Abstract On a null-plane (light-front), all effects of spontaneous chiral symmetry breaking are contained in the three Hamiltonians (dynamical Poincaré generators), while the vacuum state is a chiral invariant. This property is used to give a general proof of Goldstone’s theorem on a null-plane. Focusing on null-plane QCD with N degenerate flavors of light quarks, the chiral-symmetry breaking Hamiltonians are obtained, and the role of vacuum condensates is clarified. In particular, the null-plane Gell-Mann–Oakes–Renner formula is derived, and a general prescription is given for mapping all chiral-symmetry breaking QCD condensates to chiral-symmetry conserving null-plane QCD condensates. The utility of the null-plane description lies in the operator algebra that mixes the null-plane Hamiltonians and the chiral symmetry charges. It is demonstrated that in a certain non-trivial limit, the null-plane operator algebra reduces to the symmetry group SU(2N) of the constituent quark model.