Thursday 14 April 2016

Obscure Ecclesiastical Objects 101: The Results are In

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to our quiz here on Blogger, as well as on the Archdiocesan Instagram and Facebook pages. We were very impressed by your knowledge. A+ work!

#1: Chrism Oil Stock
This container is used to hold holy oil. The engraved letters "S.C." indicate that the oil in this container was Chrism (Sanctum Chrisma), which is used to anoint candidates for confirmation and holy orders, and during various blessings. Oil stocks generally come in a set of three, to hold the above mentioned oil, the oil of catechumens, and the oil of the sick. All three of these oils are blessed at the chrism mass on the morning of Holy Thursday.

This particular oil stock is sterling silver, and was made circa 1875 by the Benziger Brothers of New York.

#2: Bugia

This gilded, handled candlestick was used with a beeswax candle during mass. It was held by a server or attendant to the right of the book that a prelate was reading from during some liturgical celebrations.

This bugia was donated to ARCAT by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd and is dated to the 1920s.

#3: Sick Call Lamp

This candle holder with hurricane glass and bell set was meant to be used during sick calls to indicate that the blessed sacrament was being carried from the church to the home of the sick person.

This item dates to the 1920s.

#4: Sanctus Bells

The sanctus bells are so named because they were originally rung during the mass in two places: during the sanctus, and at the consecration. Because the mass was said in Latin, the bells were used to help the congregation understand when Christ became present in the consecrated sacrament.

This set of chimes dates from the 1920s.

#5: Thurible

The thurible is an incense burner that is swung on chains by the thurifer during the mass. The use of incense goes back to ancient Judaism, and helps to create an atmosphere of reverence and sacrifice.

This item dates to the 1880s, and was donated by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto.

#6: Incense Boat

The vessel that holds the incense that goes in the thurible.

This item also dates to the 1880s and was donated by the Sister of St. Joseph.

#7: Sanctus Gong

The sanctus gong has the same purpose as the sanctus bells, but is rarely used today.

This item was donated by the Congregation of St. Basil and was used in their chapel at Clover Hill, Toronto.

#8: Pyx

Pyxides are containers used to carry the Blessed Sacrament when communion is given outside of the mass; for example, during sick calls. The pyx above is pictured with its carrying case, which would be tied around the priest's neck.


#9: Pax

The pax - also known as a pax-brede, pax-board, paxillium or osculatorium - dates from medieval times. Instead of the sign of peace, the kiss of peace was used. The pax would be passed around to the faithful to be kissed, and would often depict the crucifixion, the ressurection, the ascension, or the agnes dei.

This pax belongs to the Congregation of St. Basil, and dates from the late 1800s.
Courtesy of the General Archives of the Basilian Fathers

#10: Communion Paten

The communion paten is a precious metal plate with a handle. It is held under the chin of a person receiving communion to catch any stray particles of the blessed sacrament. It was more commonly used when communion was received on the tongue.

This communion paten was donated to the Sacred Objects Exchange.

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