Sacred Vessels & Church Objects

Altar
The Lord’s Table, place where sacrifice of Mass is offered to the Father and made present to us

Altar Cloth
cloth that covers altar

Corporal
square piece of white cloth spread over center of altar where priest will offer gifts of bread and wine to become Body and Blood of Jesus

Sanctuary
area around altar

Sanctuary lamp
candle or light near tabernacle to show Jesus is present

Tabernacle
place where Eucharist is kept. We genuflect in front of Tabernacle to show reverence

Altar Rail
divides sanctuary from congregation, encloses sanctuary and Altar

Nave
large part of worship space where assembly gathers

Assembly/congregation
God’s holy people who gather to give thanks and praise to God

Celebrant
one who leads liturgical ceremony. At Mass it is the priest or bishop,

Celebrant’s chair
central chair used by priest or bishop. Also called Presider’s Chair

Ambo
prominent stand or lectern from which Scripture readings are proclaimed

Lectionary
large book containing Bible readings at Mass

Lector
reader at Mass

Roman Missal
large book containing prayers said by priest at Mass. Held by altar server at beginning and end of Mass. Placed on altar during Liturgy of the Eucharist

Credence table
side table in sanctuary where objects used for Mass are placed before and after use.

Paten
round metal plate which holds hosts to be consecrated into Body of Jesus

Chalice
cup used by priest when he consecrates wine into Blood of Jesus Made of silver, gold or solid material that does absorb liquid

Pall
small white cloth covered square that covers top of chalice, also cloth used to cover coffin at funeral

Chalice veil
cloth that covers chalice while it sits on credence table White or color of chausable

Ciborium
covered container used to hold hosts consecrated at Mass. Consecrated hosts are left in ciborium and placed in Tabernacle for veneration or for sick

cruets
bottle like containers that hold water and wine at Mass

finger towel and bowl/lavabo
used to wash hands of priest before Eucharistic Prayer

purificator
small white cloth used to clean chalice after each person receives
Blood of Jesus, and to clean chalice after Mass

Sa/crar/ium
sink in sacristy with drain that leads into the earth. Used to dispose water that is used to wash sacred vessels

sacristy
room in church where priest prepares for Mass

Monstrance
large metal container to display or show host for worship and Praise. Used at Benediction and Exposition of Blessed Sacrament

Benediction
service of special devotion to Eucharist

Thurible/Censer 
metal container that hold hot charcoal for incense. Carried in right hand of thurifer

Boat
small container that holds the incense. Carried in left hand of thurifer.

Thurifer
server who carries the thurible and boat.

Incense
optional at any Mass, sign of honor and prayer rising to God. Used at Benediction.

Pyx
small container used to bring Communion to the sick

Ambry
box or glass case attached to wall of church where holy oils are kept

Pascal candle
large wax candle placed in tall holder to symbolize light of 
Risen Christ. It is the “Easter Candle” and is blessed and Prepared at the Easter Vigil on Holy Sat. night. Stays in Sanctuary until end of Pentecost then placed near baptismal font and used for Baptisms and funerals.

Sprinkler/Aspergilium
instrument capable of holding water, that accompanies the bucket or pail containing holy water for Sprinkling Rites. The sacred vessels used to hold consecrated hosts (chalice, paten, ciborium, pyx and monstrance) are blessed and made of precious metal or gilded on inside, they do not break or deteriorate and are distinguishable from ordinary vessels.