The practical server must know and understand
the various objects and vestments used in the
CORPORAL- a sacred cloth of white linen
around twenty inches square upon which the
chalice, paten and ciboria are placed during
PALL- a square of linen, stiffened with
starch, cardboard, or plastic, set on the
chalice to prevent dirt or insects from
falling into it.
PATEN- is the plate on which the bread
(big Host) used by the presider is placed
and consecrated during the Mass.
PURIFICATOR- a small piece of white
absorbent linen, approximately eight by
sixteen inches, folded in three lengthwise,
and marked with a cross in the center,
employed during the Mass.
CHALICE- is a cup usually (but not always)
supported by a “node” (the central part of the
vessel, usually a knob) and set on a base. This
vessel is also used to hold the Precious Blood of
the Lord at the Mass.
CIBORIUM- is really a paten in the form of a
chalice with a lid because the Sacred Body of
our Lord is placed in it. It is used also to
contain the Hosts reserved in the Tabernacle.
CRUETS- are the vessels to hold the wine
(Blood of our Lord) and water ate the Mass.
PITCHER AND BASIN- are used to hold
and catch the water for the washing of the
hands of the presider after the Offertory
and Communion. They are always paired with
FINGER TOWEL- small clothes used by the
celebrants at various times in the liturgy, for
instance at the Preparation of the gifts in the
Mass, or by the bishop when administering the
Sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Orders.
COMMUNION PLATE- is used during
communion, held by a server under the chin of
those who receive communion directly into the
BELL- known as the “Sanctus Bell” is rung by a
server at Mass, at two elevations and as a
warming before the consecration. It has
practical use, to draw attention to the most
sacred moments of the Liturgy.
SACRAMENTARY BOOK- the book of
presidential prayers for the officiant of the
Eucharist and for any rites connected with the
LECTIONARY BOOK- the liturgical book that
holds the spiritual readings used during the
Liturgy of the Word in the Mass. This is usually
placed at the “ambo” or lectern.
SACRAMENTARY STAND- is placed on the
altar at the preparation of gifts. It takes various
forms, a metal or wooden book-rest or a cushion.
THURIBLE- is a metal bowl hanging by three
chains (usually) from a disc. It is often
mistaken for the “incense” and the “charcoal”.
INCENSEBOAT- is shaped like a boat, with a
hinged lid and a matching spoon. From the
boat the grains of incense are spooned onto
the burning coals in the Thurible.
CREDENCE TABLE- is a movable table to
the side of the altar covered with white
cloth, upon which are placed the things
needed for sacred functions, particularly the
Mass, such as the chalice, cruets, basin, and
PROCESSIONAL CROSS- is a large
crucifix, set on a long staff, to be carried in
procession, and perhaps used as the altar
cross at Mass.
PROCESSIONAL CANDLE- are two tall candlesticks
carried in procession by two servers.
MONSTRANCE- is a larger vessel,
really a stand to display the Host at
exposition of the Blessed Sacrament .
LUNETTE- is the gift clip which holds Host when
exposed in the Monstrance.
PYX- is the round container which holds the Host
and Lunette in the Tabernacle. A smaller pyx, like an
old-fashioned watch case, is used to take the
Eucharist to the stick.
ASPERGILIUM- is also known as the “bucket”
and the sprinkler as an “aspergil”.
OIL STOCKS- usually takes the form of a
metal cylinder, with compartments for the
sacramental oils (oil of the sick and oil of
Chrism for Baptism and Confirmation).
ALB- is a white garment reaching to the
ankles. It is derived from the ancient
Roman tunic and is a sign of purity. The
word “alb” comes from the Latin word for
STOLE- is a distinctive sign of those who
have received Holy Orders as they carry
out the ministry in sacrament and worship.
CHASUBLE- is the major Eucharistic vestment,
worn over the stole and the alb. It is the color
of the season or day.
DALMATIC- is worn by the deacon. It
resembles a large coat, of the color of the
season or day. It is worn over the stole and the
COPE- is a large semi-circular cloak, held at
the front by a clasp or band of fabric. It is
used for solemn celebrations of the
sacraments and for Benediction of the Blessed
HUMERAL VEIL- is a large white shawl, worn
around the shoulders while carrying the
Blessed Sacrament in procession and white
giving the Eucharistic blessing at the
MITRE- is a double-pointed head-dress, with
two lappets hanging at the back. It has been
used by bishops since the 12th century.
CROZIER- is a staff, usually with a shepherd's
crook at the top, is a sign of his pastoral office
the Bishop carries it to remind us that he is the
pastor and guardian of God’s people.
PECTORAL CROSS- is the bishop’s necklace.
It is worn under the chasuble and the
dalmatic, under the cope but above the