Archbishop Alexander Sample will travel to Rome to participate in the pallium ceremony with other archbishops appointed since June 29 of last year, where he will receive the pallium from Pope Francis. The pallium is a vestment worn only by the Pope and by metropolitan archbishops. It is a sign of unity between a local metropolitan church – an archdiocese, and the universal church. It is also a sign of the jurisdiction of a residential archbishop. The pallium is presented to metropolitan archbishops on the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, June 29.
The pallium is made of the wool from two lambs. The lambs are supplied by the Convent of St. Agnes in Rome, and are blessed on the Feast of St. Agnes, Jan. 21. The wool is later sheared and woven in to cloth. The pallium is usually about two inches wide, and has a collar section worn around the neck with pendants front and back. There are six black crosses on the pallium: one on the breast, one on the back and four around the collar section. The crosses on the front, back and left shoulder section of the collar have small loops where gemmed gold pins are placed. The pallium is worn over the chasuble.
The pallia are blessed at a Vespers Service the evening before the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, and then taken in procession to the crypt below the High Altar of St. Peter Basilica. At Mass on the feast day Pope Francis will present the pallium to each metropolitan archbishop.