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Chalices
Question from annon on 9/18/2004:

I recently noticed that my pastor is using a ceramic chalice. I remember reading that chalices had to be made of medal and asked him about this. He said that the one he was using was ok since the inside of the bowl of the chalice was lined with gold. Is such a chalice allowed to be used in the church? Thank you, annon

Answer by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on 9/18/2004:

The INSTRUCTION Redemptionis Sacramentum # 117 states: "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."

Since ceramic would be easily breakable, it would not be permitted. A layer of gold might make the chalice worthy, but it would not make it unbreakable.

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