QUAERITUR: Glass chalice…. really? This is still a problem?

From a  reader:

Hello Father, I noticed one of the priests at my parish always seems to use a glass chalice for the Eucharist. Seems clear from more than a few previous posts I see here at WDTPRS that a glass chalice should not be used. I’m not sure how or even if I should bring this up. It’s just the one priest, so it must be his personal chalice? I noticed the pastor and other priests use what appear to be gold chalices, though can’t tell if they’re the same or not.

This priest seems so good otherwise, and I always love how he sings elements of his OF mass, but I worry about the most tactful to bring something like this up or if I even should. I don’t want to appear overly confrontational when shaking his hand after the mass and don’t want to “rat him out” to the pastor (or higher), so would appreciate your advice on if/how I should ask him about it. Maybe I just answered it for myself. Ask him politely…

First, the priest may not be aware that Redemptionis Sacramentum reprobated the use of such materials.

[117.] Sacred vessels for containing the Body and Blood of the Lord must be made in strict conformity with the norms of tradition and of the liturgical books. The Bishops’ Conferences have the faculty to decide whether it is appropriate, once their decisions have been given the recognitio by the Apostolic See, for sacred vessels to be made of other solid materials as well. It is strictly required, however, that such materials be truly noble in the common estimation within a given region, so that honour will be given to the Lord by their use, and all risk of diminishing the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species in the eyes of the faithful will be avoided. Reprobated, therefore, is any practice of using for the celebration of Mass common vessels, or others lacking in quality, or devoid of all artistic merit or which are mere containers, as also other vessels made from glass, earthenware, clay, or other materials that break easily. This norm is to be applied even as regards metals and other materials that easily rust or deteriorate.

A key word here is reprobated.  This is a technical term meaning that it is abolished, or forbidden in such a complete way that no one can appeal to custom (‘but I’ve been doing this for years now!”) nor can anyone try to establish a custom by violating the law over a long period of time.

In other words…. NO GLASS CHALICES.

You could send Father, for his opportune knowledge, a kind note with a copy of the document, highlighting the relevant paragraph.  Ask him if he was aware of the paragraph.  Don’t level accusations or editorialize, etc.

If that does not produce results, or if it produces negative results, first get a photo of the priest using the glass chalice and file it away.  Then, send a note to the local bishop asking in a general way by what authority a priest may chose to use a glass chalice.

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Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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44 Responses to QUAERITUR: Glass chalice…. really? This is still a problem?

  1. mamajen says:

    Somehow I had no idea about this, and I am troubled because glass is used at the parish I left–not just by the priest, but also by the EMHCs. One of my last memories there was of hearing the clink of the crystal after a too-young altar server dropped one on the floor. He and the other altar server snickered. It was empty at the time, thank God.

  2. Lisa Graas says:

    Father, I may very well be wrong about this (and probably am) but here’s the way I read that quote. I think the primary phrase (that should be bolded) is this one:

    “It is strictly required, however, that such materials be truly noble in the common estimation within a given region, so that honour will be given to the Lord by their use, and all risk of diminishing the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharistic species in the eyes of the faithful will be avoided.”

    If people in a particular region might think “break easily” when they see a glass chalice, then yes, it shouldn’t be used. But if heavy glass is viewed as a noble and durable thing in the region, that won’t break if dropped, then it may be licit.

    I say this both as a Eucharistic convert and as a Kentuckian. Heavy glass is a noble thing here, I’d say. The goal is to avoid “all risk of diminishing the doctrine of the Real Presence.” Personally, I’m having trouble understanding how heavy glass would pose such a risk, but certainly, I am very passionate about avoiding such a risk. Finding Christ in the Eucharist is what prompted my conversion.

    I guess I would ask you, is there a region of the world, in your view, where there may not be such a risk?

  3. Michael says:

    Lisa –

    There is no question that there are glass and crystal vessels that are beautiful and would be suitable receptacles for the Real Presence (at least as suitable as any mere earthly vessel can be.) The quote from Redemptionis Sacramentum deals with two concerns: (1) the possibility of diminishing respect or belief in the Real Presence by using an unworthy vessel and (2) the possibility of profanation because of breakage and spillage.

    Your question seems to assume that a glass vessel is viewed as unworthy because it breaks easily. Since you (correctly) note that there are many worthy glass vessels, you assume this might vary around the world. But the possibility of breakage is a separate concern. It applies even though a glass vessel might be just as beautiful as a gold or silver vessel.

