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.