Learn about the Mass: The vessels


We use special vessels for the Body and Blood of Christ. Like the vestments, most of them come from Roman times. The Church adopted the kinds of dishes that were used at a formal dinner and adapted them to her own use.

  • The bread is offered on a paten, a broad platelike dish.
  • The wine is offered in a chalice, which is like a large wine glass.
  • Consecrated hosts for the congregation are kept in a ciborium, which looks like a wide chalice with a lid.
  • When the host is taken out of the church to the sick, it’s carried in a pyx, which is Greek for “box.”
  • After Mass, consecrated hosts are kept in the tabernacle, a beautifully decorated box that often sits on a smaller altar.
  • For Eucharistic adoration, hosts can be placed in a monstrance, a shrine that shows the host to the congregation.


Download the above image here, and print it out to use as a teaching tool.