Is the use of glass chalices a grave offense/liturgical abuse?

Hey everyone. I was just wondering, is the use of a glass chalice for consecrating the wine into Jesus’ Blood a grave offense? If so, what should one do if they encounter such a liturgical abuse?

It is a reprobated practice. Please read what Redemptionis Sacramentum states:

[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 honor 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

I hope this helps.

As BenedictGal said, this is definitely not good. I would bring it up with your pastor, bringing the document quotes, if you think you’ll need them. If that doesn’t work, I’d write a letter to your bishop, and if possible, try and keep copies of all correspondence. If still no positive response/action, I’d write to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and include all former correspondence. I think that’s all, but BenedictGal might know more about this.

Also, if people receive the blood from the chalice in your parish, silver is the best choice to prevent any transfer of illness.

Yes, it is a grave offense.

There is a church in our diocese that uses what looks like glass, but isn’t… It’s lead crystal with a gold rim. I understand this has been approved by our bishop. So, what looks like glass, may not be glass… I have been told that the lead crystal used is nonbreakable also.

Personally, I don’t like the lead crystal… I prefer metal, gold or silver lined.

Lead crystal IS glass, and it IS breakable. Ask any owner of a set of expensive lead crystal goblets who is now missing one due to a dinner party accident:blush:(

Myth.

Yep. They break real nice like.

I know of one priest who nudged a crystal chalice off the altar, while it was empty. He then exclaimed, “Oh! It isn’t supposed to be breakable.” He didn’t say whether he ever got invited back to that parish.:wink:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs684.snc4/62442_158736810811978_100000269813832_440875_2988270_n.jpg

This photo was taken at an ordination Mass in my diocese within the last month (September 2010.) Note the teeny-tiny altar – no reason to have such a small altar. The deacon to the left is pouring the Precious Blood (NOT merely wine) into some new and rather expensive “metal-glass hybrid chalices.” Notice how much “extra” Precious Blood there will be based on the filled chalices and the amount still in the flagon (and the number at the Mass.) My bishop (wearing pectoral cross with stole on the outside of his chasuble) stands next to him as he sections a host.

The priest in the white alb was the MC for the Mass, hence no stole. The Mass took place in his parish where he is the pastor. He is also the diocesan director of the liturgy. In the photo he distributes handfuls of consecrated hosts from one large “paten” (that’s what we call it around here) to distribution ciboria. I wish he would learn how to do this in a manner that shows more respect for the Blessed Sacrament – must like the priests on EWTN do.

So there we have it. Very recent. Bishop involved. Diocesan director of the liturgy involved. :banghead:

I know, I know! I’ll write the Papal Nuncio for the US. When My letter gets ignored I’ll write to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. When he ignores it I’ll take it right to Pope Benedict XVI. :rolleyes:

In reality all I can do is pray that sorry messes like this cease one day…

Donate a nice ornate metal chalice with a gold lining to the parish.

Wow. And on top of it all, he’s wearing some over stole that doesn’t even look that good.

I know this might constitute as a sin of inciting envy and jealousy, but here’s a pic from the Eucharistic prayer at the last ordination in my diocese.

Yep. A fiddleback, pontifical dalmatic, sweet book stand, no flagons, properly placed stoles, a central altar crucifix, and the proper 7 candles for a bishop. AND, the new translation “preview” of The Roman Canon!! Bishop Morlino rocks!

As a bonus, here’s the gospel from that ordination.

No envy or jealousy here. I personally think fiddlebacks look silly. Well, probably worse than silly, but I’ll leave it as silly. “Pontifical dalamatic?” Why? It could well be argued that the “sweet” book stand, crucifix and 7 candles detract from the focus of the sacrifice. The “garage sale syndrome” as it is called in my diocese – it’s used as an excuse to go the other extreme and be minimalistic. The hardware you have pictured might be OK on a truly large altar like the ones typically used by the Pope but I personally don’t like the set-up as shown.

One of the Orthodox churches holds the altar and what takes place on the altar in such high reverence that they allow nothing but the tabernacle, the sacred vessels/linens and the gifts on the altar. Even their version of the Sacramentary sits on its own stand right next to the altar. I rather like that.

Hmm, that is interesting, in Anglican churches, the candles are not supposed to be on the altar for this reason - they must be on a shelf behind, or stands next to.

Not to say that is what one always sees.

a true liturgical abuse is something that affects validity of the sacraments. There are all kinds of illicit actions like this which are not true abuse. There is a Lay Witness Protocol from Catholics United for the Faith cuf.org, which I believe is on a reference sticky connected with this forum, to direct one on how to approach the priest first and then go through channels to report and correct such things.

“lead crystal” IS glass. It is glass with the addition of trace amounts of lead oxide to change the index of refraction.

But saying that it isn’t glass would be like saying that something isn’t metal because it’s brass.

And yes, it is just as breakable.

If you doubt me at all, go and buy a Waterford wine glass, hold it above a hard floor at about the height an EMCH would hold a chalice, drop it and see what happens.

