BEHOLD THE ANGELIC BREAD! – The Glorious Monstrance
The word Eucharist comes from the Greek word ‘eukharistos’ meaning ‘thanksgiving’. It denotes the sacrament (bread/wine professed as the Body and Blood of Christ) and the sacrifice of the Mass. Outside the Mass, the Eucharist is housed in a sacred vessel called the Monstrance. This sacred vessel holds its own history and story.
The etymology of the word Monstrance can be traced to its Latin counterpart Ostensorium. It is derived from the Latin word ostendere meaning ‘to show/display’. Before being used in the Church, these vessels served as objects of exhibition. They were employed by goldsmiths and silversmiths to display their works of art and commerce.
Primeval references affirm the use of a portable tabernacle for adoration, benediction and processions. This came to be replaced by the ciborium wherein the sides of the cup were prolonged in crystal or glass. It served as a receptacle to carry the Sacred Host and distribute Holy Communion.