Chalices on the altar

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: We will be returning the chalice at our parish in the near future. We plan to place pre-filled chalices on the altar before the gifts of bread and wine are brought forward. The wine that is brought forward with the gifts would only be poured by the priest in his chalice—as the other chalices would already be pre-filled to save time at the altar.

Two questions:

·         Is this permissible?

·         Our understanding is that the vessels should not be placed on the corporal until the priest says the prayer of offering. Is it okay to place these pre-filled chalices on the altar before that prayer is said, but just not on the corporal? Then, once the prayer is said, the priest can place all chalices on the corporal?

Thank you!


A: I think you’re fine on all these points. Think about Vatican Masses where there are multiple chalices for all the priests who concelebrate. The only one not pre-poured is probably the one that the pope uses.

Yes, I think if the presider is praying before setting his chalice on the corporal, he has sufficiently made the intention of designating the various offerings of the people for the sacrifice of the Mass.

The Order of Mass doesn’t really envision what to do with multiple chalices.