homepage
  roll on christmas  
click here to find out more about ship of fools click here to sign up for the ship of fools newsletter click here to support ship of fools
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
discussion boards live chat cafe avatars frequently-asked questions the ten commandments gallery private boards register for the boards
 
Ship of Fools


Post new thread  Post a reply
My profile login | Register | Directory | Search | FAQs | Board home
   - Printer-friendly view Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
» Ship of Fools   » Special interest discussion   » Ecclesiantics   » Repurposing of church vessels

 - Email this page to a friend or enemy.    
Source: (consider it) Thread: Repurposing of church vessels
Robertus Liverpolitanae
Shipmate
# 12011

 - Posted      Profile for Robertus Liverpolitanae   Email Robertus Liverpolitanae   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Repurposing


It's a long time since I contributed to a thread, and longer since I started one, but something rather unusual occurred this morning.

It has become my habit to visit the seaside resort of Southport on Mondays, and while there to have tea in a delightful 1920s style tea room. Part of the charm here is the elegant but mismatched crockery and tea services - each week I'm served with a different cup and saucer and a different tea service (the teapot, milk jug and sugar bowl seldom match)

This morning I was surprised when one of the attractive waiters (another reason to return weekly) brought my tea in the tall cylindrical vessel more commonly used for coffee, but was frankly astonished to see that it was neither a pot for neither tea nor coffee, but a communion ewer - evidenced not only from its shape, but from the engraving (in lowercase gothic lettering) of the IHS monogram surrounded by a sunburst motif.

Now, the repurposing of church furnishings is hardly new, nor indeed the repurposing of church buildings, but I've never come across church plate being reused before. Despite many years on board the Ship, my knowledge of Anglican ritual practices is still hazy, so I'd ask moe knowledgeable shipmates:

Would this ewer once have contained consecrated wine?
If so why would a church disposed of it?*
Are there rules for the disposal of sacred vessels (I vaguely think in the RCC, vessels must be fractured if they are taken out of use)
Has anybody come across church plate being used in such a secular way

* I know some Protestants see communion as a memorial meal, so use plate which is similar to the sort of plate that might have been found in more prosperous households, if of better quality and better materials . Such a view might lead one to have no sacred regard for the mere vessels, but the IHS, suggests a more catholic sacramental understanding.

[ 03. April 2017, 21:02: Message edited by: dj_ordinaire ]

--------------------
Once the Government approves something, it stops being immoral
Rev Tim Lovejoy

Posts: 558 | From: homeward bound | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

 - Posted      Profile for Brenda Clough   Author's homepage   Email Brenda Clough   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I have agitated (without result) to get our church's name etched onto the bottoms of our ewers and flagons. They're too valuable. An intelligent thief of course would melt them down for the value of the metal, but a careless or stupid thief would pawn the vessel. You could probably (like Jean Valjean) tell the authorities that the silver was your own, given to you by somebody. At least if our name was on the bottom of the vessel the pawnshop might call us to see if it was ours.

--------------------
Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5916 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
The value of metal has dropped significantly, and there are many church materials on the market (here at least) so I doubt anyone is going to be able to check whether a - probably generic - old fashioned church item still belongs to anyone.

Maybe if it was silver it would have value and be checked by dealers, but even silver-plated items have nominal value at the moment.

I'd imagine it was just picked up in a box of mixed items in a local auction.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10378 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I read further that there are rules which state that fonts cannot be used for anything other than baptism (so must be destroyed when no longer used) but that communion plates can be sold providing there is a faculty and they are “protected from profane or secular use”.

I suppose the question is whether other items used for the sacraments are considered in the same way, ie that this vessel could only have been sold with a faculty and with protected use as above.

It would appear not (I've found several instances of them for general sale in auction catalogues).

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10378 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

 - Posted      Profile for Brenda Clough   Author's homepage   Email Brenda Clough   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
It's true that if you go to Ebay and throw the phrase 'silver church flagon' into the search window a lot of ecclesiastical ware pops up. This one, for instance, is on offer from a recently retired priest (!) It is not dissimilar to the ones we use.

--------------------
Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5916 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
FWIW, the relevant law in relation to the Church of England appears to be the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 section 76.

See here

[ 03. April 2017, 19:11: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10378 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
dj_ordinaire
Host
# 4643

 - Posted      Profile for dj_ordinaire   Author's homepage   Email dj_ordinaire   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Just to note that I've adjusted the title of the thread to specify that this is repurposing of vessels rather than buildings, vestments or anything else (although I'm sure similar discussions to apply to these).

Is this okay, Robertus?

dj_ordinaire, Eccles host

--------------------
Flinging wide the gates...

Posts: 10323 | From: Hanging in the balance of the reality of man | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
dj_ordinaire
Host
# 4643

 - Posted      Profile for dj_ordinaire   Author's homepage   Email dj_ordinaire   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Also, in a personal capacity, is the issue that the item was designed for church use or that it was, in particular, sacramental?

I am guessing the latter.

Indeed, I admit I would be taken aback by the situation in question - assuming I wasn't too distracted by the nice-looking waiters of course - in a way that I wouldn't be if I discovered an altar candlestick was being reused in a similar manner.

--------------------
Flinging wide the gates...

