- Latin: covering
White wool circular band two inches wide, having two twelve-inch, weighted pendants hanging, one in front and one behind. It is ornamented with six small black crosses and is worn about the neck, breast and shoulders, over the chasuble, by the pope, and archbishops during certain ceremonies as symbol of their jurisdiction.
The use of the pallium is reserved to the pope and archbishops, but the latter may not use it until, on petition they have received the permission of the Holy See. Bishops sometimes receive the pallium as a mark of special favour, but it does not increase their powers or jurisdiction nor give them precedence. The pope may use the pallium at any time. Others, even archbishops, may use it only in their respective dioceses, and there only on the days and occasions designated in the “Pontificale” (Christmas, the Circumcision, and other specified great feasts; during the conferring of Holy orders, the consecration of abbots, etc.), unless its use is extended by a special privilege. Worn by the pope, the pallium symbolizes the plenitudo pontificalis officii (i.e. the plenitude of pontifical office); worn by archbishops, it typifies their participation in the supreme pastoral power of the pope, who concedes it to them for their proper church provinces. An archbishop, therefore, who has not received the pallium may not exercise any of his functions as metropolitan, nor any metropolitan prerogatives whatever; he is even forbidden to perform any episcopal act until invested with the pallium. Similarly, after his resignation, he may not use the pallium; should he be transferred to anotherarchdiocese. He must again petition the Holy Father for the pallium. In the case of bishops, its use is purely ornamental. The new palliums are solemnly blessed after the Second Vespers on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, and are then kept in a special silver-gilt casket near the Confessio Petri until required. The pallium is conferred in Rome by a cardinal-deacon, and outside of Rome by a bishop; in both cases the ceremony takes place after the celebration of Mass and the administration of the oath of allegiance.
- “pallium“. CatholicSaints.Info. 29 November 2016. Web. 20 February 2017. <>