Friday, March 28, 2008


So the bishop is coming to your parish and at the mass you notice he carries a large staff that resembles a shepherd’s staff and from time to time picks it up and sets it down. It is obvious that it has something to do with his position so what exactly is this staff?

Through all of history it seems that many leaders hold something to show their leadership. It might be a club, or orb, or scepter. Is it not comforting that the choice of those in leadership position in the Church from the earliest time have chosen such a benign symbol such as the shepherd’s staff? It symbolizes Christ’s love and protection for His people as a shepherd has for his sheep. It also symbolizes mercy, firmness and the correction of vices.

It is said that this staff or crosier (or even crozier) extends all the way back to the Twelve Disciples that legend tells us carried large staffs. From here they became the symbol of the pastoral authority of all bishops. There was a spell in history when others were allowed by exception to carry the crosier but by and large that has been done away with now with the exception being abbots. (The abbess of the order from whence Maria von Trapp came was the last mitred abbess and had juridical powers over that particular area.)

There is a strict protocol in using the crosier about who can use one and when (and there is not enough room to go into that here) save for this interesting little tidbit that will aid you in your deciphering of pictures and statues of saints.

The pope does not carry a crosier for he already has world wide jurisdiction. A bishop always bears his crosier in the open position, that is with the crook facing away from him. Everyone else, and in recent times this would signify abbots, bear the crosier closed or with the crook facing toward himself. This is to signify that his jurisdiction is limited.


1. False. That is the definition for Easter Week.
2. Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox.
3. The Easter Season ends with the praying of Vespers (Evening Prayer) on Pentecost.
4. The Second Sunday of Easter (aka the Sunday following Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday.)
5. Easter Duty refers to our obligation to receive Holy Communion at least once a year during the Easter Season (Canon 920).
6. False. That’s just me being snotty.
7. “Indeed He is Risen!”
8. Alleluia (from Halleluia).
9. John Paul II was the pope and 2001 was the year.
10. “A plenary indulgence, granted under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on the Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, in any church or chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honour of Divine Mercy, or who, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!"); A partial indulgence, granted to the faithful who, at least with a contrite heart, pray to the merciful Lord Jesus a legitimately approved invocation.”
(Well done as usual Rob.)


Odysseus said...

So, can I take off the hair shirt now?

Adoro said...

Fr. V. said, "That was just me being snotty." ROFL!