  4. monmir says:

    This chalice looks like high risk to me: high stem, narrow base, besides it would also look good with Belgian beer in it. Ordinary?
    However you do it Mass towards the people, glass chalice I cannot see transubstanciation, only my intellect knows it.

  5. chantgirl says:

    Can we reprobate girl altar servers, guitar Masses, and superfluous EMHCs too?

  6. Random Friar says:

    It’s possible it’s also a personal gift from a parishioner. That could place him in an awkward situation. I’ve been in more than one place where certain items were used, especially art, simply out of thought for the donor, even if the priest had no liking for the item in particular.

  7. iPadre says:

    There was a lot of that glass and clay crap when I arrived as pastor. It all just happened to get broken and buried. No chance in hell they will use it again, even if they happen to dig it up in an archeological find in a few thousand years!

  8. Lin says:

    When the parish council approached our pastor about using glass and clay, he told them that they would not break due to the carpet. And he also has stated that their are no rules, only guidelines. About six months ago someone was upset enough that they broke his crystal chalice. I do not agree with such tactics ever. He continues to use the clay in spite of it all.

  9. Nathan says:

    This should be easy. From time immemorial, chalices in both the East and West have been made out of precious metals. This has been passed down to us in the practice of our Faith and in the worship of Almighty God, and IMO, to act as though one knows better than all those generations before us is, at best, prideful. At worst, it could be an attempt to change belief in what has been passed down regarding the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass–after all, (in the context of current Western society) one drinks from crystal stemware (however beautiful) at a meal, not the re-presentation of Christ’s Sacrifice on the Cross.

    In Christ,

  10. george says:

    So let’s say that one is at a N.O. Mass, sitting near the front, and is going up for Communion. The EMHC’s are bearing the Precious Blood in a breakable material. Would it be a good act to consume all of the Precious Blood oneself so as to minimize the (already small-ish) chance of His Blood being spilled in an incident?

  11. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    Even if the chalice is only TJ Maxx ‘crystal’ stemware from the sale aisle, if it has been used to consecrate the Sacred Blood, you can’t just break it and throw it away, can you? Hasn’t its dignity been raised by its usage, even if that was illegitimate?

  12. “an attempt to change belief in what has been passed down regarding the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass–after all, (in the context of current Western society) one drinks from crystal stemware (however beautiful) at a meal, not the re-presentation of Christ’s Sacrifice on the Cross. “

    Precisely, Nathan. The only reasons for the use of glass (or clay) chalices are ideological and pernicious. I know of no benign reason anyone could have.

  13. robtbrown says:

    It’s not that glass chalices will break, but rather that they can be broken. NB: Gold is precious not merely because it is beautiful but because it lasts for centuries.

    That us why there have been many sad reports of chalices being sold.

  14. Geoffrey says:

    My parish tends to use glass chalices for the distribution of the Precious Blood to the faithful on high holy days (Christmas and the Easter Triduum), and the celebrant uses a glass “dish” for the Hosts always. I recall grimacing this past Easter when I saw them, as well as when I heard the sound of breaking glass coming from the sacristy after Mass…

  15. Bruce Wayne says:

    I love Chantgirl’s comment.

    Maybe some have seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade too many times and want to try and get a chalice that they think might be most similar in make (clay I suppose) to that “likely” in use for a first-century Jewish seder?

    One of the most destructive modern (really Protestant) impulses in theology is a false originalism or historicism. The antidote is recognition of the living teaching authority of tradition otherwise called the Magisterium of the Church.

  16. Stephen Matthew says:

    I think quite a few priests also have an attitude that what was in use before is somehow “grandfathered” in to legitimate use, in part on the basis that as a sacred vessel its only appropriate use is at the mass. When these items were purchased, often as a memorial by a family, this makes these things even harder to remove from use. Some even think that destroying or burying sacred vessels is offensive.

    The most recent time I have seen questionable vessels used was a recent outdoor mass where a very nice looking matched set in dark hard woods was used. It seemed to have some sort of non-porous enamel coating. Knowing the priest a bit, I think this was a gift from before the ban, and I think he only uses this as a traveling set to avoid damaging more valuable vessels (gold and silver do scratch, dent, bend, and crush in ways wood may not) and does not make regular use of them. While technically perhaps not licit, it did seem a reasonable enough thing.

