The Sacred Vessels

The chalice occupies the first place among sacred vessels.
According to the existing law of the Church the chalice, or at least the cup of it, must be made either of gold or of silver, and in the latter case the bowl must be gilt on the inside. In circumstances of great poverty or in time of persecution a calix stanneus (pewter) may be permitted, but the bowl of this also, like the upper surface of the paten, must be gilt. Before the chalice and paten are used in the Sacrifice of the Mass they require consecration. This rite is carried out according to a form specially provided in the "Pontificale" and involving the use of holy chrism. The consecration must
be performed by a bishop (or in the case of chalices intended for monastic use, by an abbot possessing the privilege), and a bishop cannot in an ordinary way delegate any priest to perform this function in his place. Further, if the chalice loses its consecration -- which happens for example if it be broken or the cup perforated, or even if it has had to be sent to have the bowl regilded-it is neccesary that it should be reconsecrated by the bishop before it can again be used. Strictly speaking, only priests and deacons are permitted to touch the chalice or paten, but leave is usually granted to sacristans and those officially appointed to take charge of the vestments and sacred vessels.

Chalice
According to the existing law of the Church the chalice, or at least the cup of it, must be made either of gold or of silver, and in the latter case the bowl must be gilt on the inside. In circumstances of great poverty or in time of persecution a calix stanneus (pewter) may be permitted, but the bowl of this also, like the upper surface of the paten, must be gilt. Before the chalice and paten are used in the Sacrifice of the Mass they require consecration. This rite is carried out according to a form specially provided in the "Pontificale" and involving the use of holy chrism. The consecration must be performed by a bishop (or in the case of chalices intended for monastic use, by an abbot possessing the privilege), and a bishop cannot in an ordinary way delegate any priest to perform this function in his place. Further, if the chalice lose its consecration -- which happens for example if it be broken or the cup perforated, or even if it has had to be sent to have the bowl regilded-it is neccesary that it should be reconsecrated by the bishop before it can again be used. Strictly speaking, only priests and deacons are permitted to touch the chalice or paten, but leave is usually granted to sacristans and those officially appointed to take charge of the vestments and sacred vessels.

ADJUNCTS OF THE CHALICE
These are the corporal, the purificator, the pall, the burse, and the chalice veil.

The corporal asquare white linen cloth, now usually somewhat smaller than the breadth of an altar, upon which the Sacred Host and chalice are placed during the celebration of Mass.
According to existing liturgical rules, the corporal must not be ornamented with embroidery, and must be made entirely of pure white linen, though there seem to have been many medieval exceptions to this law. It is not to be left to lie open upon the altar, but when not in use is to be folded and put away in a burse, or "corporas-case", as it was commonly called in pre-Reformation England. Upon these burses much ornamentation is lavished, and this has been the case since medieval times, as many existing examples survive to show. The corporal is now usually folded twice in length and twice in breadth, so that when folded it still forms a small square. At an earlier period, when it was larger and was used to cover the chalice as well, it was commonly folded four times in length and thrice in breadth. This practice is still followed by some of the older religious orders. The corporal and pall have to pass through a triple washing at the hands of a priest, or at least a subdeacon, before they may be sent to a laundry. Also, when they are in use they may not be handled by any but the clergy, or sacristans to whom special permission is given.

The purificator (purificatorium or more anciently emunctorium) now consists of a rectangular piece of linen usually folded twice lengthwise and laid across the top of the chalice. It is used for wiping and drying the chalice, or the paten, or the priest's lips, e.g. after the ablutions. Unlike the corporal and the pall, it requires no special blessing. In the Middles Age it was not customary, as it is nowadays, for each priest to have a purificator of his own, frequently renewed, but it seems that a cloth of this kind was kept at the altar which was used in common by all.

