A cross, typically of silver or gold, suspended by a chain around the neck. The cross hangs at about the breastbone or pectoral muscles of the wearer. It may be adorned with jewels. It was used by the Pope in the thirteenth century and came into general use by bishops and certain other prelates in the sixteenth century. Bishops now often wear an ornate pectoral cross as an episcopal insignia. Some priests wear a simple pectoral cross.
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.