Chalice

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Derrynaflan Chalice, an 8th- or 9th-century chalice, found in County Tipperary, Ireland Derrynaflan chalice.jpg
Derrynaflan Chalice, an 8th- or 9th-century chalice, found in County Tipperary, Ireland

A chalice (from Latin calix, mug, borrowed from Greek κύλιξ (kulix), cup) or goblet is a footed cup intended to hold a drink. In religious practice, a chalice is often used for drinking during a ceremony or may carry a certain symbolic meaning.

Latin Indo-European language of the Italic family

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.

Drinking ingesting water or other liquids into the body through the mouth

Drinking is the act of ingesting water or other liquids into the body through the mouth. Water is required for many physiological processes. Both excessive and inadequate water intake are associated with health problems.

Ceremony Event of ritual significance, performed on a special occasion

A ceremony is an event of ritual significance, performed on a special occasion. The word may be of Etruscan origin, via the Latin caerimonia.

Contents

Religious use

Christian

Fresco of a female figure holding a chalice at an early Christian Agape feast. Catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter, Via Labicana, Rome. Agape feast 03.jpg
Fresco of a female figure holding a chalice at an early Christian Agape feast. Catacomb of Saints Marcellinus and Peter, Via Labicana, Rome.
Chalice with Saints and Scenes from the Life of Christ German - Chalice with Saints and Scenes from the Life of Christ - Walters 44116.jpg
Chalice with Saints and Scenes from the Life of Christ
Silver chalice in the museum of the Romanian Orthodox Archbishopy of the Vad, Feleac, and Cluj PotirMuzeuCJ.JPG
Silver chalice in the museum of the Romanian Orthodox Archbishopy of the Vad, Feleac, and Cluj

The ancient Roman calix was a drinking vessel consisting of a bowl fixed atop a stand, and was in common use at banquets. In Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Lutheranism and some other Christian denominations, a chalice is a standing cup used to hold sacramental wine during the Eucharist (also called the Lord's Supper or Holy Communion). Chalices are often made of precious metal, and they are sometimes richly enamelled and jewelled. The gold goblet was symbolic for family and tradition.

Ancient Rome History of Rome from the 8th-century BC to the 5th-century

In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom, Roman Republic and Roman Empire until the fall of the western empire. The civilization began as an Italic settlement in the Italian Peninsula, conventionally founded in 753 BC, that grew into the city of Rome and which subsequently gave its name to the empire over which it ruled and to the widespread civilisation the empire developed. The Roman Empire expanded to become one of the largest empires in the ancient world, though still ruled from the city, with an estimated 50 to 90 million inhabitants ) and covering 5.0 million square kilometres at its height in AD 117.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Eastern Orthodox Church Christian Church

The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 260 million baptised members.It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods, although roughly half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest surviving religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Near East.

Chalices have been used since the early church. Because of Jesus' command to his disciples to "Do this in remembrance of me." (Luke 22:19), and Paul's account of the Eucharistic rite in 1 Corinthians 11:24-25, the celebration of the Eucharist became central to Christian liturgy. Naturally, the vessels used in this important act of worship were highly decorated and treated with great respect. A number of early examples of chalices have a large bowl and two handles. Over time, the size of the bowl diminished and the base became larger for better stability. Over time, official church regulations dictated the construction, blessing, and treatment of chalices. Some religious traditions still require that the chalice, at least on the inside of the cup, to be gold-plated. [1]

Disciple (Christianity) followers of Jesus, Christian perspective

In Christianity, disciple primarily refers to a dedicated follower of Jesus. This term is found in the New Testament only in the Gospels and Acts. In the ancient world a disciple is a follower or adherent of a teacher. It is not the same as being a student in the modern sense. A disciple in the ancient biblical world actively imitated both the life and teaching of the master. It was a deliberate apprenticeship which made the fully formed disciple a living copy of the master.

Christian liturgy is a pattern for worship used by a Christian congregation or denomination on a regular basis. Although the term liturgy is used to mean public worship in general, the Byzantine Rite uses the term "Divine Liturgy" to denote the Eucharistic service.

In Western Christianity, chalices will often have a pommel or node where the stem meets the cup to make the elevation easier. In Roman Catholicism, chalices tend to be tulip-shaped, and the cups are quite narrow. Roman Catholic priests will often receive chalices from members of their families when first ordained.

