Rorate Caeli

Glass Mass, updated

From the Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum, dedicated to the Ordinary Mass:
Reprobated, therefore, is any practice of using for the celebration of Mass common vessels, or others lacking in quality, or devoid of all artistic merit or which are mere containers, as also other vessels made from glass, earthenware, clay, or other materials that break easily. This norm is to be applied even as regards metals and other materials that easily rust or deteriorate.
Now, we do not usually mind the uncountable abuses of the Ordinary Mass here, precisely because it is so difficult to keep track of all of them, but it is not every day that we hear of abuses beforehand, and this seems just... fabulous:
For the occasion [of the Papal Mass during the visit to Venice, this weekend], 60 chalices, 60 patens, one [lavabo] pitcher, two small plates, and two cruets, all in blown glass covered in gold leaf, were created exclusively by the Glass Masters of Murano, under the auspices of the Consorzio Promovetro Murano.
It's Murano! And decorated with gold! So we guess it's fine.

[Image: actual chalices and other objects; source: Consorzio Promovetro]

UPDATE, for the record (May 8): No, that is a metal chalice, all right: the Pope obeys his own law. Still, no knowledge if some of the glass chalices or patens were used by others in any part of this "Eucharistic Concelebration", in Mestre (Venice).

39 comments:

Mr. Ortiz said...

That glass is not a Pepsi bottle--it's crafted artisan work honed by centuries of dedication.

I have Sherry glasses of similar style. I don't use them often.

Timothy Mulligan said...

Where's the Instruction on Summorum Pontificum?

I want the Instruction on Summorum Pontificum!

And I want it now!!!

DefensorFidei said...

Mr. Ortiz:

I think you miss the point.

NC is simply pointing out that in 2004, the Vatican itself had forbidden the use of glass vessels for the liturgy. Now, a mere 7 years later, they will be used for a papal liturgy.

I am certain that the bishops of California -- them of the glass pitchers -- will notice.

DM Reed said...

The archdiocese of Cincinnati's Liturgical Assessment Tool is completely ridiculous; #3 on the tool specifically states "Glass vessels that are artistically made and solely for use in the liturgy, and not easily broken are appropriate for liturgical use." For a good laugh, read over this assessment tool. If this is what is judged to be good liturgy, we're hosed in Cincinnati.

Alan Aversa said...

The Instruction will probably be at least another month...

"devoid of all artistic merit"? That disqualifies almost all Novus Ordo vessels (thuribles, monstrances, etc., too)!

Jon said...

NC,

That's right. Today's the fifth. Any word?

Margaret Ericksen said...

The quality of the glass is not in question. The problem is that glass is breakable.

David Werling said...

So the pope has a chance to show his character. How much you want to bet he uses the glass?

Are we going to see the pictures of this papal Mass, accompanied by the standard gushing over how the pope is moving the Church in the right direction?

Just asking.

Anonymous said...

As a chemist by training, I have objections to the use of glass vessels to hold and distribute the Sacred Species (as opposed to serving as cruets or ampules).
1. Glass vessels of the size used at the altar require more massive walls and are consequently heavier and less wieldy than metal vessels of the same size or volume. This makes them less safe in the hands of older, frailer clergy and Eucharistic ministers.
2. Metallic bonds allow metals to "give" if dropped or dinged. They merely dent, and dents can be repaired by a jeweler. The covalent bonds in glass either hold or yield if the material is struck, and any damage (which can be barely visible) is permanent, requiring that the vessel be replaced. Imagine the catastrophe if a chalice shattered while containing the Precious Blood (and perhaps it has happened), or the mouth of someone receiving the same was cut by a barely-visible chip and mixed his own blood with Our Lord's!
3. "Quality" is no guarantee against the problems listed above. Perfect annealing (whereby a glass is kept in an oven just below the softening point until all strains have a chance to "relax") is impossible. A gross of the best quality Pyrex lab beakers always has one or two with a chip or flaw that means the chemist must reject it. Chemists check every glass container thoroughly every time they take it off the shelf. Is the priest or deacon going to do that with a sacred vessel?
When we have had for centuries the perfect solution in metal, why would we risk the Body and Blood of Christ (and the safety of his ministers) with glass?

Tom

Olga said...

Why are we surprised? Rome says one thing; and does another. Like "Church-Lady" used to say:
"How conveeeeeeeenient!"

Pray they do not break before being retired and properly destroyed: preferrably by extrememly high-temperature flame...

Mr. Ortiz said...

All glass is not created equal!

Jack said...

Almost every parish I've been in used glass for the cruets and lavabo--even Byzantine and EF parishes.

The only places I generally have seen silver for these purposes are Episcopal ones.

Prof. Basto said...

Abhorent! And for a Papal Mass.

Will the good people (no irony intended) at the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff allow for such a thing?

For such a blatant disregard of the most basic norms regarding sacred vessels?

Will this condemned praxis of using glass vessels, explicitly reprobated by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in no uncertain terms in the Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum (with the express use of words to denote that the reprobation of the praxis) be allowed to take place, and during a Papal Mass?

Or will the Holy See intervene to demand other vessels and stop this madness?

If glass vessels are used for a Papal Mass, then we can all burn or shred to pieces our copies of Redemptionis Sacramentum. If even the Pope violates it, if even in Papal Masses -- the highest example for all other Masses -- it is disregarded, then it is of no value. I hope this will prove not to be the case.

New Catholic said...

Jack, the problem here is not the use of glass for the cruets.

B. said...

Redemptionis Sacramentum has been disregarded in almost every papal mass since it was published, so there is nothing new here.

Hoardes of EMHCs, communion being distributed without ensuring that it is being properly consumed, etc. are all agains RS and frequent at papal masses. Redemptionis Sacramentum is a dead letter and has always been so.

