YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

The World

Papal installation

April 23, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI will be inaugurated in a solemn Mass on Sunday morning, presided over by Senior Cardinal Deacon Jorge Medina Estevez of Chile. The event is expected to closely resemble John Paul II's investiture in 1978.

Before the Mass

During the installation, the pope receives the pallium, a narrow white stole of symbolic significance. Before his investiture in 1978, Pope John Paul II blessed the pallium at the Altar of the Confession, then descended the stairs there to pray at the tomb of St. Peter.

About the pallium

* Two-inch-wide, white wool stole embroidered with black silk crosses

* Fastened with three jeweled gold pins across his chest, at his back, and left shoulder, symbolizing ChristOs wounds.

* Crosses represent the cardinal virtues: justice, fortitude, temperance and prudence.

* Two pendants, one in front and one in back, symbolize active and contemplative life.

Investiture garments

Miter: The liturgical headdress worn only by the pope, cardinals and bishops. Derived from the Greek word mitra, meaning turban.

Pastoral staff: Symbol of jurisdiction and power, made of silver.

Pectoral cross: Dates to Middle Ages; attached to a chain or silken cord; made of a precious metal and decorated with gems.

Chasuble: Major outer Mass garment, requires blessing before use; a symbol of charity.

Fisherman's ring: Large gold signet ring with relief of Peter, the first pope, casting a net from a boat.

Sources: Associated Press; United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; Maureen A. Tilley, associate professor of religious studies, Dayton University;; Graphics reporting by Tom Reinken

Los Angeles Times Articles