Western Christianity is a religious category composed of the Latin Church and Protestantism, together with their offshoots such as Independent Catholicism and Restorationism. The large majority of the world's 2.4 billion Christians are Western Christians. The original and still major part, the Latin Church, developed under the bishop of Rome in the former Western Roman Empire in Antiquity. Out of the Latin Church emerged a wide variety of independent Protestant denominations, including Lutheranism and Anglicanism, starting from the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, as did Independent Catholicism in the 19th century. Thus, the term "Western Christianity" does not describe a single communion or religious denomination, but is applied to distinguish all these denominations collectively from Eastern Christianity.

Elevation (liturgy) ritual raising of the consecrated elements of bread and wine during the celebration of the Eucharist

In Christian liturgy the elevation is a ritual raising of the consecrated elements of bread and wine during the celebration of the Eucharist. The term is applied especially to that by which, in the Roman Rite of Mass, the Host and the Chalice are each shown to the people immediately after each is consecrated. The term may also refer to a piece of music played on the organ or sung at that point in the liturgy.

Ordination religious process by which individuals are consecrated as clergy

Ordination is the process by which individuals are consecrated, that is, set apart and elevated from the laity class to the clergy, who are thus then authorized to perform various religious rites and ceremonies. The process and ceremonies of ordination vary by religion and denomination. One who is in preparation for, or who is undergoing the process of ordination is sometimes called an ordinand. The liturgy used at an ordination is sometimes referred to as an ordination.

In Eastern Christianity (Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches), chalices will often have icons enameled or engraved on them, as well as a cross. In Orthodoxy and Eastern Catholicism, all communicants receive both the Body of Christ and the Blood of Christ. To accomplish this, a portion of the Lamb (Host) is placed in the chalice, and then the faithful receive Communion on a spoon. For this reason, eastern chalices tend to have larger, rounded cups. In the Russian Orthodox Church, the faithful will often kiss the "foot" (base) of the chalice after receiving Holy Communion. In other traditions, they will kiss the cup. Although Orthodox monks are not permitted to hold personal possessions, the canons permit a hieromonk (i.e., a monk who has been ordained to the priesthood) to keep a chalice and other vessels necessary to celebrate the Divine Liturgy.

Eastern Christianity Christian traditions originating from Greek- and Syriac-speaking populations

Eastern Christianity comprises church families that developed outside the Occident, with major bodies including the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox churches, the Eastern Catholic Churches, and the denominations descended from the Church of the East. It also includes Reformed Eastern churches such as the Malankara Marthoma Syrian Church which follows a reformed West Syriac Rite and the Ukrainian Lutheran Church that uses the Byzantine Rite. Historically called the Eastern Church in contrast with the (Latin) Western Church, since the Protestant Reformation Eastern Christianity is used in contrast with Western Christianity, comprising both the said Latin Church as well as Protestantism and Independent Catholicism. Eastern Christianity consists of the Christian traditions and churches that developed distinctively over several centuries in the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Malabar coast of South India, and parts of the Far East. The term does not describe a single communion or religious denomination. Some Eastern churches have more in common historically and theologically with Western Christianity than with one another. The various Eastern churches do not normally refer to themselves as "Eastern", with the exception of the Assyrian Church of the East and the Ancient Church of the East.

Icon religious work of art, generally a panel painting, in Eastern Christianity

An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, in the cultures of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Roman Catholic, and certain Eastern Catholic churches. The most common subjects include Christ, Mary, saints and angels. Although especially associated with "portrait" style images concentrating on one or two main figures, the term also covers most religious images in a variety of artistic media produced by Eastern Christianity, including narrative scenes. Icons can represent various scenes in the Bible.

Body of Christ

In Christian theology, the term Body of Christ has two main but separate meanings: it may refer to Jesus' words over the bread at the Last Supper that "This is my body" in Luke 22:19–20, or to the usage of the term by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:12–14 and Ephesians 4:1–16 to refer to the Christian Church. It may also refer to Christ's post-resurrection body in Heaven. Christ also associated himself with the poor of the world and this is also called the Body of Christ.“If we truly wish to encounter Christ, we have to touch his body in the suffering bodies of the poor, as a response to the sacramental communion bestowed in the Eucharist. The Body of Christ, broken in the sacred liturgy, can be seen, through charity and sharing, in the faces and persons of the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters.” said Pope Francis on launching the World Day of the Poor.

In the early and medieval church, when a deacon was ordained, he would be handed a chalice during the service as a sign of his ministry. Early written accounts of the ordination of deaconesses also reflect this practice.[ citation needed ] In the West the deacon carries the chalice to the altar at the offertory; in the East, the priest carries the chalice and the deacon carries the paten (diskos). Only wine, water and a portion of the Host are permitted to be placed in the chalice, and it may not be used for any profane purpose.

