Chalices . . . . .

One diocese I was in, the local KofC chapter had made a practice of providing a gift of a chalice, to newly ordained priests.

According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, no. 328, the sacred vessels should be composed of noble [precious] metals. No. 329, however, grants the power to the episcopal conferences to allow the use of other materials it historically or culturally considers noble, such as certain hardwoods.

Ceramic is too fragile and therefore not allowed - ever.

"328. Sacred vessels should be made from precious metal. If they are made from metal that rusts or from a metal less precious than gold, they should generally be gilded on the inside.

  1. In the Dioceses of the United States of America, sacred vessels may also be made from other solid materials which in the common estimation in each region are considered precious or noble, for example, ebony or other harder woods, provided that such materials are suitable for sacred use. In this case, preference is always to be given to materials that do not easily break or deteriorate. This applies to all vessels that are intended to hold the hosts, such as the paten, the ciborium, the pyx, the monstrance, and others of this kind.

  2. As regards chalices and other vessels that are intended to serve as receptacles for the Blood of the Lord, they are to have a bowl of material that does not absorb liquids. The base, on the other hand, may be made of other solid and worthy materials."


I assume that would apply to glassware too?
(A priest at my parish has a chalice made of glass. I personally like it because it allows us in the congregation to actually see the consecrated wine as opposed to just knowing it’s in the chalice.)

You would be correct.

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I’m surprised they allow glass, because of the danger of breakage. Does that never happen?

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It’s my understanding that it’s not allowed, my post was a bit confusing, sorry!


Indeed, the shapes and sizes may vary…

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Didn’t Benedict use one like this?

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I believe you are correct. The one in the photo is the “Chalice of Valencia” and is in the Cathedral there. It has a rather mysterious past. The development and use of grails and chalices is quite a fascinating topic.

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You are right. He used that actual chalice…

The top “cup” is believed to be an “Alexandrian vessel” thought to be of oriental origin (100 - 50 BC). The base of similar stone, gold and jewels was added much later. Could this have been the “cup” used at the Last Supper? One must ask why a simple cup has been treated with such reverence.

I know priests that have their own vestments and chalices. When our pastor moved to a new assignment he had 90 boxes of personal items plus his vestments. etc. And that was AFTER he sold off all his HALLOWEEN decorations.

I have found that most diocesan priests and many religious priests do, in fact, have a personal chalice. Many times it is a gift of their parish or family at their ordination. Some even collect chalices over the years. I once knew a priest with a whole curio cabinet full of them. They had been given to him by parishes who did not use them any more. Most of the ones he received he sent to missionary diocese where parishes might not be able to afford a new chalice, but the ones which were made of a material which was no longer allowed (like ceramic, crystal, or some types of wood) he kept.

Right, because if it is dropped and broken while containing Jesus, Jesus would be tortured again with glass shards.


I always thought that. Every priest at my parish uses a different chalice. One is an ugly wide conical chalice, the second is an average silver one, and the third is the traditional looking small gold chalice.

Is that for real?

I think this is a little bit dramatic. The reality is that chalices should be made of metal so they won’t break and spill the Precious Blood. I’ve never heard it go further than that.


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I could understand why they would want/need their own Chalice. Our Priest says Mass everyday whether it is publicly or privately. I could see him not wanting to have to bring the same chalice back and forth into the Church when he says public Mass for the Parishioners and back to his rectory when he says his private Mass. Also when he goes on his time off he would need to have one with him. So it is a GREAT thing for a Priest to have his own Chalice and each Parish to provide a complete vessel set or sets for the Priest when he says Mass regularly there. I can imagine that to a Priest his Chalice is a very personal, unique and precious item that he cherishes for his lifetime.

A couple donated to our former pastor, a glass chalice and cups used by the EMHC’s, made of an unbreakable glass.

He used them rather than insult them by refusing their gift.

Apparently some one complained and he removed them, but then retired shortly afterwards.


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