28 November 2018

Word of the Day: Pallium

PALLIUM. A sacred vestment symbolic of the fullness of episcopal authority. It is an inch-wide white wool circular band ornamented with six small crosses with a pendant strip attached in front and another behind, worn about the neck, breast, and shoulders of the Pope and archbishops. Made from the wool of two lambs blessed in the Church of St. Agnes in Rome. When granted to a bishop the pallium is purely ornamental. In Eastern rites patriarchs alone are invested with it. It is an outward sign of union with the Holy See. Pope John Paul I was formally invested on September 3, 1978, with the pallium instead of the traditional papal tiara at a Mass he concelebrated with members of the college of cardinals. His successor, Pope John Paul II, was also invested with the pallium.
Father points out one of the stupidities of the post-Conciliar 'reforms'. John Paul I had been invested with the pallium as Patriarch of Venice, and John Paul II was invested as Archbishop of Krakow, both by Paul VI, making their 'investiture' as Popes a meaningless gesture.

In the East, the omophorion (Greek ὠμοφόριον) is the distinctive episcopal vestment, a wide cloth band draped about the shoulders in a characteristic manner. It corresponds to the Western pallium.

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