- From catholicculture.org
The chalice is the cup used by the priest at Mass to hold the wine (before consecration) and the Precious Blood of Christ (after consecration). It is used as a reminder of the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper when He instituted the Eucharist. Because of its role in the consecration, chalices are often made of precious metals, usually gold. They are also blessed with chrism by the bishop before their use. A priest’s chalice is traditionally a gift from his family or another close individual upon his ordination. Since it holds such an important role within Catholic liturgy, the chalice is also used as a symbol of Christ’s sacrifice for us, both in the Eucharist and on the cross. Depictions of chalices can be found throughout Catholic churches, often accompanied by an image of a host or wheat. It is a reminder that Jesus shed His Precious Blood for us and that, in receiving His Body and Blood in the Eucharist, we are uniting ourselves to that sacrifice and looking to Him to strengthen us. More than just a simple cup, it is a sign of God’s love for each of us.