“Lead Crystal” tends to be a bit thicker than a normal water glass, but it is not substantially less breakable than an equvilent thickness of normal glass.

That is not necessarily true, puzzleannie. Having the laity preach a homily at Mass is considered serious. Breaking the host during the consecration is reprobated. The word “reprobated” also shows up when it comes to sacred vessels. Whenever the word “reprobated”, that sends up a bright red flag that something is amiss and should not be done.

As for the Lay Witness Protocol, it’s just better to stick with what Redemptionis Sacramentum recommends. CUF, while a good organization, is not part of the Church hierarchy.

If so, what should one do if they encounter such a liturgical abuse?

Vent about it on a discussion forum like this one. It isn’t the role of the man in the pew to correct perceived liturgical abuses in his parish. You aren’t responsible for them, you won’t be held accountable for them. If the abuses (or imagined abuses) in your parish are too much for you, go to Mass somewhere else.

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

What does “reprobated” mean, in Canon Lawnglish? Does it mean “is a grave offense against God’s Majesty” or does it mean “formerly fine, but we changed our mind and now we’d rather you didn’t do it”? Anyone know?

Yes, it is a grave offense. FrDavid96

Can you back that up, Father? Because I can’t see the gravity, myself. Mind you, I don’t like it: I don’t even like the idea of Eucharistic Ministers distributing the Precious Blood to the faithful, to be honest, and I see the disregard for the pertinent canon…but not the gravity.

In my parish, glass goblets are used, and our diocesan ordinary has never seen fit to object or intervene in any way on any of the numerous occasions he has celebrated Mass there, using the glass goblets. Doesn’t seem to have fazed him at all, in fact.

Lead crystal IS glass, and it IS breakable. Ask any owner of a set of expensive lead crystal goblets who is now missing one due to a dinner party accident.

What is the difference, I wonder, if a glass or crystal goblet containing the Precious Blood is dropped, and shatters, or if a metal chalice is dropped, and is dented? Either way, the Precious Blood winds up all over the floor, doesn’t it? Is that the concern? If so, a clutz is a clutz, and accidents will happen, no matter what the chalice is made of.

Maybe a reading of RS might help you. It is the duty of every Catholic to stand up to abuse:

[183.] In an altogether particular manner, let everyone do all that is in their power to ensure that the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist will be protected from any and every irreverence or distortion and that all abuses be thoroughly corrected. This is a most serious duty incumbent upon each and every one, and all are bound to carry it out without any favoritism.

[184.] Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff.290 It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity.

So, everyone has a stake in this.

Just because the local ordinary does not see something as abusive, that does not excuse the ilicit activity. And, yes, the use of glass is a grave matter:

[173.] Although the gravity of a matter is to be judged in accordance with the common teaching of the Church and the norms established by her, objectively to be considered among grave matters is anything that puts at risk the validity and dignity of the Most Holy Eucharist: namely, anything that contravenes what is set out above in nn. 48-52, 56, 76-77, 79, 91-92, 94, 96, 101-102, 104, 106, 109, 111, 115, 117, 126, 131-133, 138, 153 and 168. Moreover, attention should be given to the other prescriptions of the Code of Canon Law, and especially what is laid down by canons 1364, 1369, 1373, 1376, 1380, 1384, 1385, 1386, and 1

The citation that you pulled out comes straight from 117.

Now, I have no problem receiving from a Eucharistic Minister because that is his duty, first and foremost, to distribute Holy Communion. In fact, I received from His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo last night and I then received from the Precious Blood from another Eucharistic Minister. However, there tends to be an over-use of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHCs). We need to use the terms that the Church gives us. Bishops and priests are Eucharistic Ministers because they confect the Sacrament. They, along with the deacons, are Ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. When needed, the laity may assist, but they are Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.

[183.] In an altogether particular manner, let everyone do all that is **in their power **to ensure that the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist will be protected from any and every irreverence or distortion and that all abuses be thoroughly corrected. This is a most serious duty incumbent upon each and every one, and all are bound to carry it out without any favoritism.

Fine. But what “power” do the laity have over their pastor or over their bishop? None, so the question is instantly moot with respect to lay persons. If one’s pastor has purchased glass or crystal goblets for the Communion of the Faithful under the second species, do you think he’s going to stop using them because I approach him and tell him it’s wrong? No. He’s going to imagine that I’m some weirdo, smile, wish me a nice day, and then turn to his sacristan and say, “I just met the newest nut in the neighborhood”.

There isn’t anything that the man or woman in the pew can do about it when a priest does something he shouldn’t. A priest who is going to make up his own liturgical rules for himself isn’t going to care what somebody else thinks about them, obviously.

184.] Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff.290 It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity.

And when you do, the bishop will smile very sweetly, thank you for bringing the matter to his attention, then turn to his secretary and say, “another one” as he rolls his eyes.

Is this eye-rolling bishop being sinfully careless of liturgical prescriptions in his diocese? Or was his education such that he understands various nuances of Canon Law that are lost on untrained and uneducated armchair liturgical watchdogs in the pews who think they know everything there is to know about Canon Law just by purchasing the book?

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.