    I also know a priest who had an elaborately carved wood chalice that was his primary chalice given at his ordination, and he had it sent away and a gold lining and rim was carefully inserted. It is a very nice chalice, and while at first glance some may think it illicit, it is in fact in compliance.

    Also, on the note of poor quality things that should not be used, there are many very poorly made vessels with very thin, very low quality plating. Some of these only last for a few years before the gold or silver plate begins to thin to the point the base metal shows. The lip and the bottom of the bowl of chalices seem to be the first place to lose plating, probably due to excessive wiping with a cloth, while the bowl style ciboriums seem to lose it in the areas touched by the hands, likely due to both abrasion and the acids in the oils on fingers. While solid gold or silver is expensive to the point of being impossible for some, it does have the advantage of multi-generational longevity, and thus a good investment as long as the vessels remain in use long term. If that is not possible then care needs to be taken to select vessels that are plated more effectively. Also, when vessels are handled, purified, or cleaned greater care needs to be taken, the vessels even though metal should be treated as fragile and handled gently to avoid damage, particularly to avoid the loss of silver or gold pate. If the plating is damaged, it is possible to have new plating applied.

    Better to have fewer, but better vessels, than very many cheaply made vessels.

  17. wmeyer says:

    Until a few months ago, my former parish used chalices made of maple. The rationale was that the wood came from a tree cut down to make way for the church.

    Is my memory in error, or is there not also a specification that the chalices should be at least lined with precious metal?

  18. Bruce Wayne says:

    Can someone please affirm or correct my understanding of the relevant theology as regards the unbloody sacrifice of the Mass as it connects to both the Last Supper and Calvary?

    Here is my proposed line of thought:

    If someone overemphasizes the Last Supper aspect where Christ instituted the Eucharist and de-emphasizes the primary aspect of a renewal/re-presentation of the specific (once and for all ages) sacrifice Christ made on the Cross at Calvary then you would get what many of us do not like in the N.O.: the feeling of a gathering for a meal; “communion” rather than Eucharist; a table not an altar; and naturalistic “earthy” (even if nice crystal) vessels.

    Is that orthodox of me to think?

    That is, BOTH the institution of the Eucharist by Christ at the Last Supper AND the representation of the sacrifice at Calvary are supposed to be maintained liturgically in the Mass. Things like vessels that may be attempts at a supposed historical accuracy (aka making guesses) from the Last Supper can arguably be seen as going too far away from the Calvary aspect of the Mass. It is better to rely on the priesthood (the disciples being made and trained as priests at the Last Supper) and the words of institution as remembrances from the Last Supper and then use the traditional precious and durable metals in recognition of our being present in the Mass not as much at the Last Supper table but AT the foot of Calvary; the altar as the cross.

    I reread the relevant Lesson 26 of the Baltimore Catechism before I wrote the above but I still want to humbly ask that my theologically trained betters at this site correct or confirm my line of thought. Thanks!

  19. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    The law here is crystal clear (get it? crystal clear!) and so it binds, but, frankly, I think it’s too narrow. Nobility (pace gold) is cultural, and sure, glass breaks, but so what? It’s the spillage that matters, and spillage can occur from any vessel.

  20. frjim4321 says:

    “It’s not that glass chalices will break, but rather that they can be broken. NB: Gold is precious not merely because it is beautiful but because it lasts for centuries.”

    It’s not at all that simple. [What is simple is RS 117.]

    A descent crystal chalice, Waterford, for example, will last forever if handled with care. Not only will it last forever, it will not diminish in quality. It will not tarnish, the plating will not wear out, it will not have to be sent away every five years for costly refinishing. It’s actually a perfect material for use as a sacred vessel.

    A typical high-priced gold-plated communion cup as found in your typical religious goods catalog or sold by your typical religious goods store will begin to tarnish almost immediately. The oils and acids from the skin of handlers will cause corrosion and the plating will wear off quickly. Anyone who thinks that a poor base-metal container with a few microns of gold plating is “precious” is sadly mistaken.

    Of course we know that glass or crystal can break or chip. So what’s the big deal? When it breaks or chips it is taken out of service. No harm, no foul. When a metal chalice begins to corrode, gets scratched or dented, or when the plating begins to wear off, most places they just stay in service and get uglier and uglier as time goes by. Nobody wants to pay almost as much as it originally cost to reapply the crappy micron-thin gold plating.

