How to Prepare the Chalice for an Anglican Mass

Mass, or Holy Communion, is central in the Anglican worship. Preparation is needed.
Mass, or Holy Communion, is central in the Anglican worship. Preparation is needed.

Brief Introduction

Mass, Holy Communion, Service, or Eucharist. Many names to describe the Memorial of Christ's sacrifice - His ministry, His death, His resurrection and His ascension - and the sacrament instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ. "Based on Apostolic tradition, grounded in the Holy Bible, and enriched by participative and responsive liturgy and music" best describes the Anglican take on this important celebration. So central is the Mass that some preparations are needed from all those involved: the priest, the Eucharistic ministers, the altar servers, the choir and even the congregation!

At the altar, the key preparation is the preparation of the elements: the Chalice, the Paten and so forth. This is how we prepare these Holy Vessels for Mass in the Parish of St. Columba, Miri, in the Diocese of Kuching.

Chalice (the Cup), Paten (the plate) and Host (On the Paten)
Chalice (the Cup), Paten (the plate) and Host (On the Paten)
The Purificator (long piece of cloth), and the Pall (plastic with the fish and five loaves)
The Purificator (long piece of cloth), and the Pall (plastic with the fish and five loaves)
The Burse (placed standing), the Veil (green) and the Corporal (Square piece of cloth)
The Burse (placed standing), the Veil (green) and the Corporal (Square piece of cloth)

The Elements Used

The elements needed for preparation are:

  1. Chalice - The Celebrant's Chalice will be covered in this hub.
  2. Paten - The small plate
  3. Priest's Host - Host used in the Celebration of the Mass by the Priest, or Celebrant.
  4. Purificator - A clean cloth used for wiping by the Priest.
  5. Pall - A hard plastic to cover the bread
  6. Burse - The "liturgical" purse. The veil and corporal is kept in the Burse.
  7. Veil - Used to cover, or veil, the elements until it is used by the Priest.
  8. Corporal - A relatively large square cloth meant to capture crumbs or droplets of wine.

Placement of the Elements

Step 1: Lay out the Corporal. If your corporal has a cross stitched onto it, the cross must be placed closest to the Celebrant.
Step 1: Lay out the Corporal. If your corporal has a cross stitched onto it, the cross must be placed closest to the Celebrant.
Step 2: Place the Celebrant's Chalice in the centre of the Corporal. If there is a Cross, the Cross should face the Celebrant
Step 2: Place the Celebrant's Chalice in the centre of the Corporal. If there is a Cross, the Cross should face the Celebrant
Step 3: Place the Purificator on the Chalice
Step 3: Place the Purificator on the Chalice
Step 4: Place the Paten
Step 4: Place the Paten
Step 5: Place the Host. The design on the Host should be seen from the angle of the Celebrant
Step 5: Place the Host. The design on the Host should be seen from the angle of the Celebrant
Step 6: Place the Pall
Step 6: Place the Pall
Step 7: Cover the Elements with the Veil.
Step 7: Cover the Elements with the Veil.
If there is a design on the veil, it should be seen by the Congregation. Arrange it in a triangular shape.
If there is a design on the veil, it should be seen by the Congregation. Arrange it in a triangular shape.
The Burse is kept standing on the left hand side of the altar. If the burse has a cross or design, that should face the Congregation.
The Burse is kept standing on the left hand side of the altar. If the burse has a cross or design, that should face the Congregation.

Practice Varies by Parish

Depending on the liturgy adopted by the Parish, or Diocese, the practice may vary. In some instances, the Priest would bring the Elements in instead of having them set up at the Altar beforehand.

Another variable to note is the colour of the linens used. The green colour reflects the ordinary time in calendar. Depending on the Church season and the Feast Day, it would change to red, purple, Gold, or even black. The person responsible (sacristan or server) should always consult the Parish Priest.

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Comments 3 comments

Mrs Jil Manning profile image

Mrs Jil Manning 4 years ago from Sussex, England

This is very interesting. Last year a friend who is an Anglican priest ran a series of evening sessions explaining to parishoners the meanings behind various vestments and rituals in the church, which was very enjoyable and rather fascinating.


Aldric Tinker profile image

Aldric Tinker 4 years ago from Malaysia Author

Thank you for your comment, Mrs. Jil Manning. It truly is interesting to know the elements of the Mass. It makes things more meaningful as opposed to purely following a script. I believe there is a reason behind every motion, gesture and prayers used in both traditional and biblical reasons. Sadly, many Anglicans - and Catholics - are not so aware of these meanings.

I must admit: I only found this out over the last year. Before that, I, too, am guilty of being ignorant. Thus, I'm sharing as I learn and understand.


brod christopher satur 4 years ago

yes that is true brother ahmmm me too we just move it in seriously because we believe that are all sacred things for the used during in holy mass,let have put in our mind that during the holy mass that the priest that has been transform as presented by God...so that be careful all that things in the altar is sacred..amen

i would be introduce to u my friend im from the roman cathol;ic,im a formerly seminarian in FFI( franciscan Friar in The Immaculate) so that im already know what the important things in the altar..

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