Ciborium (container)

Ciborium (Container)

Ciborium (container)

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Description:
thumb|250px|A ciborium (plural ciboria; Latin from the Ancient Greek κιβώριον (kibōrion)) is a vessel, normally in metal. It was originally a particular shape of drinking cup in Ancient Greece and Rome, but later used to refer to a large covered cup designed to hold hosts for, and after, the Eucharist, thus the equivalent for the bread of the chalice for the wine. The word is also used for a large canopy over the altar, which was a common feature of Early Medieval church architecture, now relatively rare.

History

The ancient Greek word referred to the cup-shaped seed vessel of the Egyptian water-lily nelumbium speciosum and came to describe a drinking cup made from that seed casing, or in a similar shape. These vessels were particularly common in Egypt and the Greek East. The word "'ciborium'" was also used in classical Latin to describe such cups, although the only example to have survived is in one of Horace’s odes (2.7.21–22).

In medieval Latin, and in English, "Ciborium" more commonly refers to a covered container used in Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and related churches to store the consecrated host of the sacrament of Holy Communion. It resembles the shape of a chalice but its bowl is more round than conical, and takes its name......
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