Mission of the Cross Bearer Ministry
Represent our faith community in liturgical worship by carrying the cross as a reminder of Jesus’ passion, death, and triumph.
Responsibility: Lead the Mass Procession into and from the church at assigned Masses.
Skills Needed: Ability to walk slowly and carry a cross raised so that the base is at shoulder height.
Time Commitment: Arrive a minimum of 15-20 minutes prior to the start of assigned Mass.
Since ancient times the Church has used the Cross bearer, sometimes called a crucifer, in its celebrations to bear witness to and to remind the faithful with a powerful symbol of our redemption through Christ’s suffering. Traditionally, acolytes or altar servers performed this function. Lay ministers are now welcomed and needed for this ministry.
Crossbearers should dress with decorum befitting the celebration of the Eucharist.
Entrance Procession. Before Mass begins retrieve the Cross from its place at the rear side of the Altar and carry it with dignity via the side aisle to the rear of the church where the priest and other ministers gather. On rare occasions, such as Palm Sunday, the procession may start outside the church or from another location.
After the Gathering Song has begun, hold the Cross high enough for the faithful to see, yet manageable enough so that the top part does not wobble. Wait for a head nod or cue from the celebrant to begin the procession.
Lead the procession down the center aisle by walking slowly, prayerfully, with dignity. Once you reach the front of the Altar, move to the far right side. Simply pause while the celebrant, ministers, and acolytes genuflect (you DO NOT BOW). Then turn to the right walking around the steps of the Altar, and then up the steps to the Cross stand.
Replace the Cross quietly and carefully onto the stand making sure the Cross is positioned correctly. Then walk slowly, prayerfully to your seat which should be close for easy access to the Cross.
Final Procession. When the celebrant begins to move toward the altar during the final hymn, retrieve the Cross (slowly, prayerfully) walking the same path you did for the entrance only in reverse. Once you reach the front of the Altar, pause while the celebrant and ministers genuflect. Then lead the procession slowly to exit the church holding the cross high enough for all to see.
Once the ministers have bowed before the Altar (the Crossbearer DOES NOT BOW) and they begin to turn, you then turn with them to lead the procession slowly down the main aisle.
After the final procession, once you reach the main door area, lower the Cross, turn left and walk over near the oils. Stand there with the Cross until after the closing song and until you are able to return the Cross to its place. Do not leave the Cross propped up against the wall in the back of the Church. Always carry/hold the cross with reverence and dignity. Once you have replaced the Cross on its stand correctly, your service is completed.
A schedule of minister assignments by date and Mass is created three times a year and e-mailed to the ministers. The schedule is also posted in the sacristy and on the parish website. Special masses and Holy day masses are scheduled separately. Please sign up for a time that works for you for these masses by the sacristy. If you have a schedule conflict, please contact an alternate minister.
Plan on being at your assigned Mass and retrieving the Cross at least fifteen minutes beforehand. If you realize that an assignee has not shown up, please step forward and serve in their place.
The ministry does not hold meetings except for an occasional training session for new ministers. The ministry does not receive or solicit financial support from the parish or its members.