Friday 8 April 2016

Obscure Ecclesiastical Objects 101: Final Exam

At colleges and universities across the country, classes are wrapping up and students are getting ready to take their final exams. We felt inspired to come up with a quiz for you, dear readers.

Below you will find photos of objects from our collection. Some may be recognizable, but some won't be as familiar to you. See how many you can name, and come back next week for the answers. Good luck!









Courtesy of the General Archives of the Basilian Fathers



  1. Ok I'll give it a crack:
    1) vintage container for the sacramental chrism (denoted SC)
    2) Bugia!
    3) I will say, seeing as it has a handle and a place for a candle, perhaps a waking bell to wake up seminarians for morning Lauds at 5am.
    4) vintage altar bells (a 3 set)
    5) thurible/censer
    6) censer boat for incense with spoon
    7) I would say this is a pretty big tintinabulum, although the standard form is a bell on a pole. However I've seen a parish use something like this as an altar bell ...
    8) this is a vintage pyx that comes protected by a silk lined pocket covering that folds up like an envelope
    9) oh wow ... Never seen this. My best guess, as this looks like it has a loop for a handle, is maybe this is some sort of relic/icon for veneration or carrying in procession, and you put your hand through it.
    10) Communion Paten.

  2. Very fun! I can only recognize four objects and I have no clue what their official names are! Looking forward to next week! I love this blog!

  3. Okay... the items pictures are as follows:

    #1 - Oil Stock labelled "SC" (Sacrum Chrisma / tr. Sacred Chrism)
    #2 - Bugia - a hand-candle, held next to the book from which the bishop prays.
    #3 - Candle Holder/lamp with bell - used when taking communion to the sick by a server accompanying the priest on his sick call. It indicated to passers by the Eucharistic was being taken to the sick.
    #4 - Sanctus Bells - rung at certain parts of the mass
    #5 - Thurible (used to burn incense)
    #6 - Incense holder commonly referred to as "boat" because if it shape
    #7 - Another version of the Sanctus Bells - this version being a gong that is struck with a wooded hammer (not pictured)
    #8 - Burse w/ pyx (used to contain/store the Eucharistic)when visiting the sick
    #9 - Pax Brede - used to convey the sign of peace a solemn mass (1962 Missal), no longer used
    #10 Communion paten with handle used during the distribution of communion to catch any crumbs/particles of the Eucharistic or catch it accidently fall. Used by an altar server who accompanies the priest...

    I think I got them all?

    Ricardo Aleixo

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Okay. I think I can name all items listed. Here is my attempt…

    #1 - An oil stock used to store the holy oils. This one is labeled "SC", Latin abbreviation for Holy (oil of) Chrism.

    #2 - Bugia - a type of candle holder…it used and held by an altar in the Roman Rite when bishops would read/pray from the Missal or "Canon Missae Pontificale" during a Solemn Mass or service. No longer used except at a Latin Mass according to the liturgical books of 1962.

    #3 - Sick Call Lamp with Bell. Unusual as I have never seen one with the bell attached? It was used when I priest went out in public on a sick call. The ringing of the bell and candle indicated the priest was carrying the Eucharistic. The lamp would have been carried by altar server or someone who would be accompanying the priest on his visit to the sick.

    #4 - Sanctus Bells. Used during Mass at different parts of the mass to alert the faithful during the eucharistic prayer. It was traditional rung at Mass prior to the singing of the Sanctus, again at the Te Igitur and during the consecration of the bread and wine…

    #5 - Thurible - used to burn incense at Mass and other religious services

    #6 - Incense Boat with a spoon. So called as it often resembled a boat and is used to hold the grains of incense.

    #5 - Another version of the Sanctus Bells. This being a gong version. not pictures is a wooden hammer that is used to strike the gong and make it sound.

    #6 Sick Call Set (Pyx & Burse). Used to hold the Eucharistic when visiting the sick, etc.

    #7 - Known a "Pax." The pax was an object used in the Middle Ages and Renaissance for the Kiss of Peace in the Roman Rite. Direct kissing among the celebrant, deacons and congregation were replaced by each, in turn, kissing the pax, which was carried around those present. The pax (object) was introduced apparently because of a range concerns over the sexual, social and medical implications of actual kissing. No longer used except according to some uses of the Latin Rite according to the liturgical books in force in 1962.

    #8 - Communion Paten with handle. It would have been (or is still sometimes used, but rare) to assist in the distribution of Holy Communion. It was a safeguard to catch any falling particles or a consecrated Host from falling to the floor. The priest would have been accompanied by an altar server holding the paten under the chin of those receiving communion.


  6. Good Morning ARCAT. it's Thursday! You know what that means! Please post my original guesses from last week and the answers! I'm dying here like that kid in class who overachieves and wants his mark! Only because I love these objects you show here and your posts.

  7. Thank you to everyone who participated! The answers are now up in a separate post.

  8. Well, I lost. But I lost to the best. Congratulations Ricardo. If anyone would guess all these right it would be you. Pax brother!