How well do you know the liturgical objects used at Mass?

Here’s a refresher course on the various items used during the sacred liturgy.

Centuries ago, the congregation did not see much of what was going on at Mass. Today, however, in the Western Church, the priest’s actions at the altar are in full view.Most of us, if we weren’t altar servers or sacristans, got our one and only introduction to the sacred vessels and linens used at Mass when we were being prepared for our First Communion. In case that lesson has receded into the dimness of memory, here’s a refresher course on the objects used in front of your eyes at Mass.

There is a special order in the way these vessels and linens are assembled before Mass. The images below helps identify the various objects.


The Chalice

(From the latin word calyx, or cup) is the cup into which wine and a little water are mixed. At the consecration, the wine becomes the Preciolooud of Jesus


Over the chalice is laid the purificator, a fine white linen cloth that is used to wipe the lips and fingers of the priest and to cleanse the chalice after Communion


The paten (from the Latin word for pan or plate) is a saucer-like circular dish of or lined with precious metal. At Mass, the priest places the large primary host on the paten, where at the consecration it becomes the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ.


Before the offertory of the Mass, the chalice is covered with a square of linen stiffened with cardboard. The covering, called the pall (from the Latin word for “cover”) keeps foreign objects — like dust or insects — from falling into the chalice or onto the paten and contaminating them.



The prepared chalice, purificator, paten and pall are then covered completely by a veil — a piece of fabric that reflects the liturgical color of the priest’s vestments. The veil hides the sacred vessels from view.


On top of the veiled vessels is placed the burse (from the Latin for bag or container), a square sack also  made in the liturgical color of the season, which may also be embellished with a cross. The burse is a container for the corporal, a square piece of fine white linen that will be placed on the altar underneath the chalice and paten.


Raphael Benedict

Raphael Benedict is a Catholic who wants nothing but to spread the catholic faith to reach the ends of the world. Make this possible by always sharing any article or prayers posted on your social media platforms. Remain blessed

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