Glass chalice - what is the problem?


#1

I’ve heard a lot of people here say that it is a liturgical abuse to use a glass chalice. Why is that so?


#2

Well, because it is against tradition first of all, and secondly because the Church says it is. More than just being able to spill it–after all, one can spill any chalice–it is able to be broken quite easily. Picking bits of glass out of spilled Blood must be a pain, not to mention very disrespectful to Christ, and all of this can be immediately and totally ameliorated by using a metal chalice.

In short, when using glass there are problems that would never even exist if metal is used.


#3

GIRM:

  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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.


#4

From the instruction,** Redemtionis Sacramentum*, by the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments , on certain matters that are to be observed or avoided regarding the Most Holy Eucharist:
[LEFT]
3. Sacred Vessels*
[117.] Sacred vessels for containing the Body and Blood of the Lord must be made in strict conformity with the norms of tradition and of the liturgical books.205 The Bishops’ Conferences have the faculty to decide whether it is appropriate, once their decisions have been given the recognitio by the Apostolic See, for sacred vessels to be made of other solid materials as well. It is strictly required, however, that such materials be truly noble in the common estimation within a given region,206 so that honour will be given to the Lord by their use, and all risk of diminishing the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species in the eyes of the faithful will be avoided. 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. This norm is to be applied even as regards metals and other materials that easily rust or deteriorate.207[/LEFT]


#5

Because we give God the best and a mere wine glass does not cut it.


#6

[quote="adawgj, post:5, topic:338092"]
Because we give God the best and a mere wine glass does not cut it.

[/quote]

Crystal vessels can be considered to be made of more noble material than mere wine glass. And not all metal vessels are appropriate to be used as Sacred vessels either. The problem with the use of crystal vessels is not in the nobility of the material, but in the fact that glass is more likely to break than metal.


#7

Our priest insists on using glass. At one Mass, the fidgety alter boy fell over in his chair and knocked over the credence table on which the wine glasses stood. One broke and the other was badly chipped. The priest used the chipped one for that Mass, as he had no other, but it was later thrown away.


#8

The same reason why priests don’t wear leather vestments or why the altar is covered with linen instead of paper- it disorients and confuses the faithful, makes them wonder if they are in the right place.

If I saw a glass chalice, I’d go back outside and check the sign outside to make sure I was in the right place.


#9

:thumbsup::signofcross::harp:


#10

[quote="Reborn2013, post:1, topic:338092"]
I've heard a lot of people here say that it is a liturgical abuse to use a glass chalice. Why is that so?

[/quote]

It isn't. At least not per the GIRM and RS.

But a piece of stemware/common wine glass is far, far removed from say this actual chalice (no, it's not a ciborium) made as a birthday present for a former pope by Steuben Glass:

gstatic.com/hostedimg/ca19f265fd08d8e5_large

I think if I attended a Mass and the priest used a magnificent chalice like this (particularly in conjunction with red wine), that it would really help me to focus on the sacrifice. Especially if it was only used by the celebrant and any concelebrants over the altar in case it was dropped it would not shatter which is the excuse of some to condemn glass chalices.


#11

[quote="DrStachys, post:10, topic:338092"]
It isn't. At least not per the GIRM and RS.

But a piece of stemware/common wine glass is far, far removed from an actual chalice (no, it's not a ciborium) made as a birthday present for a former pope by Steuben Glass:

I think if I attended a Mass and the priest used a magnificent chalice like this (particularly in conjunction with red wine), that it would really help me to focus on the sacrifice. Especially if it was only used by the celebrant and any concelebrants over the altar in case it was dropped it would not shatter which is the excuse of some to condemn glass chalices.

[/quote]


#12

[quote="Bonnie, post:7, topic:338092"]
Our priest insists on using glass. At one Mass, the fidgety alter boy fell over in his chair and knocked over the credence table on which the wine glasses stood. One broke and the other was badly chipped. The priest used the chipped one for that Mass, as he had no other, but it was later thrown away.

[/quote]

Wow, that was a serious mishap, no matter what the vessels were made of. Care should be focused on making sure that doesn't happen again.


#13

[quote="YoungTradCath, post:2, topic:338092"]
Well, because it is against tradition first of all, and secondly because the Church says it is. More than just being able to spill it--after all, one can spill any chalice--it is able to be broken quite easily. Picking bits of glass out of spilled Blood must be a pain, not to mention very disrespectful to Christ, and all of this can be immediately and totally ameliorated by using a metal chalice.

In short, when using glass there are problems that would never even exist if metal is used.

[/quote]

Not really. The chalice used at the Last Supper may well have been made out of something other than metal.

And no, neither the GIRM nor RS say it's an abuse to use a genuine glass chalice.


#14

[quote="DrStachys, post:10, topic:338092"]
It isn't. At least not per the GIRM and RS.

[/quote]

Then I wonder what was meant in Redepmtionis Sacramentum 117? :confused:

[quote="DrStachys, post:10, topic:338092"]
But a piece of stemware/common wine glass is far, far removed from say this actual chalice (no, it's not a ciborium) made as a birthday present for a former pope by Steuben Glass:

gstatic.com/hostedimg/ca19f265fd08d8e5_large

[/quote]

A chalice with a lid? How ... innovative. :shrug:

[quote="DrStachys, post:10, topic:338092"]
I think if I attended a Mass and the priest used a magnificent chalice like this (particularly in conjunction with red wine), that it would really help me to focus on the sacrifice. Especially if it was only used by the celebrant and any concelebrants over the altar in case it was dropped it would not shatter which is the excuse of some to condemn glass chalices.

[/quote]

I think when one comes right down to it, commercial stemware is far more durable and far less delicate than expensive crystal. :shrug:


#15

One upside to glass chalices is that it's easier to clean and doesn't rust like the metal ones, since for some odd reason the metal chalices don't get washed at most parishes where I've volunteered.

Ultimately, glass is a pain when it breaks, which happens often. I'm so glad we don't have glass anymore.

I do know that crystal and Venetian glass are more noble material. I think glass mixed with precious metal is the exception?


#16

:confused::confused:


#17

[quote="adrift, post:16, topic:338092"]
:confused::confused:

[/quote]

From Redemptionis Sacramentum (emphasis added):

[117.] Sacred vessels for containing the Body and Blood of the Lord must be made in strict conformity with the norms of tradition and of the liturgical books.[205]The Bishops’ Conferences have the faculty to decide whether it is appropriate, once their decisions have been given the recognitio by the Apostolic See, for sacred vessels to be made of other solid materials as well. It is strictly required, however, that such materials be truly noble in the common estimation within a given region,[206]so that honour will be given to the Lord by their use, and all risk of diminishing the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species in the eyes of the faithful will be avoided. 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. This norm is to be applied even as regards metals and other materials that easily rust or deteriorate.[207]


#18

Gold doesn’t rust. :confused:


#19

Dual usage? :shrug:


#20

One parish where I volunteered, we were not allowed to wash the gold chalices. They were dried with a clean purificator (after being purified) and immediately put back into storage until the next Mass. :confused:

Maybe they were gold plated? :shrug:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.