There are many ways to promote vocations awareness in our daily lives. Among the best is prayer. Many parishes in the Diocese of Madison have instituted a "traveling" chalice program to help families come together and to pray for vocations. It's known as a "traveling" chalice because the chalice travels to the homes of parishioners. While praying, the chalice serves as a visual reminder to those gathered that the precious blood of Our Lord has saved and redeemed His people, and He continues to call men to minister at His holy altar - to "do this in memory of me."
The chalice is the vessel used at the Mass which contains the blood of our Lord. It is usually made of a precious substance, such as gold or silver. Many chalices are made from silver, and are then plated in a gold or silver enamel finish. Chalices usually come with a small plate, or "paten", which holds the presider's host, or the the large host that is used at the consecration and elevated immediately preceding the Great Amen. Oftentimes, chalices have a rich history, and sometimes, that history can be revealed by looking on the bottom of the chalice. One may find a series of inscriptions indicating when the chalice was purchased, who the "first user" of the chalice was, and perhaps the name or names of those who gave the chalice as a gift. Oftentimes, priests have their own chalice, and many of them are quite rich in symbolism with words, images and designs that are special to the priest himself. Chalices last for many years, and there are some that have been preserved from the times of the medieval church! A chalice can be a rich piece of history as well as a testament of the power of the Eucharist that has been the root of our faith for thousands of years.
Perhaps you might suggest starting a traveling chalice program in your own parish if you do not already have one. Have you already begun a traveling chalice program? We hope that these documents will assist you in helping to get a program started in your parish, or perhaps to enrich the program that your parish has already begun.