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You are here: Rubrics & Law > Appointments & Architecture > Chalice, Rubrics  Back one page.
Chalice, Rubrics

Question Are there any requirements for the creation of a chalice to be used in the Roman Catholic Mass. Does it have to be made of certain materials, does it have to be a certain height?

Answer The General Instruction of the Roman Missal and Inaestimabile donum both speak about the proper construction of the chalice:

From the GIRM:
290:"Vessels should be made from materials that are solid and that in the particular region are regarded as noble. The conference of bishops will be the judge in this matter. But preference is to be given to materials that do not break easily or become unstable."

291:"Chalices and other vessels that serve as receptacles for the blood of the Lord are to have a cup of nonabsorbent material. The base may be of any other solid and worthy material."

294:"Vessels made from metal should ordinarily be gilded on the inside if the metal is one that rusts; gilding is not necessary if the metal is more precious than gold and does not rust."

295:"The artist may fashion the sacred vessels in a shape that is in keeping with the culture of each region, provided each type of vessel is suited to the intended liturgical use."

From Inaestimabile donum, n. 16:
"Particular respect and care are due to the sacred vessels, both the chalice and paten for the celebration of the Eucharist, and the ciboria for the Communion of the faithful. The form of the vessels must be appropriate for the liturgical use for which they are meant. The material must be noble, durable and in every case adapted to sacred use. In this sphere judgement belongs to the Episcopal Conference of the individual regions.

Use is not to be made of simple baskets or other receptacles meant for ordinary use outside the sacred celebrations, nor are the sacred vessels to be of poor quality or lacking any artistic style."

 

Based on these instructions, the chalice cannot be made out of glass or ceramic, two substances that are not durable. The cup of the chalice must not be made out of wood as this is an absorbant material or any other material which deteriorates easily. The exact form of the chalice is up to the individual artist but it must be suited to holding the Precious Blood. Therefore it needs a wide enough base to prevent tipping and a deep enough cup to prevent the liquid from spilling as the chalice is moved. I would also recomend, practicaly speaking, that the chalice should have a node in the middle of the stem to allow for easy handling.

 



Related Documents

  1. General Instruction of the Roman Missal (4th Edition)

  2. Instruction on Certain Norms Concerning the Worship of the Eucharistic Mystery

 
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You are here: Rubrics & Law > Appointments & Architecture > Chalice, Rubrics  Back one page.

Home | New | FAQ | Search | Forum | Links


All contents © copyright, 1998-2014
The Catholic Liturgical Library
http://www.catholicliturgy.com