St. Zephyrinus: he abolished wooden chalices, and replaced them with glass ones for the Holy Sacrifice

“But why can’t we use wooden chalices in the Mass today? Huh, I mean shouldn't we do as Jesus did?” is an oft-heard query from people who think that the Catholic Mass should be more like common pictures of The Last Supper. But the use of wooden chalices was abolished by St. Zephryninus, who replaced them with glass ones in the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice.  Also, reading up on the history of chalices used for Holy Mass, I was surprised to learn that apparently, it is not certain that Our Lord used a wooden chalice. It may have been silver or onyx. 
This is especially interesting when you consider that the current law of the Church is that a chalice (or at the very least the cup of it) must be either silver or gold. A silver cup must be gilt on the inside. In times of poverty or persecution, a pewter chalice may be allowed, but the bowl of it must be gilt. 
Among St. Zephryninus’ other achievements are that he defended the dogma of the Trinity. He prescribed that all the faithful should receive Holy Communion on Easter Day.
Mulier Fortis has a post on a Mass celebrated in Blackfen in honour of St. Zephyrinus.


  1. Thanks for the link, Mary, and the fascinating info on Pope St. Zephyrinus!

  2. It is meet and right that the Body Blood Soul and Divinity of Our Lord should be honored with precious metals! He is Our King, the Lord of the Universe. When He came down from Heaven, he was born in poverty, and lived in poverty. Now that He has claimed Kingship of the Universe, His churches, and sacred vessels should be richly appointed, as befits royalty.

    Those who protest and say that the money should be spent on the poor.....well.....that is exactly what Judas said. When the woman poured costly oils on Jesus (worth a years salary!), Judas was upset and exclaimed that the oil would have been better sold and the money given to the poor. Christ rebuked Judas and told him no, that this woman's act would be remembered forever and that the poor we will have with always. So Our Lord approved of expense paid to Him in honor.

    Churches that strip everything down to bare wood and stone and are sparse, are, IMHO, ugly and insulting edifices.

  3. Thank you Fiona for your wonderful reflection.


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