2nd Acolyte (Cross) 1st Acolyte

(Torchbearers)

(Clergy in Choir)

Master of Ceremonies

Sacred Minister(s)
(i.e Celebrant (preceded by the Deacon and Subdeacon at Solemn Mass))
There are even more! Excellent! Do you have a video where there's an archbishop doing it (the Mass I mean)? And also, given a bishop (well archbishop in this instance) is in attendance and serving, does the Mass change much?

And there was also a cross that was held and walked out right before the Pope came to greet the people when he was first announced - does that mean the person holding it was a subdeacon?
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  #14  
Old Mar 25, '13, 9:21 am
tbtcom1213 tbtcom1213 is offline
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Default Re: Giant pole with cross on it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pancakes View Post
Hmmm... Okay. So like, is there a way to tell the difference between a Low Mass and a High Mass? Like, I recall a thread in which someone was saying the earliest Masses at a parish are usually solemn, where the later ones are usually family-oriented, and the late ones tend to be geared towards teens (or something - this was the post):

There are even more! Excellent! Do you have a video where there's an archbishop doing it (the Mass I mean)? And also, given a bishop (well archbishop in this instance) is in attendance and serving, does the Mass change much?

And there was also a cross that was held and walked out right before the Pope came to greet the people when he was first announced - does that mean the person holding it was a subdeacon?
Low Mass: Two Candles lit; everything is recited; minimal to no music; absence of incense (although in the Ordinary Form incense can be used at any form of Mass); Usually said on weekdays (ferial - daily), Sunday mornings, late evenings or simply any time deemed pastoral.

High Mass: Four or Six Candles lit; everything is sung; use of incense; possible inclusion of Deacon and sub deacon; usually held late Sunday morning and other occasions during the week;

Here is a clip of Cardinal Spellman's Mass at Yankee Stadium in 1957 wherein you see two processional crosses:

http://www.efootage.com/stock-footage/72956/Cardinal_Spellman_Anniversary_Mass/


For the low Mass of a Bishop four candles are lit; he is attended by two chaplains and two acolytes; he uses the episcopal biretta (purple in color with purple tuft or pom);

For the High Mass of a Bishop six candles are lit (seven if he is the Ordinary); he is attended by honorary deacons at the throne, the Assistant priest, the deacon and subdeacon; two masters of ceremonies, four chaplains bearing the miter, crosier, book and bugia (candle); as well as the usual servers of a Solemn Mass.

The first greeting of the bishop is "Pax Vobis"; His blessing is preceded by two versicles;
(Sit nomen Domini benedictum & Adjutorium nostrum in nomini Domini)

A Bishop may preside at a Mass wherein he wears a miter and cope and shares the duties of the celebrant; He may also sit in choir, preach and/or assist with the distribution of Holy Communion.

A bishop usually enters the church in choir dress (biretta, pectoral cross, mozetta, rochet (or surplice) and cassock) or even the cappa magna, a long cape. At the doors he venerates the crucifix and blesses the faithful with holy water. He processes in and then prays before the Blessed Sacrament. He vests either in the sacristy, a side altar and/or chapel, the throne or the faldstool. He invests in the amice, alb, cincture, pectoral cross, stole, tunicle, dalmatic, chasuble, miter and episcopal gloves.

The person holding the cross before the Pope at his election is one of the Masters of Ceremonies in choir dress; He is wearing a violet cassock over which is a surplice; This signifies he is an Honorary Prelate, the second level of Monsignori in the Latin Church. A number of priests belong to the secretariat of the Office of LIturgical Celebrations headed by Monsignor Guido Marini, the current Papal Master of Ceremonies.
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  #15  
Old Mar 25, '13, 10:50 am
Symeon Symeon is offline
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Default Re: Giant pole with cross on it

This certainly stems from the ancient military standard bearer who would carry a flag or other symbol of the prince/king/leader of the unit, a sign of honor. The sign of OUR Lord and King is the cross.

After his conversion to Christianity, Constantine frequently used the cross and the chi-rho symbol as a military standard.

I found this quote form Eusebius describing Constantine's labarum

Quote:
"A Description of the Standard of the Cross, which the Romans now call the Labarum." "Now it was made in the following manner. A long spear, overlaid with gold, formed the figure of the cross by means of a transverse bar laid over it. On the top of the whole was fixed a wreath of gold and precious stones; and within this, the symbol of the Saviourís name, two letters indicating the name of Christ by means of its initial characters, the letter P being intersected by X in its centre: and these letters the emperor was in the habit of wearing on his helmet at a later period. From the cross-bar of the spear was suspended a cloth, a royal piece, covered with a profuse embroidery of most brilliant precious stones; and which, being also richly interlaced with gold, presented an indescribable degree of beauty to the beholder. This banner was of a square form, and the upright staff, whose lower section was of great length, of the pious emperor and his children on its upper part, beneath the trophy of the cross, and immediately above the embroidered banner."

"The emperor constantly made use of this sign of salvation as a safeguard against every adverse and hostile power, and commanded that others similar to it should be carried at the head of all his armies."[13]
(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labarum)
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