Translating Ecclesiantium Arcanery into English - or what the heck are we talking about

Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
edited October 10 in Ecclesiantics
From time to time we have had a dictionary thread in Ecclesiantics and on its predessor "Mystery Worship" because of the tendency to use abstruse words and idiosyncratic acronyms. As far as I can establish there has not been an edition since we moved boards although there were several still remaining on the old boards; I found this from 2007 and this from 2010. I definitely think there were more recent ones. Now given that we have at least one shipmate who will find it useful, I think it is time we produced a new edition.

Entries can take three forms. Firstly you can post a term or terms with definitions. Secondly you can post corrections or further information to terms already posted (please quote post). Finally, you can ask questions about terms you do not understand.

On a personal level as someone new to helping out in a sacristy, I would be grateful for clear definitions of any useful terminology a very junior apprentice sacristan may need.
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Comments

  • Sacristan - He (or She) Who Must Be Obeyed.
    :lol:

    But, seriously, this thread is a Good Idea.
    :wink:
  • Corporal - The square cloth which is placed on the altar, the chalice and patten are placed upon it.

    Chalice - A goblet to hold the wine which represents the blood of Christ.

    Patten - A dish to hold the wafers or bread which represent the body of Christ.
  • Raptor Eye wrote: »
    Chalice - A goblet to hold the wine which represents the blood of Christ.
    ”Represents” would seem to be wading into theological disputes and disagreements, wouldn’t it?
    Patten - A dish to hold the wafers or bread which represent the body of Christ.
    I’ve only ever seen it spelled with one tpaten. Is patten a UK spelling?

  • I was just about to ask if it was an American spelling as I've only seen it spelled with one 't'.
    With these somewhat arcane words we easily find spellings which people may unconsciously associate with other words , such as the fairly recent 'cannon' law.
  • Ha ha I can't spell! It is indeed paten, and no theological controversy is intended.
  • I was going to say, Pattens are wooden soled overshoes.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    edited October 11
    Ciborium - a chalice shaped stemmed goblet with cover designed to carry more hosts (communion wafers) than a paten so tending to be used in larger establishments. Sometimes also used to reserve the sacrament.
  • TheOrganistTheOrganist Shipmate
    edited October 11
    Pyx - a small, hinge-lidded case to carry communion wafers to the sick.

    Purificator - small square cloth carried by the celebrant to wipe the rim of the chalice between administrations of communion wine.

    Slype - short passageway, with a roof, between the transept of a monastic church and the chapterhouse, usually with a door at the church end.
  • Monstrance - a transparent vessel used in Catholic parishes to display a consecrated host for veneration. Generally to be seen in the form of a sun on a stem with two circles of glass at the centre of the rays, one of which opens to put the host between them.



  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    lunette or luna - The device that holds the consecrated host securely in place inside the monstrance.
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    Purificator - small cloth used both to wipe the chalice between communicants and also to dry communion vessels when they have been rinsed after communion.
  • OblatusOblatus Shipmate
    edited October 11
    Alan29 wrote: »
    Purificator - small cloth used both to wipe the chalice between communicants and also to dry communion vessels when they have been rinsed after communion.

    Note for those sent to hurry into the sacristy and procure a purificator: These are typically folded in thirds, twice. That's how you know it isn't a lavabo "towel," which may be of similar size when unfolded, but is folded in thirds and then in half. The purificator also has a small cross stitched on, in either red or white thread, while the lavabo towel is plain and crossless. But perhaps you've got a kind sacristan who labels all these (or their containers) for easy identification.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Lavabo towels are made from a very different cloth, much thicker than that for purificators. The cross on purificators is white; lavabo towels can have a cross in red.
  • Our lavabo towels and purificators are made from the same type of linen. Purificators have a white cross embroidered in the center; lavabo towels have a white cross embroidered in the center of one side.
  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    Ours are made from the same linen as well. Lavabo ones are larger and don’t, I think, have a cross embroidered on them, while the purificators do.
  • Here's a Lavabo Towel, and here's a Purificator.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    18,000 km away, so not able to check the measurements. The purificators look much as those at St Sanity, the lavabo towels look larger, and many of ours have a small red cross embroidered on the middle of one side.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited October 12
    Our Madam Sacristan recently persuaded the PCC to part with some £££ for a set of purificators, and other linen items, from Walsingham (we are good little bunnies here, and have a great devotion to Our Lady of Walsingham).

