My parents are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary and I was thinking of giving them a chalice to be used during their celebration mass. Thinking that this could become a family “blessing cup” and be handed down and used for subsequent special masses such as anniversaries, weddings, etc. However, I am unsure of the appropriateness or rules regarding this. Once a chalice has been used to hold the Blood of Christ during mass, is it OK or allowed to be removed from the Church or given to a family in such a manner? Although the idea is nice, part of me wonders if it would be appropriate to see a chalice that held the actual Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ sitting in someone’s home? Please advise, Thanks!
It’s an interesting idea, but I share your reluctance. You are right, that once the chalice has borne Our Lord, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, it must be venerated and kept in a particularly safe and appropriate place.
I suggest you talk to your priest about this, and find out whether it is permissible for laypersons to keep a chalice in their possession for a such a trivial matter, and if you may keep it, ask for advice on how to store it.
I agree with the previous poster about the chalice idea.
When my parents celebrated their 50th anniversary, I had two rosaries made for them with gold-colored, rose-bud shaped beads.
You could buy the chalice and donate it to the parish in your parents’ name.
[quote="TFrancis, post:1, topic:346063"]
My parents are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary and I was thinking of giving them a chalice to be used during their celebration mass. Thinking that this could become a family "blessing cup" and be handed down and used for subsequent special masses such as anniversaries, weddings, etc. However, I am unsure of the appropriateness or rules regarding this. Once a chalice has been used to hold the Blood of Christ during mass, is it OK or allowed to be removed from the Church or given to a family in such a manner? Although the idea is nice, part of me wonders if it would be appropriate to see a chalice that held the actual Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ sitting in someone's home? Please advise, Thanks!
Chalices are common gifts for ordinations and anniversaries of ordinations. I'm not sure it's proper though for a lay person to keep such a thing in their home since they can't use it themselves.
My parents bought my brother a chalice when he was ordained a priest. Once the chalice was blessed, no lay persons were allowed to touch it. It was on display at his ordination reception with a sign advising not to touch it, but priests present were allowed to handle it.
I’m sure the rules have changed since then, since now laypersons handle chalices quite frequently, and are even allowed to take a chalice home for a week to pray for vocations as a family. However, I don’t know of any situations where a private family has been able to keep a chalice for personal use or as a keepsake.
When my brother died, his chalice was donated to another priest.
My understanding, based on writings of CAF apologists, is that laypeople are NOT to have sacred vessels present in their homes. To send a chalice home in order to encourage people to pray for vocations is seriously irregular and one should speak to one's priest about discontinuing the practice if it is occurring in one's parish.
A sacred vessel is just that - sacred. It should NEVER be kept in one's home, just as one would never keep the Blessed Sacrament in one's home, without the express permission of the local bishop.
Why is that?
That’s simply not true – even if they are consecrated (as they were in the past) or blessed. Of course such a chalice shouldn’t be used for anything trivial (morning OJ or a beer) but there is nothing to keep a layperson from owning one.
I have five chalices in my collection as a laymen. Two came from eBay. Two from estate sales and one from a priest who wanted to sell it (I saved it from the smelter.) All five are works of art and came at excellent prices so I picked them up. One day I hope to donate them to a local parish.
A chalice is nothing more than a vessel. While I don’t think I would buy a chalice that is immediately identifiable as a priest’s chalice, I think buying a gold goblet would be a nice thing to do.
I know a family that has a pair of gold goblets that have been used by every new bride and groom to toast one another for the first time since the early 1850’s. It’s a great tradition.
It is traditional for laypersons to not directly touch the metal of a chalice. In traditional parishes, you’ll always see the servers handle the chalices and ciboria with a cloth; they don’t ever touch the metal directly.
It’s not a sin to do so, but to refrain from touching it is a sign of respect to the sacrament.
I’m not sure what a “traditional parish” is (Catholic?), but how is not touching a sacred vessel a “sign of respect to the sacrament”?
“Traditional” is a fairly broad term. I define it as “valuing the history, symbolism, and beauty of tradition.”
That, however, is very controversial, as seen by this thread, so I will not try to use the term definitively.
However, I will say that the reason for preserving tradition lies entirely in its faculty to help provide an atmosphere of prayer to the faithful. It is not doctrine, and should not be forced on people, but where it is kept and valued by people, it is truly a beautiful thing. It brings unity between the people and between the current time and the past.
This particular tradition, of not touching sacred vessels directly, is such a tradition, and if one chooses to follow it, it can be of merit to that person; however, as I said, it is neither doctrine nor discipline.
I have long been curious about this matter. There are a number of people at my Byzantine Catholic parish who would probably refer to themselves as “traditional catholics.” They too have often said that no one should touch a sacred vessel because only priests’ hands are consecrated and that non-consecrated hands shouldn’t go anywhere near a sacred vessel. They also gave that as a reason for never receiving communion from anyone other than a priest.
What they didn’t know was that Byzantine Catholic priests’ hands are NOT consecrated/anointed. Totally blew their argument out of the water.
I decided not to buy the chalice as I also had some reservations similar to the initial replies and I was not able to speak to our priest about it. I went with 2 crystal champaigne flutes (for a toast) and put my gratitude for them in a tribute that was shared at mass. A very nice and memorable celebration. Thanks for all the input and replies.