In the Old Testament, the Eucharistic chalice was already seen as a symbol of a covenant between God and Jewish people. However, with Jesus' sacrifice, the meaning of the chalice is renewed and becomes even more important. Jesus' blood which was offered to the expiation of all sins, becomes the means for the salvation of all believers.
During the celebration of the Jewish Passover, a chalice was used to drink wine during the ceremony. Subsequently, even in the Christian liturgy, the use of liturgical chalices became an important symbol of the celebration of Mass. Over the centuries they have undergone various stylistic and technical evolutions, becoming an object of great artistic value.
Today liturgical chalices are usually made of precious materials such as gold, silver and crystal and can be decorated with precious stones and inlays. In the Renaissance, for example, the custom of decorating Eucharistic chalices with biblical scenes and artistic representations spread, while in the seventeenth century cup-shaped chalices were introduced, with a wider base and a shorter stem. The history of these liturgical supplies is therefore linked to religious tradition and the evolution of art and craftsmanship over the centuries.
The cup-shaped chalice: history and meaning of one of the most important symbols of the mass
The clerical chalice with the shape of a cup is one of the most important symbols of the liturgical celebration. This type of sacred object was introduced in the seventeenth century and is characterized by its cup shape, with a wider base and a shorter stem than traditional chalices. These sacred cups were chosen to represent the chalice used by Jesus during the Last Supper, which according to tradition was cup-shaped.
Other sacred accessories for the liturgical celebration
In addition to the communion chalice, there are other sacred objects used during the Eucharistic celebration. Among these are the pyx, which contains the consecrated particles, the ampoules that contain water and wine before they are poured, and the paten on which the host is placed during the Consecration. There are also several fabrics used, such as the corporal piece of linen that is laid out on the altar to collect any fragments of the Body or Blood of Christ, the priestly chalice cover, the purifier to wipe off the liturgical chalices and the handmaid used as a towel.