I had two questions posed to me this morning and I’ve tried to research answers on them, but am not completely satisfied. If you know or have a resource, I’d love to hear from you.
1. Pope John Paul II was buried in red vestments. However, clergy are usually buried in white vestments. Why the difference?
My research turned up a reference to a deceased pope being dressed “in state” in the red and gold chasuble. Perhaps it means that when a pope lies in state, he is to be dressed in the sacred vestments he would normally wear when receiving state visitors. I’m not positive on that one.
2. What is the significance of the 3 pins/nails/thorns on the pallium worn by the Pope?
The pallium is worn by all metropolitan archbishops, primates, patriarchs, and the Pope as signs of the jurisdictional authority. Some ancient sources claim that the three pins represent the three days in the tomb before Christ triumphed over death. However, there is no proof of this symbolic significane, despite the practice being in use for more than 600 years. Other sources claim that the pins used to be functional, connecting the various pieces of the pallium together, but now they are just ornamental.
Does anyone have better answers on this?