Each element of the chalice has profound symbolism, linking it to Jesus' Passion, death and resurrection.
Almost everything used in a Catholic Mass has a rich history behind it, with various levels of symbolism. The chalice and paten used during Mass to hold the Eucharistic bread and wine that is transformed into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ are one such example.
Specifically, the chalice and all the elements that surround it have been symbolically connected to the death and burial of Jesus, reminding the priest of Jesus’ Passion and resurrection every time he celebrates Mass. Some of this symbolism is even made explicit in the traditional consecration of the chalice and paten, where a bishop or priest will recite ancient prayers over the sacred vessels to prepare them for the liturgy.
Here is a short slideshow that details the fascinating symbolism, adding yet another dimension to the Mass that all can ponder.
The spiritual reason chalices are made from precious metal
In close-up: The sacred vessels and linens used at Mass