Altar Server Vessels

Sacred Altar Vessels


The large cup used at Mass to hold the wine that becomes the Blood of Christ.


A covered container used to hold the hosts that will be used for distribution of Holy Communion. It is also used to reserve the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle. The plural of ciborium is ciboria.


A saucer-shaped dish (left) or bowl (right). It holds holds the bread that becomes the body of Christ.


These are the smaller glass pitchers that hold the water and wine which is poured into the Chalice during the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Lavabo Dish or (Finger Bowl) and Water Pitcher

The dish that is used for washing the Priest's hands during the preparation of the gifts.

Altar Linens


A square piece of white cloth (shown here folded) spread over the altar cloth. The chalice, paten and ciboria are placed on it during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. (not pictured is a red cross embroidered in the cloth).


This is a stiff, square white cloth cover that is placed over the chalice to protect its contents.(notice the cross)

This is also the term used to describe the large cloth which is used to cover the casket at a funeral Mass.


This is a rectangular, white cloth used to clean the chalice. (notice the red cross embroidered in the cloth).

Finger towel

A rectangular cloth napkin used by the priest to dry his fingers after they have been washed during the preparation of the gifts. (notice that this cloth does not have a red cross)

Other Items

Holy Water Bucket & Aspergillum

Also referred to as the holy water sprinkler. The Aspergillum is the long tube shaped item that holds the holy water to sprinkle the faithful or articles to be blessed.


The metal container that holds the hot charcoal for the incense. This is carried by the thurifer in the right hand. It can also be called the censer.


A small metal container that holds the incense to be put into the thurible. There is a spoon and cover. This is usually carried by the thurifer in the left hand.


This is a small metal case about the size of a pocket watch. It is used by a minister of Holy Communion to carry consecrated hosts. Communion is regularly brought to individuals that may be sick at home or in the hospital.

Baptism Shell

This item is used to pour water on the head of a child or adult who is receiving the Sacrament of Baptism.


A monstrance is the vessel used to display the consecrated host during Eucharistic Adoration or Benediction. The word monstrance comes from the Latin word monstrare, meaning "to show".

Lunette & Pyx

Pictured in the foreground, a Lunette is the circular receptacle that holds the consecrated host used during Adoration and Benediction. It slides into the center of the Monstrance pictured above. When the ceremony is completed, the lunette with the host is placed in this special Pyx which is kept in the tabernacle.