Intro Truths
Scripture Saints
Culture Worship

Vessels and Sacred Objects

Necessities for a Mass

Q. 936. What things are necessary for Mass?

A. The things necessary for Mass are:

1. An altar with linen covers, candles, crucifix, altar stone and Mass book;
2. A Chalice with all needed in its use, and bread of flour from wheat and wine from the grape;
3. Vestments for the priest;
4. An acolyte or server.

Q. 937. What is the altar stone, and of what does it remind us?

A. The altar stone is that part of the altar upon which the priest rests the Chalice during Mass. This stone contains some holy relics sealed up in it by the bishop, and if the altar is of wood this stone is inserted just in front of the Tabernacle. The altar stone reminds us of the early history of the Church, when the martyrs' tombs were used for altars by the persecuted Christians.

Q. 938. What lesson do we learn from the practice of using martyrs' tombs for altars?

A. From the practice of using martyrs' tombs for altars we learn the inconvenience, sufferings and dangers the early Christians willingly underwent for the sake of hearing Mass. Since the Mass is the same now as it was then, we should suffer every inconvenience rather than be absent from Mass on Sundays or holy days.

Vessels and Objects used during Mass

Q. 939. What things are used with the chalice during Mass?

A. The things used with the chalice during Mass are:

1. The purificator or cloth for wiping the inside;
2. The paten or small silver plate used in handling the host;
3. The pall or white card used for covering the chalice at Mass;
4. The corporal or linen cloth on which the chalice and host rest.

Q. 940. What is the host?

A. The host is the name given to the thin wafer of bread used at Mass. This name is generally applied before and after Consecration to the large particle of bread used by the priest, though the small particles given to the people are also called by the same name.

Q. 941. Are large and small hosts consecrated at every Mass?

A. A large host is consecrated at every Mass, but small hosts are consecrated only at some Masses at which they are to be given to the people or placed in the Tabernacle for the Holy Communion of the faithful.

Q. 944. What is the Tabernacle and what is the Ciborium?

A. The Tabernacle is the house-shaped part of the altar where the sacred vessels containing the Blessed Sacrament are kept. The Ciborium is the large silver or gold vessel which contains the Blessed Sacrament while in the Tabernacle, and from which the priest gives Holy Communion to the people.

Q. 945. What is the Ostensorium or Monstrance?

A. The Ostensorium or Monstrance is the beautiful wheel-like vessel in which the Blessed Sacrament is exposed and kept during the Benediction.

Hence we should learn the meaning of the ceremonies of the Church.

Sacramental Objects and Vessels

Adapted from Catholic Pocket Dictionary by J. McGovern



Ablution Cup



Missal Stand

Monstrance or Ostensorium


Pyx Burse

Oilstock Burse

Oilstocks for the Sacristy.

Clapper used for Tenebrae in Holy Week.

Triangle with Candles

Sacristy Lavatory

Baldachino for Exposition

Ciborium Cover