New Catholic said...

I want the Instruction as much as you do, Mr. Mulligan - if, in the end, it is for the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls. Let us leave this up to the Lord.

NC

New Catholic said...

Mr. Werling, congratulations for being a worldwide name, now!

NC

Anonymous said...

Regarding the rumored instruction, the Cardinal Archbishop of Milan was received in a papal audience on 4/30.

Jens said...

A Question for liturgists: What's about the necessary benediciton of the Chalice by a bishop, described in the Rituale/ Pontificale Romanum?

Igumen Gregory said...

Easy solution: Have me uncrate them and oops, sorry, didn't realize they were so fragile. Oh well lets get the metal ones out quick!

Anonymous said...

"So the pope has a chance to show his character. How much you want to bet he uses the glass?"

Benedict XVI has proven himself time and time again, especially this year, to be a weakling Pope when it comes to standing up to the liberals and standing for the traditions of the Church.

Expect nothing from Pope Benedict XVI.
But if we get something good over the next few months....I'll revise my estimation of the man.

I am not Spartacus said...

I second NC's comments about Mr. Werling. It is a pretty good leap to go from the pages of The Remnant to having persons of note responding directly to you to appearing at chisea.com etc.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11.10,

Expect nothing from Pope Benedict XVI."

So mean and extreme.

Barbara

Br. Gabriel Thomas, OP said...

Not all abuses are equal. The Holy Father is a man of deep prudence. I highly doubt that the Holy See was informed of the "gift" before they were already being made. For the sake of peace he may simply dispense from the provision in RS. Let us recall that many of these Liturgical provisions exist at the will of the Holy Father -- this would be one of them. I don't like it, but we should keep things in perspective.

Pascal said...

"Almost every parish I've been in used glass for the cruets and lavabo--even Byzantine and EF parishes."

We're dealing here with glass CHALICES and PATENS.

"The only places I generally have seen silver for these purposes are Episcopal ones."

Golden cruets, plates (for the cruets, sometimes studded with gems) and massive silver or golden basins and pitchers for the lavabo were quite common in the pre-Vatican II era.

Matthias said...

Br. Gabriel Thomas,

I respectfully disagree. As a previous comment suggested, I cannot help but think that this Mass in Venice will be appealed to as a false precedent by those wishing to keep the liturgy in a degraded state. On the other hand, if the pope were to replace only the vessels in question (keeping the cruets, etc.), it could be a teaching moment for the whole Church.

I also hope that those who are bewailing the event as if it had already happened have at least said a prayer on His Holiness' behalf.

Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Benedicto...

Yours in Christ,

Matthias

David Werling said...

"Mr. Werling, congratulations for being a worldwide name, now!"

Huh?

Those pictures didn't get posted on Facebook, did they??

Biggus said...

What part of "or materials that break easily" dont' you understand?

Anonymous said...

So he didn't use the glass after all, no matter how precious. Not that this simple fact will be of any consolation to his critics. people are who won't miss the opportunity to be unhappy for having been deprived of another chance to be unhappy about something said or done by the Pope.

Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Benedicto.

Mr. Ortiz said...

I am happily corrected by the Holy Father's example.

May he reign for many years more!

David Werling said...

Character passed with perfect marks... well, not quite perfect... it still wasn't a TLM.

Good for the pope!

David Werling said...

"So he didn't use the glass after all, no matter how precious. Not that this simple fact will be of any consolation to his critics. people are who won't miss the opportunity to be unhappy for having been deprived of another chance to be unhappy about something said or done by the Pope."

Kind of like how you would be unhappy not to have the opportunity to criticize the criticizers??

Whatever, bub.

Jack said...

\\"Almost every parish I've been in used glass for the cruets and lavabo--even Byzantine and EF parishes."

We're dealing here with glass CHALICES and PATENS. \\

Paschal, look again.

The set included gilded glass lavabo and cruets. THIS is what I was referring to.

In any case, the Pope did not use glass chalices or patens, so relax.

Christ is risen!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Werling said:

"Kind of like how you would be unhappy not to have the opportunity to criticize the criticizers??

Whatever, bub."

Well, I am one of those strange Catholics who happen to think that there is some difference between the Successor of Peter and his relentless critics who are happy only when they can be unhappy about him, "bub".

I am also one of those strange traditionalists who think that there is no Tradition without or against the Pope, and that trying to win the "Sour Grapes Award" on a daily basis is what turns some of us into the best allies of modernists.

Yes, I'd rather criticize you for good reasons than Peter for nothing, "bub".

Anonymous said...

Long live the Pope!

Stick to the point, despite liturgical committees,and organizers and wild speculation etc our Holy Father did not use any glass chalices.

"Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful over a few thigs. I will make thee ruler over many things." - Matthew 25:21

Jack said...

BTW--Did anyone notice that the Pope CHANTED the Words of Institution?

As an Eastern Christian, I was pleased to hear that.

Anonymous said...

"BTW--Did anyone notice that the Pope CHANTED the Words of Institution?"

Is the Roman Tradition of praying the Canon in a low voice permissible during a Novus Ordo Mass?

Anonymous said...

"...the Pope obeys his own law...."

I should hope so!!!

Delphina

Jack said...

\\Is the Roman Tradition of praying the Canon in a low voice permissible during a Novus Ordo Mass?\\

I believe the rubrics of the Pauline Missal direct the canon to be read or chanted aloud.

I'm well aware of the custom of the EF to recite the canon in a low voice, reminiscent of the apocalyptic silence in heaven, and I'm saying nothing against it.

However, the various classical and authorized anaphorai, including the new ones permitted in the Pauline Missal, proclaim the Gospel in an unparalled way, thus fitting in with the Pope's call for a new evangelization.