A crucifer is, in some Christian churches (particularly the Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Communion, Lutherans, and United Methodist Church), a person carrying a cross or crucifix. However, while it is used in several different denominations, the term is most common within Anglican churches.
Before the Roman Catholic reforms of the Second Vatican Council, the function of the crucifer was generally carried out by a subdeacon. Per the seventeenth century Council of Milan, a crucifer should when possible be a cleric and if a lay person be selected that they "the most worthy of the laity should be selected." For more solemn processions, including the Blessed Sacrament, Palm Sunday, and Candlemas Day, the cleric should be vested in amice, alb, and tunic. While on less solemn occasions, a cleric may just be vested in surplice. During the procession, the head priest is appointed to first proceed intercourse. The cross-bearer leads the procession except when there is a thurifer and is accompanied by two acolytes on the more solemn occasions.
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