    I can't provide a linky, but IIRC the various bits of linen have a nice Marian motif embroidered thereupon. Seemly, edifying, albeit a tad costly...

    ...but didn't some chap in the Bible have something to say about peeps who made snide remarks about giving to the poor, instead of wasting money on ointment, and stuff?
    :wink:

    @Pigwidgeon 's links depict exactly the sort of thing we have at Our Place.

    Slype - short passageway, with a roof, between the transept of a monastic church and the chapterhouse, usually with a door at the church end.

    That's one I haven't heard. The Church Of My Yoof (so Low, we were under the foundations, let alone the floorboards) had just such a passageway, between the church, and the adjacent parish hall. Built in the 1950s, it was completely covered in, and had doors at both ends, but it joined the church where a transept would have been, if in our case we had had such a thing. Which we did not.

  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    edited October 12
    At St Oddball's what had been formally referred to as 'the Leaky Corridor' - because the roof leaked, or 'The Polish Corridor' - because it kept two lots of "Germans" apart got renamed the Slype when "the Germans" finally moved out and the LCMS folks mended the leak (again.) It is the covered over space between the Church and the small hall where we usually end up host deanery chapter meetings. Needless to say, it was my odd brain that came up with that one. On a cool, but sunny days, folks who like warmth tend to hang around in there as the three skylights provide a certain degree of solar warming. Quite a few in my congregation used to be ELCA (really Augustana Synod, but it was after the various mergers) so they did not give much quarter to the LCMS folks.

    Our church complex seems to have an abundance of corridors thanks to the school which was built behind it in two stages in the late 1920s and the 1950s. There is the "bottom corridor" that runs from the boiler house to the big hall; the "short corridor" which runs from the office door to the former school office, and then there is the "top corridor" which runs along the top of the former school building. It is possible to get lost in there, and occasionally we have to retrieve visitors who have wandered into the school building by mistake.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited October 12
    Back to the OP...

    Transept - in a cross-shaped church, either of the two parts forming the arms of the cross shape, projecting at right angles from the nave.

    Come to think of it, that's an architectural term, rather than liturgical, but there are probably many such terms, unintelligible to Joe Public... :grimace:
  • I think it depends on your supplier what you have on the lavabo towel and what is on the purificator!

    As far as I can make out from the sacristy I work in.

    Purificators have white crosses (normally)
    Lavabo towels have none
    Corporals have red crosses

    But that is one specific sacristy and my experience only
  • ECraigRECraigR Shipmate
    Our corporals don’t have a red cross, but they do have a large white embroidered cross. So, it seems to be that there’s virtually no uniform standard, and it comes down to local tradition and whatever the Sacristan/Altar Guild decide.
  • Back to the OP...

    Transept - in a cross-shaped church, either of the two parts forming the arms of the cross shape, projecting at right angles from the nave.

    And if you're facing the Altar (liturgical east), the transept to your right is the south transept, and the one to your left is the north transept, no matter which is the actual geographical direction.
  • Yes, just so.

    BTW, do Salvation Army corporals have stripes?
    :wink:
  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    Now I'll go into the way-back machine. Back in the day in my part of the world from the congregation's POV, the reading stand on the left was the pulpit where the Gospel was read and the sermon/homily was given by the priest. The stand on the right was the lectern where the other Bible readings were read usually by lay readers. And the young people (waaay back- boys only) who lit the candles and carted about things like processional crosses, candles on dowels with brass holders called torches, and brought the offering plates to the altar were called acolytes.

    Maybe not so way-back in some places, but in my current shack the Gospel is read from midway in the center aisle. The other Bible readings are still read from the lectern and so is the sermon. The carting about and altar duties are filled by LEMS, adult lay Eucharistic ministers. Such kids we've had in the last twenty years haven't been particularly interested in serving at the altar. :unamused:
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Yes, just so.

    BTW, do Salvation Army corporals have stripes?
    :wink:
    Curious point. I've never thought of this. I know they have generals but does the Salvation Army have a full set of ranks? And is there a difference as to what they can do between Privates, NCOs and Commissioned Officers?

