Q: At our early and packed mass on Christmas Eve we double to amount of bowls and chalices for communion. We don’t have enough of our normal bowls to double so this is one out of two times a year that the extra bowls we use are glass. Knowing that the rubrics specify precious metals for vessels, the pastors have made exceptions for these particular masses. When I gave a heads up about this to our associate, he was not okay with it. I wanted to get your thoughts on a one time exception?
A: Redemptionis Sacramentum 117 forbids vessels made of “glass, earthenware, clay, or other materials that break easily.” Some have argued that the particular kind of glass that they use does not “break easily,” but apart from that, there really is no exception allowed in RS.
Q: We currently have pewter bowls and chalices. I realize that is not “precious metal” but wonder if it is absolutely forbidden.
A: The same paragraph does not mention pewter. It wants materials that are “truly noble in the common estimation within a given region.” It reprobates “common vessels, or others lacking in quality, or devoid of all artistic merit or which are mere containers.” So, I think you could make a case for pewter.