Symbolism of the sacred vessels

The chalice and those items surrounding it have a profound symbolism that is linked to the burial of Jesus Christ.


The chalice is traditionally referred to as the sepulcher, where the Body and Blood of Christ is laid to rest.


The corporal, a white linen cloth upon which the chalice is placed, is named such because the Eucharistic bread is laid upon it, which becomes the Body of Jesus Christ. In this way, the corporal symbolizes the winding sheet or shroud that surrounds the body of Jesus.


The paten, a round gold disc that holds the eucharistic bread, is symbolically tied to the round stone that is rolled in front of the tomb.


The pall, a small white cloth stiffened by cardboard that is placed over the chalice, is connected to the small cloth that covered the face of Jesus when he was placed in the tomb.

Chalice veil

The veil that is sometimes used to cover the chalice (though not required under current regulations), is a reminder of the veil in the Temple that was split in two when Jesus died on the cross.