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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
(Lat. calix), the cup in which the wine of the Eucharist is administered. At first, when the Christians were poor, the cups were of common materials; but when they grew rich, the cups were of the most costly materials they could afford, such as onyx, sardonyx, silver, and gold. The chalices are of two kinds, the greater, containing a large quantity of wine, and the less, called ministeriales, because the priests deliver the wine to be drunk out of them. — Binpham, Orig. Ecclesiastes bk. 8, ch. 6, § 21; Doughtseus, de Cailic. Euchar. Vet. (Helmst. 1726); Siegel, Alterthü mer, 1:61.
Of this important ecclesiastical vessel we give the following additional particulars, which serve to illustrate their various forms and applications:
I. Kinds. — There were four principal sorts of chalices: (1) communeal, that used by the celebrant; (2) ministerial, large and small, for communicating the faithful; (3) offertory, in which the deacons received the wine offered by communicants; possibly the chalices found in tombs of the catacombs were those into which the deacon poured the wine, and were religiously preserved for burial with their late owners; (4) baptismal, used for communion in the case of the newly baptized, and for administering to them milk and honey.
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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Chalice'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/c/chalice.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.