Deacon ministry in the Christian Church

A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Major Christian churches, such as the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican church, view the diaconate as part of the clerical state.

Deaconess female non-ordained member of ministry

The ministry of a deaconess is, in modern times, a non-ordained ministry for women in some Protestant churches to provide pastoral care, especially for other women. The term is also applied to some women deacons in the early church. The word comes from a Greek word, diakonos (διάκονος), for "deacon", which means a servant or helper and occurs frequently in the Christian New Testament of the Bible. Deaconesses trace their roots from the time of Jesus Christ through to the 13th century in the West. They existed from the early through the middle Byzantine periods in Constantinople and Jerusalem; the office may also have existed in Western European churches. There is evidence to support the idea that the diaconate including women in the Byzantine Church of the early and middle Byzantine periods was recognized as one of the major orders of clergy.

The chalice is considered to be one of the most sacred vessels in Christian liturgical worship, and it is often blessed before use. In the Roman Catholic Church, and some Anglo-Catholic churches, it was the custom for a chalice to be consecrated by being anointed with chrism, and this consecration could only be performed by a bishop or abbot (only for use within his own monastery). [2] Among the Eastern Churches there are varying practices regarding blessing. In some traditions the very act of celebrating the Sacred Mysteries (Sacrament) is the only blessing necessary; in others, there is a special rite of blessing. In some Eastern traditions this blessing may be done only by a bishop, in some it may be done by a priest. In any case, in both the East and the West, once a chalice has been blessed, it may only be touched by an ordained member of the higher clergy (bishop, priest or deacon). In the Russian Orthodox Church a subdeacon is permitted to touch the holy vessels, but only if they are wrapped in cloth.

The Holy Chalice

Chalice with the inscription: "Sanguinis meus vere est potus" (i.e. 'My blood is drink indeed' (John 6:55, KJV)), made for the church St John the Baptist in Salinas, Spain. Chalice Burgos VandA 132-1873.jpg
Chalice with the inscription: "Sanguinis meus vere est potus" (i.e. 'My blood is drink indeed' (John 6:55, KJV)), made for the church St John the Baptist in Salinas, Spain.

In Christian tradition the Holy Chalice is the vessel which Jesus used at the Last Supper to serve the wine. New Testament texts make no mention of the cup except within the context of the Last Supper and give no significance whatsoever to the object itself. Herbert Thurston in the Catholic Encyclopedia 1908 concluded that "No reliable tradition has been preserved to us regarding the vessel used by Christ at the Last Supper. In the sixth and seventh centuries pilgrims to Jerusalem were led to believe that the actual chalice was still venerated in the church of the Holy Sepulchre, having within it the sponge which was presented to Our Saviour on Calvary." Several surviving standing cups of precious materials are identified in local traditions as the Chalice.

Holy Grail

An entirely different and pervasive tradition concerns the cup of the Last Supper. In this highly muddled though better-known version, the vessel is known as the Holy Grail. In this legend, Jesus used the cup at the Last Supper to institute the Mass. Other stories claim that Joseph of Arimathea used the cup to collect and store the blood of Christ at the Crucifixion.

Unitarian Universalism

At the opening of Unitarian Universalist worship services, many congregations light a flame inside a chalice. [3] A flaming chalice is the most widely used symbol of Unitarianism and Unitarian Universalism (UU), and the official logo of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and other Unitarian and UU churches and societies. [4] The design was originated by the artist Hans Deutsch, who took his inspiration from the chalices of oil burned on ancient Greek and Roman altars. It became an underground symbol in occupied Europe during World War II for assistance to help Unitarians, Jews, and other people escape Nazi persecution. [5] The chalice is often shown surrounded by two linked rings. The two linked rings were used as an early symbol for the Unitarian Universalist Association, signifying the joining of Unitarianism and Universalism.

There is no standardized interpretation of the flaming chalice symbol. In one interpretation, the chalice is a symbol of religious freedom from the impositions of doctrine by a hierarchy and openness to participation by all; the flame is interpreted as a memorial to those throughout history who sacrificed their lives for the cause of religious liberty. In another interpretation, the flaming chalice resembles a cross, symbolic of the Christian roots of Unitarian Universalism. [6]

Wicca

In Wicca, a chalice, as a feminine principle, is often used in combination with the Athame (ceremonial black-handled knife), as male principle. Combining the two evokes the act of procreation, as a symbol of universal creativity. This is a symbol of the Great Rite in Wiccan rituals. A chalice is also used in the Small Rite.