    Metal sacred vessels such as are regularly used for communion are a rip-off. Undoubtedly there are arts-quality gold chalices that are available (and which have four-figure price tags) but they typically are not handled very much and are rarely used for communion distribution.

    So, I’m really not very scrupulous about adhering to item 117 of RS. We’ve retired our crystal vessels and replaced them recently with over-priced gold-plated vessels, but they are already showing age after less than a year. I’ll not be making that mistake again. [Does your bishop know that?]

    I can understand why 117 got in there. Most likely because some glass and ceramic vessels were of poor quality. But still I find it’s better to have a high-quality crystal vessel than the typical poorly-made metal sacred vessel.

  21. Bruce Wayne says:

    Dr. Peters,

    Nobility is cultural but I think that what might be at play is an impulse to seek a distinction between the mundane, however noble, and the sacred. Waterford crystal is beautiful, noble, and what I would prefer to be able to present perfectly aged whisky to my guests in. But I would never go so far (like the kings of yore might have) and make use of precious metal vessels for a dinner party. I think a change in kind occurs between the one and the other with the latter seeming more appropriate for a sacred use.

    There are other dramatic shifts available to be utilized in liturgy to distinguish worship as a sacred act and outside of time from our mundane lives, however noble our lives can be (such as in the ritual of a feast or family meal). For example: we have the use of Latin as opposed to the vernacular (like Jewish use of Hebrew before they made it a vernacular for Israel); singing/chanting prayers and scripture rather than reciting them; and for a third, dressing in worshipful attire rather than mundane.

  22. Bruce Wayne says:

    Fr Jim,

    How much of the issues you run into are the practical results of things like common use of extraordinary ministers and general distribution of both species?

    If those are avoided by bringing to the sanctuary any fellow parish priests available to help distribute at a larger mass plus distributing under one kind (with the normal exceptions being handled from the one chalice), then how big of an expense would it really be to hold out for those longer lasting truly precious metal vessels?

    I think it would not be that hard to raise the funds right from the congregation if my point about distinguishing mundane space and materials from worshipful ones is on to something. If the theology involved and that point about the sacred versus the mundane is explained to the congregation I bet any number of them would pony up the cash.

  23. mcford1 says:

    Are we all missing something here? When Redemptionis Sacramentum calls for “such materials [to] be truly noble,” is it perhaps defining “noble” in the tightest, most scientific sense of the word? From a citation in Wikipedia, “The noble metals are metals that are resistant to corrosion and oxidation in moist air, unlike most base metals. They tend to be precious, often due to their rarity in the Earth’s crust. The noble metals are most commonly considered to be ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, silver, osmium, iridium, platinum, and GOLD.” Further, “in physics, the definition of a noble metal is even more strict. It is required that the d-bands of the electronic structure are filled. Taking this into account, only copper, silver and GOLD are noble metals.”

    If Redemptionis Sacramentum is defining “noble” in the scientific sense, that would seem to preclude subjective, feely interpretations such as “crystal is pretty, so that’s why I call it noble too,” or “this chalice was made from a tree that was in the church’s yard, so that makes it noble.” To me that sounds more Druid than anything.

  24. acardnal says:

    It is NOT just the possibility of glass or clay breaking that is of concern. It is about how we think of God and the precious blood His Son shed for our salvation. He deserves the best we humble creations can give Him and that is a chalice made of precious metal.

    I recently purchased a refurbished gold tabernacle for the parish because I could not stand looking at the cheap, bronze, globe tabernacle from outer space in which the Blessed Sacrament used to be reposed. I was ashamed and disgusted ever time I saw it. I feel the same about glass, pottery and other common materials. Even our Lord said as much to the “indignant” disciples.

    cf Mt 26:6-11
    6 Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, 7 a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head, as he sat at table. 8 But when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? 9 For this ointment might have been sold for a large sum, and given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.

  25. oblomov says:

    My parish uses glassware for both species. I am fairly certain that it is not Waterford Crystal. It looks more like something you could pick up at Target for a few dollars.

  26. Late for heaven says:

    In my last parish the priest used a thin flat BASKET for the hosts. I never mentioned it. It was the least of the problems there. Other issues were much, much worse.

