An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Crozier, or Crosier

The pastorial staff of a Bishop. It was originally a walking stick and later acquired the symbolism of a shepherd’s crook. It is a sign of pastoral authority. It may also be carried by abbots and abbeses. In liturgy the diocesan bishop carries the crozier in the left hand, woth the crook facing outward. Although the crozier was originally part of the insignia of all bishops, it is now used mainly by diocesans in their own jurisdictions. Its use dates from the seventh century. In the Eastern Orthodox Church the staff is surmounted by a cross between two serpents. A crozier is not the same as the archiepiscopal cross, carried before archbishops in procession.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.