Chalice or Cup?

Bulletin Article for 10/23/11
Appreciating the New Translations

One of the deliberate word changes within the Eucharistic Prayers is the changing from the word “cup” to “chalice.”  Currently, our tendency is to use the word “cup” to describe the multiple “containers” used to distribute the Precious Blood of Christ to the people.  Generally, these “cups” are relatively plain in design.  We use the word “chalice” to describe the “container” used by the priest that is generally is of a more elaborate design than the other cups.  Turns out this is not the original distinction between “cup” and “chalice.”  Originally, “cup” signified a drinking vessel used by one individual and chalice was used to describe a drinking vessel that was meant to be shared by the community.  The Blood of Christ is meant to be shared and so we will use the word “chalice” to remind us of that.

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