Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Pall

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A heavy, black cloth, spread over the coffin in the church at a funeral, or over the catafalque at other services for the dead. In the centre of it there is generally a white or red cross. It must always be black, but its material and ornamentation may vary. Symbols of death, such as skulls, cross-bones etc., forbidden on the altar and ministers' vestments, are allowed on palls. The pall is in universal use, though not prescribed. Where, however, there is no catafalque or bier, absolution may not be given except a black cloth be extended on the floor of the sanctuary (S. R. C. 3535, 5)

ANDREW B. MEEHAN