Neo-Paganism

Some forms of Neo-Paganism make use of chalices in their rituals as well. A chalice may be placed on an altar or on the ground. The chalice may contain wine, whiskey, water, or other liquids. It is used to represent the genitalia of the goddess or female deity.

Rastafarian

Rastafaris sometimes smoke ganja in a chalice (waterpipe or bong) during an activity called reasoning intended to put participants in touch with peaceful feelings, unity, and "consciousness."[ citation needed ]

Poisoned chalice

The term "poisoned chalice" is applied to a thing or situation which appears to be good when it is received or experienced by someone, but then becomes or is found to be bad. The idea was referred to by Benedict of Nursia in one of his exorcisms, found on the Saint Benedict Medal: Vade retro Satana! Nunquam suade mihi vana! Sunt mala quae libas. Ipse venena bibas! (Begone Satan! Never tempt me with your vanities! What you offer me is evil. Drink the poison yourself!).
William Shakespeare uses the expression in Act I Scene VII of Macbeth. It occurs in the opening soliloquy of the scene when Macbeth is considering the ramifications of the murder he is plotting.

But in these cases
We still have judgment here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice
Commends the ingredients of our poison'd chalice
To our own lips.

It is also used as a term to describe a job offer for a sports coach that would leave the incoming coach with high expectations of success but many potentially hidden challenges or pitfalls. A championship winning team that is in need of a rebuild or a team that overachieved under the previous incumbent could be described as a poisoned chalice. [7]

Heraldry

The use of chalices as heraldic devices is not unusual, especially in ecclesiastical heraldry. A number of cities and regions also make use of the chalice. For instance, the coat of arms of the municipality of Fanas in the district of Prättigau/Davos in the Swiss canton of Graubünden bears a gold chalice on a solid blue background. The coat of arms of Staufen im Breisgau contains the three golden chalices (i.e. drei staufen in ancient German) of the Lords of Staufen (de), advocates of the monastery of St. Trudpert. A golden chalice (or in some instances three or five) on blue background has been used as coat of arms for the Kingdom of Galicia since at least the late middle ages, and is still central in its modernised heraldry.

Other usage

Allegory of the Eucharist by Alexander Coosemans Alexander Coosemans - Allegory of the Eucharist.jpg
Allegory of the Eucharist by Alexander Coosemans

Québec

In French-Canadian culture, particularly in and around Quebec, the use of the names of holy objects such as "câlice" (a variation of calice, which is the French word for chalice) can be an alternate form of cursing. Somewhat equivalent to the American word "goddam" or the phrase "God damn it", the use of "câlice" or "tabarnak" (a variation of tabernacle) as an interjection is not uncommon in Quebec. For example: "Câlice! I forgot to lock the front door" or muttering "tabarnak" under your breath after you get a flat tire. Presumably a derivation of "taking the Lord's name in vain". [8]

Czech Republic

With reference to the Hussite movement in the Kingdom of Bohemia, besides religious use, the chalice also became one of the unofficial national symbols of the Czechs. It is frequently used in Czech national symbolism and it is part of many historical banners.

See also

Notes

  1. General Instruction of the Roman Missal 328
  2. Thurston, Herbert (1908), "Chalice", The Catholic Encyclopedia, III, New York: Robert Appleton Company, retrieved 2008-06-13
  3. Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (March 1, 2007), Our Symbol: the Flaming Chalice , retrieved 2007-07-19
  4. Unitarian Universalist Association,"The History of the Flaming Chalice"
  5. uuworld.org—liberal religion and life, Wartime origins of the flaming chalice , retrieved 2007-07-19
  6. Unitarian Universalist Association (2007), The History of the Flaming Chalice
  7. Glendenning, Barry (30 April 2018). "The Fiver | One of football's most poisoned chalices". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  8. Gordon, Sean (December 12, 2006). "Quebec swears by its English curses: But church-related expletives spoken in French not accepted on TV". Toronto Star

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Eucharist Christian rite

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An altar server is a lay assistant to a member of the clergy during a Christian liturgy. An altar server attends to supporting tasks at the altar such as fetching and carrying, ringing the altar bell, among other things. If young, the server is commonly called an altar boy or altar girl. In some Christian denominations, altar servers are known as acolytes.