  • @Enoch

    I never thought I'd be able to contribute to this thread, but now I can.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    @Eutychus thank you. I did not know that.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host

    Purificator - small square cloth carried by the celebrant to wipe the rim of the chalice between administrations of communion wine.

    I've always thought this one is slightly banal after all the fancy-pants Latin terms that get bandied around the sacristy / vestry / little room to the side. Sort of "cotton toilet paper" or "chemical-free ersatz chemical wipe" whose primary purpose in any case, pre-HIV (when everyone woke up to the alleged risk of germs that had always been there), was to become covered in a rainbow of lipstick.

    I really think we need a far more hi-fallutin' terminology for this liturgical tea-towel.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Oh ... and can we come up with a fine Latin name for the tacky squirty plastic container that adorns most credence tables - even some altars - these days? What is Latin for "tacky squirty plastic container" anyway?
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    I am sure the Latinists at the Vatican would have an answer - if Papa Frank hasn't pensioned them off.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »
    @Enoch

    I never thought I'd be able to contribute to this thread, but now I can.

    This is most interesting!
    Thank you @ Eutychus.
    My grandfather was a SA Captain, who died as a Private in WW1. His headstone caused some puzzlement : a war grave, yet bore the SA ranking.
    My mum was a Sergeant Major. I always understood this was the highest rank for non- commissioned soldiers. She had to leave when she “ married out”.
    Apologies for tangent.
  • ComplineCompline Shipmate
    Zappa wrote: »
    Oh ... and can we come up with a fine Latin name for the tacky squirty plastic container that adorns most credence tables - even some altars - these days? What is Latin for "tacky squirty plastic container" anyway?

    "Manus purgo" is probably dead wrong but sounds appropriately churchy.
  • cgichardcgichard Shipmate
    edited October 14
    Or "purgatio manibus"?
    Not known in Orthodoxy.
  • 'Purgatio manibus tackiness plasticus squirticorum.'
  • Zappa wrote: »
    Oh ... and can we come up with a fine Latin name for the tacky squirty plastic container that adorns most credence tables - even some altars - these days?
    Sanisquirtus. The plural is sanisquirti.

  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    :grin:
  • Such levity should be left at the church door, or at the very least in the Narthex (area at the west end of church beyond last pillar used as sort of interior porch).
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    I once visited St Catherine's monastery in Sinai. And one of the men in our party had accidentally contravened the dress rules by wearing shorts. So he was taken away by a monk and came back wrapped in a sarong. We all burst out laughing at the sight and were told by a very cross monk that it was shameless of us to laugh in a monastery. No levity indeed!
  • Was Outrage!
    :lol:
  • Which: the sarong, the laughter or the telling-off?
  • angloidangloid Shipmate
    Which: the sarong, the laughter or the telling-off?
    Nothing sarong as a a telling off.
  • Or sarong as two 'a's in a row ...

    a a ...
  • Achoo!
  • *sigh*

    Was ALL Outrage!
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    *groan*
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Zappa wrote: »
    Oh ... and can we come up with a fine Latin name for the tacky squirty plastic container that adorns most credence tables - even some altars - these days?
    Sanisquirtus. The plural is sanisquirti.

    I think it should be sanisquirtum, plural sanisquirta. The acolyte administering it should be the sanisquirtor (fem. sanisquirtrix).
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    With titles like that, there should be competition for the role.

    I've mentioned this before, but I've posed the question for ecclesiastic arcanists If your celebrant squirts his or hands with sanitary gel AND has a more flamboyant lavabo with bowl, towel, acolytes etc. which is the real one?

    My view, incidentally, is that it has to be one using the gel. Once there's a separate squirting with gel, the fancy one becomes just that, fancy flummary.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Zappa wrote: »
    Oh ... and can we come up with a fine Latin name for the tacky squirty plastic container that adorns most credence tables - even some altars - these days?
    Sanisquirtus. The plural is sanisquirti.

    I think it should be sanisquirtum, plural sanisquirta. The acolyte administering it should be the sanisquirtor (fem. sanisquirtrix).
    I considered sanisquirtum/sanisquirta, but decided sanisquirtus/sanisquirti just sounded . . . right to me. But absolutely on sanisquirtor/sanisquirtrix!

  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    We haven't given into the squirt bottle here. I go in for generous use of a bar of carbolic before the service, and no exchange of the peace.
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