Buona Pasqua!!! [Altrettanto!]
I want to ask about the way of bishop’s staff. many people(liturgy experts) said, only the ordinary could turn the tip(i don’t know how to call it exactly) of staff to the congregation. Other bishops should turn it to himself, while altar servers should turn it into left or right hand side. But I couldn’t find any indication in the ceremoniale episcoporum. What is the correct way to hold it, father?
Good question. I don’t have to staff this one out.
The crook of the staff (Latin baculum, or baculum pastorale) should always face away from the bishop, any bishop, the ordinary of the place or a visitor or retired or an auxiliary. It is always to be turned forward.
This is an old question and it has an old answer. Back in 1911 (also the nickname of a classic pistol) the question was put to Sacred Congregation of Rites, which responded (Acta Apostolicae Sedis 4 (1912) 178 and 181):
III. De Episcopo extra propriam dioecesim, inquiritur:
3. Quomodo Episcopus extraneus, si, functione id requirente, aut annuente Episcopo Ordinario, pastorali baculo utatur, superiorem huiusce baculi partem vertere debeat?
Ad. 3. Semper cum parte reflexa ab se; scilicet, versus personas vel res quas prospicit.
Thus, “Always with the (top) part turned away from himself, namely, turned toward the people or things which he is looking at.”
That “always… semper” means that this applies to any sort of bishop anywhere.
Furthermore, the bishop usually carries the staff in his left hand, to free up his right hand for blessing.
By the way, the young fronds of ferns bear an uncanny resemblance to the bishop’s crosier. ”Fiddleheads” (not to be confused with the misapplied term “fiddleback” for a style of chasubles) have a crosier at the top.
Finally, I urge readers who may see an errant or rookie bishop carrying a crosier with the top facing the wrong way not to dash up to him at the earliest opportunity – all other considerations having been forgotten (such as prayer) – to accuse him of something nefarious or to correct him.
These details and errors have their own importance in the sphere of decorum, but they are not so important that you are therefore given permission to be a jerk when you spot them.