  27. RJHighland says:

    Fr. Jim that is one of the most honest and straight forward staightments I think I have read from you. “So, I’m really not very scrupulous about adhering to item 117 of RS.” Glassware or earthen vessels is just another means of being defiant to authority and lowering the reverence bar. Moving the altar, removing altar rails, simple vestments, no incense, no bells, stand to recieve in the hand, altar girls, EMCs, getting rid of Latin, relocating the taberancle and the such all common events in most parishes since Vatican II. How many of those afore mentioned do you think apply to this priests parish? But the Church has ok’ed all those other things why is glass vessels such a big deal? It’s all good, right?

  28. gracie says:

    My neighboring parish uses Waterford Glasses which were a gift from a lady. I keep wondering what the priest will do when one of them gets dropped and Our Lord’s Precious Blood is intermingled with broken glass. (I have Waterford and it *is* breakable.)

  29. Lin says:

    Far too many priests do no feel obligated to follow Church rules? WHY? Why be Catholic?

  30. Suburbanbanshee says:

    What the heck are people doing to their sacred vessels to make the plating come off? I mean, seriously, even a little gold plate should last a long time. So what I’m wondering is, is that really even gold, or are they just purchasing brass that is being called gold, or very incompetently/dangerously plated vessels?

    Silver has its problems, but it might be a better option if people can’t get gold they can trust.

  31. Nan says:

    Sacred vessels are to be made from precious metals; if in an area too poor, they must at least have precious metal on the interior.

  32. Nan says:

    @Frjim, I had in my care a chalice and paten for nearly a year; the paten was scratched and both pieces were gilded (sterling so only the interior of chalice and surface of paten) rather than a goldwash. I was concerned because the goldwash was so beautiful and thin but knew it had to be done by experts so it was sent off for gilding through Leaflet. Gilding is much thicker than goldwash but they said it might not need regilding in the priests lifetime.

    Nothing in my life has been as much fun as handing a chalice to a guy who never expected to have a chalice of his own, went to Rome as part of his schooling, where he watched his classmates buy chalices, knowing only that someone (not me) had told him not to worry, there was a chalice for him. One of the cool things was that it was from the beginning of the silversmiths career but later in life he made a cross for the high altar of a little church in Rome. St. Peter’s Basilica.

    If you or someone you know has a chalice, please give it to the Church, whether to donate to missions or to give to a foreign seminarian in need.

  33. iPadre says:

    Funny how many priests have a problem with expensive gold chalices that hold the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, but they don’t have a problem making their rectories look better than a Hilton Hotel!

    St. Francis believed that we should use the best for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

  34. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Once upon a Feast of St. Lawrence I learned from one of Fr. Z’s posts about the Santo Caliz, believed to be the Holy Grail used at the Last Supper. It is made of stone. In the later Middle Ages, the stone Cup was mounted in a gold holder (if that is a good word), but not lined, so far as I know. Both John Paul II and Benedict XVI on visiting Valencia celebrated using the Santo Caliz. I suppose the stone is for all practical purposes unbreakable and the gold gives it extra protection.

    Is there any rock-crystal, unmounted in precious metal (or even so mounted) equally unsusceptible to breaking and, so, licit?

  35. LadyMarchmain says:

    Meford1, YES! Exactly.

    My neighborhood parish uses clunky blue swirly glasses, the kind with bubbles in the glass, that I associate with Pina Coladas on a Mexican vacation. And a bread basket with paper napkins. This is complete consistent with the sanctuary, which is round, carpeted, and has no stained glass, no icons, no stations of the cross, and only one tiny painted image of a crucifix. (Please don’t ask me about the “music”). I am so very thankful that there are now several TLM options within 90 minutes drive of me, thanks to SP.

    I think Bruce Wayne is precisely correct in indicating the necessity of separating the sacred from the profane/mundane. I haven’t seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, but historically, the Chalice has always been depicted as an exquisite gold vessel for most of Christian history (even by Monty Python). In terms of affinity with the kind of chalice Jesus might have used, the Jewish Passover dishes were kept separate for all of the year, used only for the Passover, and represented the best the household could afford; the ritual Cup of Elijah (placed centrally on the table, which I’ve always imagined was the cup Jesus used to institute the New Covenant) was never a standard drinking cup, but a highly decorated and specially engraved cup, distinct from the cups provided to the table. Metals were definitely used in drinking glasses at this time, in fact, I remember reading somewhere that lead admixtures in their drinking mugs caused the decline of the Roman Empire (through increased stultification of the intellect and possibly lead poisoning induced insanity in Nero and Caligula).

