Friday, May 4, 2012


This sacred vessel came into the Saint Sebastian cavalcade of chalices through Fr. Pfeiffer.  When he came here I told him that he needed to get a nice chalice and that I would help him get one.  Fortunately his parents beat me to it.
The chalice was purchased from the collection of chalices that became available due to the closing of parishes in the Diocese of Cleveland (not from one of the parishes that is re-opening.)  We went to the place where these things are stored and saw a table full of chalices.  Fr. P went around scoping them out and handling them and settled on this one above.  He had it cleaned up and replated and now Sebastianites can see this chalice regularly on the weekends when Fr. P is celebrating.  There are no marks or engravings on it so it is difficult to say from where it came.

As you can see there is some beautiful work on the cup.  There are three medallions with three different phrases in Latin on winding banners such as the one you see above.  One says, "O crux spes unica" or "O cross, our only hope", and "Ecce panis angelicus" or "Behold the Bread of Angels."  There is one more but it is so worn as to be unreadable.  Perhaps it says "Alleluia".  The base has a grape and grape leaf design.
Between the medallions are these scenes.  The one pictured above is difficult to make out but I believe that it is the presentation of Mary.  The other two are The Resurrection and the part of the story of Jesus walking on water when Peter comes to Him and starts sinking and cries out to Jesus to save him.
The base also has three medallions.  This first scene above is Jesus before Pilot which is interestingly set against the scene below which is the young Jesus teaching the Scribes from the "Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple."  The third medallion is Jesus being taken down from the Cross.

You know, I was thinking that these are somewhat odd scenes to choose for a chalice - not necessarily individually but as a whole the are interesting choices.  It did not occur to me until a few moments ago the reason for the scenes.  The scenes on the cup correlate with the medallions on the base.  Mary in the Temple mirrors Jesus in the Temple.  The Resurrection mirrors the taking down form the Cross.  I am not entirely sure how the last two fit together save that in both the walking on the water and the trial before Pilot show a distressing situation in which Jesus is still in control - shows Himself to be God.

This chalice came from one of the closed parishes in the Diocese of Cleveland.  If you think you recognize it and can give us any background information it would be greatly appreciated.

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