The pall is a small square of stiffened linen ornamented with a cross, which is laid upon the orifice of the chalice to protect its contents from flies or dust. The word pallium, or palla, was originally used of all kinds of coverings, notably of what we now call the altar-cloths, and also of the corporal. Even in St. Gregory of Tours (Hist. Franc., VII, xxii) we read of the sacred gifts being veiled by a pallium, which was probably some sort of corporal. But about the time of St. Anselm (c. 1100) the custom seems to have grown up in some places of using two corporals at the altar. One was spread out, and upon it the chalice and host were laid. The other, folded into smaller compass, served only to cover the chalice (sce Giorgi, Liturgia Rom. Pont., II, 220, III, 79-81). This folded corporal is now represented by the little disk of linen which we call the pall. At one time it was forbidden to cover the pall with silk or rich embroidery; now the upper surface may be of silk and embroidered, but the under-side, which is in contact with the chalice, must still be linen. The original identity of the pall and the corporal is further illustrated by the fact that both alike require to be specially blessed before use.

The chalice veil and the burse (q.v.) are of comparatively recent introduction. Even Burchard, the compiler of the "Ordo Missae" (1502), now represented by the rubricae generales of the Roman Missal, supposes that the chalice and paten were brought by the priest to the altar in a sacculum or lintheum, which seems to have been the ancestor of the present veil. The burse, which is simply a cover used to keep the corporal from being soiled, and which for that reason was known in Old English as a "corporas-case", is somewhat older. Several medieval burses are still preserved in the collection at Danzig. Nowadays both burse and veil are usually made of the same material as that of the set of vestments to which they belong, and they are similarly ornamented.
Other Sacred Vessels

Ciborium
The Ciborium is a chalice-like vessel used to contain the Blessed Sacrament.The term was aslo applied in early Christian times to the Canopy that surmounted and crowned the altar (see article ALTAR CANOPY), but according to modern liturgical usage the word denotes exclusively the sacred vessel employed for the reservation of the Consecrated Species. At the present day two vessels are used to reserve the Blessed Sacrament: one, called a pyx, is a small round box and serves for carrying the Blessed Sacrament to the sick; the other, generally styled a ciborium, is used for distributing Holy Communion in churches and for reserving the consecrated particles in the tabernacle. In shape the ciborium resembles a chalice, but the cup or bowl is round rather than oblong, and provided with a conical cover surmounted by a cross or some other appropriate device. The bottom of the cup should be a little raised at the centre so that the last particles may be easily removed and the purification more conveniently performed. The material should be gold or silver (base metals are sometimes allowed), but the interior of the cup must be always lined with gold. The ciborium is not consecrated, but blessed by a bishop or some priest deputed by him, according to the form given in the Roman Ritual. While containing the Sacred Species it should be covered with small white veil of silk or cloth of gold, and may not be handled except by sacred ministers; when empty and purified it may be touched by all clerics (Cong. of Rites, Jan., 1907), and by lay persons if specially authorized.
The Monstrance or Ostensorium means, in accordance with its etymology, a vessel designed for the more convenient exhibition of some object of piety. Both the name ostensorium and the kindred word monstrance (monstrancia, from monstrare) were originally applied to all kinds of vessels of goldsmith's or silversmith's work in which glass, crystal, etc. were so employed as to allow the contents to be readily distinguished, whether the object thus honoured were the Sacred Host itself or only the relic of some saint. Modern usage, at any rate so far as the English language is concerned, has limited both terms to vessels intended for the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, and it is in this sense only that we use ostensorium here.
In Scotland, before the reformation, an ostensorium was commonly called a "eucharist", in England a "monstre or "monstral". The orb and rays of a monstrance should at least be of silver or silver gilt, and it is recommended that it should be surmounted by a cross.

Monstrance

Cruet Set
The Cruet Set consists of vessels used for containing the wine and water required for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Two are always employed. The Roman Missal (Rubricæ Gen., XX) directs that they should be made of glass. This is the most suitable material because easily cleaned, and its transparency obviates danger of confounding the water and wine. Other materials, however, are used, such as gold, silver, and other precious metals. In this case it is advisable to have a V (Vinum) on the wine and an A (aqua) on the water cruet, so that one may be easily distinguished from the other.
In shape nothing is prescribed, but the vessels should have a good firm base on which to stand securely and a fairly wide neck so as to admit of being easily cleansed. They should have a cover to keep away flies and insects. Formerly the wine for the Holy Sacrifice was brought by the faithful in a jar-shaped vessel. It was then received by the deacon and poured into the chalice, a vestige of which custom is still observable at the consecration of a bishop.

Much of this information was taken from the Catholic Encyclopaedia

The Priest's Vestments


 
God BlessYou!