    But the main point, and I feel it is well understood, even if only unconsciously, by those who pursue the glass, clay, or wood route, is that things convey messages. We do form cultural and experiential associations with objects. The impression given by using everyday types of materials is unfortunate, as, when I see (as at the last neighborhood mass I attended) a carpeted stair, what looks like a picnic table, and a fleet of attractive, scantily dressed young girls offering wine glasses, the association is to some kind of wine tasting event (sorry) or free samples in the wine bar, rather than the Most Holy Mass.

  36. Hank Igitur says:

    There is an awful lot of wine (or precious blood if already consecrated) in that glass vessel in the photo. I hope the celebrant does not intend to consume it all himself!

  37. PhilipNeri says:

    During my deacon internship at a Newman Center I conducted a Liturgy of Getting Rid of the WalMart Wine Glasses. With several students in tow, we dug a hole in the yard of the Center, placed the wine glasses in the hole, and smashed them with shovels while singing “O Salutaris Hostia.”

    The meme that glass is OK b/c gold is expensive is a non sequitur. The glasses we (appropriately) destroyed were replaced with inexpensive pewter chalices from the religious goods store.

    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  38. pjsandstrom says:

    Just as an historical ‘reality check’. The Cloisters Museum in New York City has a 13th century glass chalice and paten on display in its ‘treasury room’. (Another ‘gold chalice’ and paten the same treasury display has a ‘liturgical straw’). In the Cathedral in Sens France there is also in the Treasury a whole series of ‘lead-crystal’ chalices and patens from the 17th and 18th century. And this is not the only Cathedral in France with such ‘treasures’ on display.
    It does seem strange that much effort is made to ‘show’ & ‘elevate’ the consecrated Host during the Consecration (since the 13th century), but it is strange that one ‘hides’ the consecrated Blood of Christ from similar viewing during its ‘elevation’ (this since the 14th century). This of course because of the use of the gold metal cup/chalice. Perhaps it is because of the Roman Rite custom of ‘white wine’ that is usual for the Blood of Christ? — unlike the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

  39. The Masked Chicken says:

    If priests want something that is see-through, like glass, but stronger than battle-plate steel and metal (I don’t know if it would be considered precious, but it is rare, if you see the distinction) and has the ability to satisfy the inner-geek, may I recommend:

    TRANSPARENT ALUMINUM!

    Many people will remember that Cmdr. Montgomery Scott of the UFP (United Federation of Planets), while traveling back in time, gave the idea to the engineer, Dr. Nichols, in exchange for six-inch polycarbonate (or Lexan) sheets in Star Trek IV: the voyage home. What most people do not know, is that transparent aluminum has been discovered. Actually, it has been discovered twice: once, as a ceramic (obviously, not suitable for Mass) and, once, as a metal.

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/transparent-aluminum-armor.htm

    http://phys.org/news167925273.html

    The Chicken

  40. everett says:

    One possibility for those who still reside in parishes which use glassware for sacred vessels is to find out if they actually have access to vessels made of precious metals. If not, complaining about the use of them without offering a solution does little good. What my wife and I did was to save up our tithe money over the course of many months, and donate a set of chalices to the parish. Obviously this requires the openness of the parish to using them (check first), but much as Fr. Z suggests putting together people to provide for the needs of an EF mass, having people provide the necessary vessels can be very helpful (it also helps, as in our case, to have the Bishop asking the Pastor to get the vessels replaced).

  41. Lisa Graas says:

    Many thanks to LadyMarchmain for her comment on the cup Jesus used. I found that most helpful.

  42. Pingback: HHS Mandate: Bishops 'Stand United to Resist' - BigPulpit.com

  43. GOR says:

    Well, whatever about a ‘Waterford’ chalice, what my pastor uses is certainly not ‘precious’ by any stretch of the imagination. It resembles a quartino which we used for table wine in Rome – a plain glass carafe which you might see in an Italian ristorante.

    That is what he holds up at the Consecration, as it is not poured into the chalices until Communion time. And that, nisi fallor, is also against the rubrics which state that the wine should be poured into the chalices at the Offertory and the chalices placed on or close to the Corporal for the Consecration.

  44. JeffTL says:

    An Episcopal priest of my acquaintance, a former nurse, once put the kibosh on glass and ceramic chalices – and ugly ones at that – upon starting at a new parish. It so happens that silver is not only beautiful, traditional, and reverent, but also somewhat antiseptic, thereby helping reduce the risk of an improperly wiped chalice becoming a vector of disease.