Did You Ever Wonder... about a chalice???
We recently received a new-to-us chalice from English Lutheran Church in Minersville, which closed and had their last service last month. A piece of them will live on with us when we celebrate communion! The chalice of course has a history. Here is some interesting information!
The ancient Roman calix was a drinking vessel consisting of a bowl fixed atop a stand, and was in common use at banquets. Being used in the church, the word used became "chalice" over time.
In Christian tradition, we have stories about the chalice that Jesus used. The "Holy Chalice" is the vessel which Jesus used at the Last Supper to serve the wine. New Testament texts make no mention of the cup except within the context of the Last Supper and give no significance whatsoever to the object itself. Herbert Thurston, a Roman Catholic scholar, said in 1908 that "No reliable tradition has been preserved to us regarding the vessel used by Christ at the Last Supper." Much before that, In the sixth and seventh centuries, pilgrims to Jerusalem were led to believe that the actual chalice was still venerated in the church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is the church that stands on the purported site of Jesus, crucifixion. Supposedly it also had with it it the sponge which was presented to Jesus on Calvary. Today, several surviving standing cups of precious materials are identified in local traditions as the Chalice.
As for our chalices, some are more ornately decorated than others. There are some that are decorated with Jewels, and even some that have etchings of Jesus at the Last Supper on them. Regardless of the etching, ornamentation, or metal used, they all serve the same purpose: to provide us the Blood of Christ at Communion, that Holy Meal where we experience Jesus in a sacramental way.