A processional cross is simply a raised cross that is carried in Christian processions, normally leading the procession. Processional crosses have a long history going back to the early church.
Since they did not have a sacristy in the early days of Christian worship, processions served the practical purpose of getting the pastor and others (such as the choir) from the back of the church to the front. Such processions were led by a processional cross. In fact, processional crosses were used hundreds of years before Christian churches placed crosses on altars.
Processional crosses are still used in many Christian churches, especially on special occasions. The congregation normally stands and faces the processional cross as it travels through the sanctuary as a way to give honor to Christ and His work done for us there. The cross serves as a powerful reminder of the Lord’s presence in worship and in our lives. A processional cross may either be an empty cross or a crucifix (also called a Corpus Christi cross), which is a cross with a statue of the crucified Christ on it. In either case, the cross serves as a symbol to remind us of the death of Christ our Lord for our salvation and the salvation of the world.