Is it okay to use glass bowels to hold the Body of Christ? I noticed at our parish the Eucharist is consecrated using a gold chalice then divided up into glass bowls… which the extraordinary ministers use to distribute. Is glass considered a sacred vessel? I thought the Body of Christ was only allowed to be contained in a gold chalice/bowl or a bowl guided with gold on the inside?
I appreciate your help. Where would one look for full liturgical guidelines of this sort?
I have gently brought it up with the our parish liturgical person who has been in touch with the priest about it. I’ve been told he’s planning to look into it & discuss it at the next liturgical meeting.
According to the GIRM:
- Sacred vessels are to be made from precious metal. If they are made from metal that rusts or from a metal less precious than gold, then ordinarily they should be gilded on the inside.
- In the dioceses of the United States of America, sacred vessels may also be made from other solid materials that, according to the common estimation in each region, are precious, for example, ebony or other hard woods, provided that such materials are suited to sacred use and do not easily break or deteriorate. This applies to all vessels which hold the hosts, such as the paten, the ciborium, the pyx, the monstrance, and other things of this kind.
I don’t think glass is considered “precious” anywhere in the USA and it would seem to violate the rule that the materials should not “easily break.”
The issue that some parishes find themselves in is that someone had donated them in memory of a loved one and it can be a bit tricky for the pastor to change them. Sometimes the pastor is new and hasn’t had time to make a change. Other parishes simply run on extremely tight budgets and its difficult to find a few extra hundred dollars to buy new ciboria .
However, be that as it may, you are correct that the glass is not permitted by the GIRM for sacred vessels.