Communion Question

I noticed the other day when I went to Mass; the priest was using a CLAY CUP and SAUCER instead of the usual Gold Chalice and Paten. I hesitated on going up to receive because I thought it may have been not valid. Did I commit sin by doing this? Later, a guest priest was visiting and did the same thing so I assumed that I was just being scrupulos. I have just read on the EWTN website that using these type of vessels is not right. Should I stop going to this Church or say somethig to the priest? He has been so helpful to me so I don’t want to “burn a bridge” so to speak.

I have just read on the EWTN website that using these type of vessels is not right.

What? Are you sure??? I would hazard that it could be arguably more appropriate!

For the USA, the GIRM says this:

  1. Among the requisites for the celebration of Mass, the sacred vessels are held in special honor, especially the chalice and paten, in which the bread and wine are offered and consecrated, and from which they are consumed.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. As regards chalices and other vessels that are intended to serve as receptacles for the Blood of the Lord, they are to have bowls of nonabsorbent material. The base, on the other hand, may be made of other solid and worthy materials.

:twocents: Other things being equal, I would call the use of pottery vessels *illicit *rather than invalid.


A clay cup and saucer are clearly forbidden in the 2004 Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum, n. 117:

“… Reprobated, therefore, is any practice of using for the celebration of Mass common vessels, or others lacking in quality, or devoid of all artistic merit or which are mere containers, as also other vessels made from glass, earthenware, clay, or other materials that break easily. …”.

The full document is at .

I suggest talking to the priest, trying to clarify if he is aware of the instruction. If he is not, make him aware of it. If he is simply refusing to follow it, decide if you should continue going to Mass there.

During the 1970’s and later decades, ceramic chalices were quite popular in some places. The intent now is to get back to using sacred vessels made of precious metals. But the type of vessel used certainly does not affect the validity of the sacrament.

I know- when I was an altar boy Fr. Leonard has a simple clay cup with a clay tray it sat in. However the inside of the clay cup and tray were lined with gold.


Oh really? Maybe the money saved from not buying expensive gold chalices can be used to feed the poor:rolleyes: (John 12: 1-8)



After confronting the priest about the issue. I discovered that the parish chalice was being re-finished. Fr was only using the “clay” chalice temporarily until the other was completed. The a few days later he was back to using the gold chalice and paten.

whew! thats a relief

These materials are not to be used. Using them does not invalidate the Consecration in any way.

Many of our more modern thinking members think that a return to the primitive is the best way to experience true Christianity. So clay pots, woven wicker baskets, plain tables instead of altars etc were seen as beingtrue to that belief. My good friends the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood:bigyikes: were good examples of this trend and they did some truly amazing things intheir Masses. Yes, they celebrated their own Masses usually without a Priest.

You are dealing with a couple of modernists here thats all

If the only two choices were to cancel the Sunday Mass because of the lack of the vessels or to use illict vessels, I would accept the illicit vessel for consecration with a heavy heart. A person does not have to receive at every Mass, that is not part of the Sunday obligation. So the Mass could go on with the consecration while using illicit vessels and the OP could just sit in the pews like others would probably do just out of their own form of respect to the Lord. Now I do not want to lack charity, but I would be surpised if those were the only choices. The priest alone cannot do everything and this is a case where the laity should be involved, for example I would encourage the parishoners to offer a spare set of vessels to the church to avoid these issues in the future. If the parishoners know in advance of a refurbishing activity, they could offer the pastor some help by seeing if it possible to borrow a set of vessels from another church (I do not know if it is allowed).

My friend, the only reason someone would use clay pots is to prove a point and pursue and agenda. Thats all… I’m sure that the Church has the appropriate vessels, the Priest though, I’m also sure, decided not to use them in preference to his probable quest for the primitive.

I hear you point, I am afraid that you might be right, and for the sake of that parish I really pray that you are wrong . I just do not know the details and I do not want to create antagonism toward the priest. He is the one that they have. I rather encourage the parishoners to give support to the priest and even to ask him hard questions in order to facilitate his constant obedience to the Church.

It has been my sad experience in dealing with this type of situation over the years that these Priests neither want and seldom accept input from their parishners if it in any way conflicts with their agenda. Once, a new pastor came in and told us that henceforth, since we were a resurrectionist church that we would stand throughout the consecration.and not to do so would be to invalidate belief in the resurrection. A group of others and I pointed out that the rubrics did not call for that. After being told that we were all infected , yes infected, with a Pre Vatican II mindset, we were advised that we were free to leave the Parish and that since we obviously had not been touched by the Spirit it would be better if we did.

I too pray that the situation in that church is not similar, but I’ll bet that it is.

Give the priest the benefit of the doubt. The priest who used the clay chalice obviously cared enough about the dignity of the Mass that he had the sacred vessels re-finished. . . not a cheap process. The back-up vessels in the Sacristy had been blessed and used for the Mass in the past, so he opted to use them temporarily until the sacred vessels could be brought back.

Sounds like he was combining prudent stewardship of the parish resources while ensuring the beauty of the permanent vessels for years to come. give the priest a break!

True story: priest of my parish went into the sacristy one fine Sunday morning, tried to unlock the safe where the Communion vessels are kept and the knob came off in his hand. No locksmith handy on Sunday morning in our town. He went into the kitchen, pulled out a large ceramic cup (on a pedistal, vaguely chalice shaped and a matching luncheon plate. One of the ladies pointed out that the parish does own some crysal goblets and fine, gold rimmed china (packed away for very special occasions). She pulled out a crysal goblet and china plate. Father thanked her for remembering that these were availabe and proceded to use them to celebrate the Mass. He’s not the kind of guy who knows what’s in the kitchen, and lacks imagination for that kind of thing, so found the best he could under emergency conditions, but when given a better alternative, went with that. He wasn’t going to cancel Mass just due to a safe that couldn’t be opened.

Why are we always questioning our priests? Why can’t you have confidence in their knowledge and ability? Are you not able to perform your job competently? Give them the same respect.

If you don’t like the way priests perform their duties, then become a priest and show them how it’s done. :mad:

To all of you how constantly complain about every little liturgical detail…GET A LIFE!!!

May I ask you a question? How much of your parish budget goes to feeding the poor? I ask this because I notice that our Church has many dinners, special events and I always ask why we do not ask the poor instead or spend the money on food for the poor? Except for St. Vincent de Paul or another special group from the Church, the budget does not include the poor.

Usually, the Womans Altar Society or a special donation fund the sacred vessel purchases. As a sacristan, I had to recommend to family member of the deceased, what vessels were needed. Many family members will purchase these in memory of the deceased so that their love ones are always present during the celebration of the Mass. A lovely practice and one that assist the Church in maintaining there sacred vessels in top condition.

Talking about primitive, I know one priest who’s been suspended from celebrating the mass because he tried the primitive way of doing it.

You know what he did? :rolleyes:
He brought 2 fishes and 5 loaves to the altar for mass. :eek: :eek:


Just ask the Church sacristan how many sacred vessels he or she has in their inventory. As a sacristan I can tell you that they will know without question.

Did he multiply them?

Maybe he has the Last Supper confused with some other event.

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