The Catholic Mass is a complex rite that makes use of a number of different items of particular significance. Some of these things, such as the monstrance and the thurible, are recognisable by sight for many Catholics, even if their names remain unfamiliar. However, there are other items that have their place in the Catholic Mass, of which even the Catholic faithful might not be aware.
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Books and Texts
According to Catholic Deacon, the Sacramentary, the Book of the Gospels, the Lectionary, and the Missalette are traditionally used in the Catholic Mass. The first three books are used only by the priest, while the congregation uses the Missalette to follow the words of the Mass.
The Sacramentary contains prayers and solemn blessings used during all Masses, including those said on special occasions. The opening prayer, Eucharistic prayers and prefaces are all included in this book. The deacon traditionally carries the Book of the Gospels in procession. It contains the entire three-year cycle of readings, as well as the solemnities, feasts and ritual Masses celebrated each year. The lector traditionally carries the Lectionary during procession, after which it is placed on the "ambo," the speaker's stand that acts as both lectern and pulpit. The Missalette is a small paperback book kept in the pews for the faithful to use. Published monthly or at other regular intervals, the Missalette contains all the prayers and blessings of the Mass, including those specific to the season during which the Missalette has been published, so that the faithful can follow the Mass. It also contains instructions of the actions the congregation is supposed to take during Mass, such as standing, sitting and kneeling.
Offeratory Vessels and Linens
The chalice is a large metal cup, shaped like a stemmed goblet. According to the Community of St. Joseph Church, the inside of the chalice must be either made of gold or it must be gold-plated. The chalice holds the wine that will become the Blood of Christ.
The purificator is placed on top of the chalice. The purificator is a napkinlike piece of linen which is used to cleanse the priest's fingers, the chalice and the paten after Communion. A small cross is embroidered at its centre.
The paten is a small saucerlike dish that holds the unconsecrated communion wafers that will become the Body of Christ. It is placed across the mouth of the chalice, above the folded purificator.
The pall is a small, stiff square of linen that covers the paten. It is embroidered with wheat and grapes in its centre, which symbolise the bread and wine used for Communion.
During the Offertory prayers, the square white linen cloth called the "corporal" is spread on the altar and the chalice, paten and ciborium are placed upon it. The ciborium is the vessel into which the consecrated hosts are placed.
The cruets, the decanters that hold the wine and the holy water used in the rite of Holy Communion, are placed on the altar, but not on the corporal.
Monstrance and Communion Host
The monstrance is a vessel used in processions or at other times when the communion host is to be presented to the faithful. The gold or silver tower supports the "lunette," which portrays rays of light emanating from the host contained within. The word "monstrance" comes from the Latin word "monstrare," which means "to show."
Thurible (Censor), Boat, and Incense
The thurible, also called a "censor" is used on solemn occasions to incense the communion bread and wine after the offertory (See References 1). The incense that is burnt in the in the thurible is stored in the "boat," a metal vessel, until it is burnt in the thurible.
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