XXX Chats

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The other, at Valencia in Spain, is a cup of agate.The fact is that the whole tradition is untrustworthy and of late date. As regards shape, our principal information at this early period is derived from certain representations, said to be meant for Eucharistic chalices, which are found in early mosaics, sarcophagi, and other monuments of Christian art.It will be referred to further under the article GRAIL, and meanwhile we may be content to quote the words of St. l in Matt.): in Matt.): "The table was not of silver, the chalice was not of gold in which Christ gave His blood to His disciples to drink, and yet everything there was precious and truly fit to inspire awe." So far as it is possible to collect any scraps of information regarding the chalices in use among early Christians, the evidence seems to favour the prevalence of glass, though cups of the precious and of baser metals, of ivory, wood, and even clay were also in use. The general prevalence of an almost stemless, vase-shaped type with two handles, inclines us to believe that a glass vessel of this nature discovered in the Ostrian catacomb on the Via Nomentana, and now preserved in the Lateran Museum, may really have been a chalice.(See Hefele, Beiträge, II, 323-5.) A passage of St. xiii) describing a pretended miracle wrought by Mark the Gnostic who poured white wine into his chalice and then after prayer showed the contents to be red, almost necessarily supposes a vessel of glass, and the glass patens ( patenas vitreas ) mentioned in the "Liber Pontificalis" under Zephyrinus (202-19) as well as certain passages in Tertullian and St. But the tendency to use by preference the precious metals developed early. Augustine speaks of two golden and six silver chalices dug up at Cirta in Africa, (Contra Crescon., III, c. At an early date it became common to inscribe the donor's name upon costly vessels presented to churchcs. 450) offered a chalice with such an inscription to the church of Zacharias at Ravenna, and the Emperor Valentinian III sent another to the church at Brive.Such goblets were sometimes known as calices literati.The earliest specimen of a chalice of whose original purpose we can feel reasonably confident is the chalice of Chelles, preserved until the French Revolution and believed to have been wrought by, or at least to date from the time of, the famous artificer St. The material was gold, richly decorated with enamels and precious stones.In shape it was without handles and like a celery glass, with a very deep cup and no stem, but the cup was joined to the base by a knop, which under the name of nodus or pomellum became a very characteristic feature in the chalices of the Middle Ages.In many of the specimens described or preserved from the Merovingian, Carlovingian, and Romanesque periods, it is possible to make a distinction between the ordinary sacrificial chalice used by bishops and priests in the Mass and the calices ministeriales intended for the Communion of the faithful at Easter and other seasons when many received.These latter chalices are of considerable size, and they are often, though not always, fitted with handles, which, it is easy to understand, would have afforded additional security against accidents when the sacred vessel was put to the lips of each communicant in turn.In a rude and barbarous age the practical difficulties of Communion under species of wine must have been considerable, and it is not wonderful that from the Carolingian period onwards the device was frequently adopted of using a pipe or reed (known by a variety of names, fistula, tuellus, canna, arundo, pipa, calamus, siphon, etc.) for the Communion of both clergy and people.To this day at the solemn papal high Mass, the chalice is brought from the altar to the pope at his throne, and the pontiff absorbs its contents through a golden pipe.

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