[quote=Andreas Hofer]I think that any sacred vessel (and in some places that is a very loose use of the term) used to hold hosts but without a lid is considered a paten. My parish recently got some vessels listed as “host dishes” and my priest told me that if it’s not a ciborium, it’s a paten. Anyone with actual knowledge of the subject can correct me.
I have never seen a paten for sale that was advertised as a “host dish”, nor have I seen a “host dish” listed as a sacred vessel. From the Catholic Encyclopedia:
“The eucharistic vessel known as the paten is a small shallow plate or disc of precious metal upon which the element of bread is offered to God at the Offertory of the Mass, and upon which the consecrated Host is again placed after the Fraction. The word paten comes from a Latin form patina or patena, evidently imitated from the Greek patane. It seems from the beginning to have been used to denote a flat open vessel of the nature of a plate or dish. Such vessels in the first centuries were used in the service of the altar, and probably served to collect the offerings of bread made by the faithful and also to distribute the consecrated fragments which, after the loaf had been broken by the celebrant, were brought down to the communicants, who in their own hands received each a portion from the patina.”
The chalice and the paten ARE the sacred vessels in the Latin Rite of the Church – no “looseness” to it. (I may be wrong, but I don’t believe a ciborium is even a sacred vessel, although it is certainly an altar vessel.)
I believe they are known as a"diskos" (disk) in some of the Eastern Catholic Churches. I can just imagine the look on an Eastern Rite Catholic priest if you referred to the diskos as a “host dish” – Lord have mercy.
Sadly many priests (like many at my parish) dispense with the paten as if it were not a sacred vessel and that’s horribly sad. Then again, up until a few years ago, we were using wine stemware (and glass sundae dishes in place of correct “host dishes”) in place of proper chalices. In time I’m sure we’ll get the paten back at my parish at all Masses.