Holy Chalice

The Holy Chalice, also known as the Holy Grail, is in some Christian traditions the vessel that Jesus used at the Last Supper to serve wine. The Synoptic Gospels refer to Jesus sharing a cup of wine with the Apostles, saying it was the covenant in his blood. The use of wine and chalice in the Eucharist in Christian churches is based on the Last Supper story. However, few traditions developed about the Last Supper chalice itself. In the late 12th century, the author Robert de Boron associated the pre-existing story of the Holy Grail, a magical item from Arthurian literature, with the Holy Chalice. This association was continued in many subsequent Arthurian works, including the Lancelot-Grail (Vulgate) cycle, the Post-Vulgate Cycle, and Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur. Inspired by these works, in later relic veneration, several artifacts became identified as the Holy Chalice. Two artifacts, one in Genoa and one in Valencia, became particularly well known and are identified as the Holy Chalice.

Flaming chalice

A flaming chalice is the most widely used symbol of Unitarianism and Unitarian Universalism (UUism) and the official logo of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and other Unitarian and UU churches and societies.

Flower Communion is a ritual service common in Unitarian Universalism, though the specific practices vary from one congregation to another. It is usually held before summer, when some congregations recess from holding services. During the ritual, congregants contribute flowers to a central location, and later the flowers are distributed among the participants.

The Fraction is the ceremonial act of breaking the consecrated bread during the Eucharistic rite in some Christian denominations.

Paten

A paten, or diskos, is a small plate, usually made of silver or gold, used to hold Eucharistic bread which is to be consecrated during the Mass. It is generally used during the liturgy itself, while the reserved sacrament are stored in the tabernacle in a ciborium.

Intinction

Intinction is the Eucharistic practice of partly dipping the consecrated bread, or host, into the consecrated wine before consumption by the communicant.

Altar cloth textile covering for an altar

An altar cloth is used by various religious groups to cover an altar. It may be used as a sign of respect towards the holiness of the altar, as in the Catholic Church. Because many altars are made of wood and are often ornate and unique, cloth may then be used to protect the altar surface. In other cases, the cloth serves to beautify a rather mundane construction underneath.

Eucharistic theology branch of Christian theology

Eucharistic theology is a branch of Christian theology which treats doctrines concerning the Holy Eucharist, also commonly known as the Lord's Supper. It exists exclusively in Christianity and related religions, as others generally do not contain a Eucharistic ceremony.

Antidoron food

The antidoron is ordinary leavened bread which is blessed but not consecrated and distributed in Eastern Orthodox Churches and Eastern Catholic Churches that use the Byzantine Rite. It comes from the remains of the loaves of bread (prosphora) from which portions are cut for consecration as the Eucharist during the Divine Liturgy. The word Ἀντίδωρον means "instead of gifts".

Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, also called Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament or the Rite of Eucharistic Exposition and Benediction, is a devotional ceremony, celebrated especially in the Roman Catholic Church, but also in some other Christian traditions such as Anglo-Catholicism, whereby a bishop, priest, or a deacon blesses the congregation with the Eucharist at the end of a period of adoration.

A chalice is a goblet or footed cup intended to hold a drink. This can also refer to;

Aër

The Aër is the largest and outermost of the veils covering the Chalice and Diskos (paten) in the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite. It is rectangular in shape and corresponds to the veil used to cover the chalice and paten in the Latin Rite, but is larger. It is often made of the same material and color as the vestments of the officiating priest, and often has a fringe going all the way around its edge. Tassels may also be sewn at each of the corners.

Sacramental wine

Sacramental wine, Communion wine, or altar wine is wine obtained from grapes and intended for use in celebration of the Eucharist. It is usually consumed after sacramental bread.

Communion under both kinds in Christianity, reception of both the consecrated bread and wine of the Eucharist

Communion under both kinds in Christianity is the reception under both "species" of the Eucharist. Sects of Christianity that hold to a doctrine of Communion under both kinds may believe that a Eucharist which does not include both bread and wine as elements of the religious ceremony is not valid, while others may consider the presence of both bread and wine as preferable, but not necessary, for the ceremony. In some traditions, water or grape juice may take the place of wine with alcohol content as the second element.

The Spoon in Eastern Christianity is a liturgical implement used to distribute Holy Communion to the laity during the Divine Liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite.

Asterisk (liturgy) liturgical object

The Asterisk, or Star-cover, is one of the holy vessels used in the Divine Liturgy of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches. The asterisk symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem. Historically, it was also used in some parts of the Roman Catholic Church.

Credence table

A credence table is a small side table in the sanctuary of a Christian church which is used in the celebration of the Eucharist..