We changed "plates" for the Eucharist

At my Church, we have always had the plates to put the Eucharists o while they were being given out. I know there’s some fancy name to these, but I forget. Anyway, we recently changed to these little “chalices.” Let me tell ya, it’s really hard trying to carry a couple of full ones back to the Tabernacle!

Anyone have any idea why my Church would have switched this?

As I understand it a chalice is a cup, a goblet, something to put liquid into, such a wine. Usually when such a thing is referred to as a “chalice” it is a more fancy version that an orderinary cup or goblet. So I don’t understand plates being called chalices ???

I meant to describe as a fat wine glass that the hosts go in.

Its not a chalice- its a ciborium (thats with a “ch”).

You mean a ciborium?


The name for the “plate” is paten. To the best of my knowledge, I don’t think it matters whether it is a ciborium or paten. As long as it is not glass.

Let me tell ya, it’s really hard trying to carry a couple of full ones back to the Tabernacle!

Wasn’t there a ban placed on the laity, “Communion Ministers” or otherwise, going to the Tabernacle back in 2005? Only the priest should be doing that.

Caesar, do you know where that is mentioned? Is it local for the USA or worldwide. Almost all of the Pauline Masses I go to have this happening and I have always thought it wrong. I have wanted to ask our parish Priest why it is necessary but do not want to ask empty-handed.

Because the Paten (little plate) is not the proper item used for this purpose. The Ciborium which lookes like a Chalice but does not have the knob in the middle of the stem and has a fitted cover is. All I can say is make two trips to the taberncale! Or both the priest and deacon should go together to the Tabernacle.

They also make ciboria that are like bowls with very vertical sides (essentailly the normal stemmed ciborium sans the stem). They have fitted covers and also can stack in the tabernacle if needed (I prefer the ones that stack with their lids on for obvious reasons)

Surely the deacon also?

I know this is something ordered by Pope Benedict in the fall of 2005, and I know it wasnt received by the USCCB very well.

I’ll for a document.

There shouldn’t be full ciboria left over from Mass on a routine basis. The priest is consecrating too many hosts. That should be avoided.

I’ll be interested to see it if you find it. I am pretty sure that particular decision is left up the individual Bishop. The laity may not purify the vessel, however.

if there are going to be communion services during the week outside Mass, or trips to visit the sick in the nursing homes and hospitals etc. the pastor should judge how many extra hosts should be consecrated. Anyone who is serving as an EMHC is supposed to have formal training at the diocesan level and should therefore know the relevant liturgical documents, rites and disciplines, as well as be exceedingly familiar with the furnishings and utensils, rituals and so forth. If OP is not, he is not at fault, his pastor is for neglecting this training, and he should request it.

That is someone’s modern idea of a ciborium. There should not be very many Hosts left over from any specific Mass. The only reason we place a ciborium with a FEW Hosts in the Tabernacle is for Viaticum. Holy Communion for the home bound, hospital, and nursing homes should be from the the Hosts just Consecrated at the Mass the EMHC’s are sent from. IT is possible that some specific situation might require extra Hosts to be reserved, like a priest being available for Mass only once a month or twice a month in a remote parish. Where a Communion service is held on the other priestless Sundays or Holy Days. Normally there should not be but a few Hosts in the Tabernacle.

Not all chalices have a “knob” on their stems. Also, patens need not look like “little plates.” Many are quite large, and many closer to bowls than plates…

No. While it might be optimal to take communion to those that cannot attend Mass right away, it’s not always possible. I would guess there are at least two-dozen lay ministers that make home and hospital visits through perhaps 12 hours of every day and what you suggest would not work.

Further we have two different kind of Hosts in the tabernacle. Those used for daily communion and smaller/thinner ones which are given to people who have extremely difficulty in swallowing.

Just recently, in my dioceses, the Bishop put out a mandate that no one except a priest or the deacon, may touch the tabernacle. EMC’s can no longer place or remove the ciborium from the tabernacle.


The knob did at one time differentiate the two and patens should look like little plates they also come with handles for altar servers to hold under the chin of the person receiving and be gold plated on the top surface which comes into contact with the Blessed Sacrament. Again patens should not be used to distribute Holy Communion, a ciborium should hold the Hosts for Holy Communion.

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