processional cross

[processional cross]
A crucifix carried on top of a staff at the head of most liturgical processions, symbolizing that the faithful are followers of Christ. Usually the cross is carried with the figure of Christ upon it facing forward, but if it is the cross of the pope, or of his legate, or of an archbishop, it is borne with the figure turned toward him. The cross-bearer, preferably a cleric, leads the procession, unless there is a censer-bearer. In more solemn processions the cross-bearer is a subdeacon, clothed in amice, alb, and tunic; in less solemn, a cleric wearing a cassock and surplice.