|Pectoral adornments – pectorale – enkolpion – panagia
|In the course of my research on clerical headdresses, I frequently came across pictures of prelates (abbots, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, patriarchs, popes,…) displaying a
pectoral cross, pectorale (lat. crux pectroralis)
on their chests.
I was interested in these names and their mode of fixation. What did the chain look like, what kind of hooks were used to hold the cross in place? How were relics being kept inside the cross?
For a detailed account of the history and significance of the pectoral cross, please consult:
Nussbaum, Otto: Das Brustkreuz des Bischofs – Zur Geschichte seiner Entstehung und Gestaltung, Matthias Grünwald Verlag, Mainz 1964
The following websites may serve as a concise introduction as well:
Wikipedia – Pectoral cross
The pectoral cross of orthodox bishops is called stavrion (stavros). In general, they are more sumptuous (ornaments, jewellery) than those of Catholic bishops. On some pectoral crosses, Jesus is depicted in an image or drawing.
Orthodox bishops carry a cross in their hands as well. The hand cross is used to bless the believers.
Panagia or panaghia:
Orthodox bishops are often seen wearing three amulets:
Pectoral cross with relic case
Picture of a pectoral cross with an additional hook
Pectoral cross-cord made from golden brocade:
Images of the pectorales of the Holy Father, Benedict XVI
Pectoral cross of the Holy Father
Pictures of the pectoral crosses (stavrion, stavros) of orthodox bishops:
Images of panagias (panaghias)
Images of ensembles
Images of a chain holding an enkolpion/ panagia
Images of hand crosses of orthodox bishops
The Coptic cross