Holy Objects & Vessels

ALTAR

The structure upon which the Mass is celebrated; it recalls the table upon which Jesus celebrated the Last Supper, as well as the Cross upon which He was crucified.

BELLS

Bells are used to draw our attention to the coming of Christ at the Mass, and of His real presence in the Holy Eucharist.

CANDLES

Candles are always used for the celebration of Mass, to remind us that Jesus is the light of the world.

CHALICE

The cup that holds the wine which will soon become the  Precious Blood of Christ.  It should be noble and beautiful, as it is  the vessel which holds the price of the world's salvation, the Precious Blood of Christ

CIBORIUM

The vessel in which the hosts are kept, which will be consecrated at Mass and will become the Body of Christ. Following Mass, the Holy Eucharist, the Body of Christ, is kept in a ciborium, and reserved in the tabernacle.

CORPORAL

The square piece of linen which is unfolded and placed on the altar.  The Chalice and the Paten which contain the bread and wine for the celebration of the Eucharist are placed upon it.

CRUCIFIX

There is always a crucifix on or near the altar upon which the Eucharist  takes place.  Just as Christ carried His cross, so too in the Mass He  gives us the strength we need to carry the crosses which come to us in  life.

HOLY WATER

Reminds us of our Baptism, which cleansed us of the guilt of original sin, making us  adopted children of God and members of His Church.

MONSTRANCE

A vessel which enthrones and exposes the Holy Eucharist for prayer and adoration by the faithful.

PALL

Small square cover placed on the Chalice during Mass. Through the centuries, the pall came to symbolize the stone which was placed over Christ's tomb.

PATEN

The small dish upon which the priest's Host is placed during the celebration of Mass.

RELICS

An object, usually part of the body or clothes, remaining as a memorial of a departed saint.  It is customary for relics to be placed in the altar upon which the Mass is celebrated.

SANCTUARY

The area just around the altar; usually placed at a higher level, to bring to mind mountains in Scripture which are places of privileged encounters with God.

SANCTUARY LAMP

This is the candle that burns near the tabernacle, to indicate that Christ in the Eucharist is present within it.

STATIONS OF THE CROSS

The 14 Stations of the Cross in every Catholic church allow us accompany Christ on His path to His Crucifixion, through which He saved the world.

STATUES

Statues remind us that the Saints are praying and interceding for us in Heaven,  just as our friends and family do for us here on earth. We do not pray to the statues, but rather to the person in Heaven whom the statue represents.

TABERNACLE

The  vessel in which the Blessed Sacrament is reserved outside of Mass.   From the Tabernacle, Jesus sees us, hears us, and loves us.  Because it contains Jesus Himself, the tabernacle is the heart of every Catholic Church.

RELICS

An object, usually part of the body or clothes, remaining as a memorial of a departed saint.  It is customary for relics to be placed in the altar upon which the Mass is celebrated.