Posts: 10323 | From: Hanging in the balance of the reality of man | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Robertus Liverpolitanae
Shipmate
# 12011

 - Posted      Profile for Robertus Liverpolitanae   Email Robertus Liverpolitanae   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Title change is fine with me

I must admit, it was the idea that the ewer (very similar to the one in Brenda's post) may once have contained consecrated species that threw me: if a pair of cruets had been used for milk and sugar, it might have amused me, but not shocked me.

When I explained the provenance of the ewer to the waiter he did offer to replace it.

I find it odd that a font must be destroyed, but that the sacred vessels can be disposed of

--------------------
Once the Government approves something, it stops being immoral
Rev Tim Lovejoy

Posts: 558 | From: homeward bound | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

 - Posted      Profile for Brenda Clough   Author's homepage   Email Brenda Clough   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
At our church the worn-out linens are burned, which terminates them nicely. And they are worn -out-. It's my job to cut down fair linens to become undercorporals, undercorporals to be corporals, and corporals to finally drag out a dishonorable existence as a purificator. By the time I have rehemmed them half a dozen times the linen is sheer.
Our stumper is the glass cruets. They've been blessed. Should we break them? But then what? You can't leave broken glass around. Can't bury it in the churchyard, someone might cut themselves.

--------------------
Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5916 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

 - Posted      Profile for Pigwidgeon   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
What is an undercorporal? I've never heard of one, and they're not in any of my Altar linen books. (Obviously it goes under the corporal -- but how and why?)

--------------------
Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

Posts: 9614 | From: Hogwarts | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

 - Posted      Profile for Brenda Clough   Author's homepage   Email Brenda Clough   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
It may well be our own invention, to save the fair linen -- we've had some sloppy clergy. (There was the one who dropped an entire flagon of wine, irretrievably staining the altar frontal. We removed the central front emblem and sewed it onto the back, turning the entire frontal around, and now the choir gets to look at the stain.)

The undercorporal is several inches larger than the corporal, and also of white fabric. (I made all of ours, and they are exactly as wide as the table and square.) So the way the altar looks is, over the bare wood surface is a table pad, and then the frontal, the fair linen, a piece of plastic, the undercorporal entirely covering it, a piece of plastic, and then the corporal on top entirely concealing it. Then the vessels, pall, veil and burse.

--------------------
Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5916 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
So what happens if the wine is consecrated?

*imagines a poor priest spending the afternoon sucking wine from the linen*

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10378 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
Shipmate
# 5430

 - Posted      Profile for Bishops Finger   Email Bishops Finger   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
The linen should be reverently burned, along with the sloppy priest.

IJ

--------------------
Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

Posts: 9633 | From: Behind The Wheel Again! | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

 - Posted      Profile for Pigwidgeon   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
If consecrated wine is spilled on any altar linen, the linen should be soaked in a basin of water that can later be poured on the ground.

(cross-post with BF -- I like his solution!)

[ 04. April 2017, 14:08: Message edited by: Pigwidgeon ]

--------------------
Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

Posts: 9614 | From: Hogwarts | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
Shipmate
# 5430

 - Posted      Profile for Bishops Finger   Email Bishops Finger   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Pigwidgeon's solution is rather more pragmatic, though, given the shortage of clergy.

[Two face]

IJ

--------------------
Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

Posts: 9633 | From: Behind The Wheel Again! | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

 - Posted      Profile for Brenda Clough   Author's homepage   Email Brenda Clough   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
We couldn't soak the frontal, which is one of those heavy brocade things. Instead we sent it to the cleaners for professional attention. Even they couldn't get the stain out, and we could not replace the entire thing -- it costs as much as a used car. (I do believe the flagon hit the floor on its way to being consecrated, so at least there's that comfort.)

--------------------
Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5916 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

 - Posted      Profile for no prophet's flag is set so...   Author's homepage   Email no prophet's flag is set so...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Because the Hokey C/Pokey derives from "hocus pocus" which in turn derives from the Latin hoc est corpus, everyone has won and all must have prizes.

What if the Hokey CeePokey is what it's all about?

[ 04. April 2017, 14:57: Message edited by: no prophet's flag is set so... ]

Posts: 11217 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Leaf
Shipmate
# 14169

 - Posted      Profile for Leaf     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
[Confused]
Posts: 2764 | From: the electrical field | Registered: Oct 2008  |  IP: Logged
mr cheesy
Shipmate
# 3330

 - Posted      Profile for mr cheesy   Email mr cheesy   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I suspect that was supposed to be a reply to a thread in styx, posted here by accident.

--------------------
arse

Posts: 10378 | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

 - Posted      Profile for Pigwidgeon   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Nope, this is the correct thread (though it alludes to the Styx thread). According to Wikipedia:
quote:
Hocus pocus is a generic term that may be derived from an ancient language and is currently ... from a corruption or parody of the Catholic liturgy of the Eucharist, which contains the phrase “Hoc est corpus meum”, meaning This is my body.
And from there to the hokey pokey. (More reason that hokey cokey makes no sense.)
[Biased]

--------------------
Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

Posts: 9614 | From: Hogwarts | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
dj_ordinaire
Host
# 4643

 - Posted      Profile for dj_ordinaire   Author's homepage   Email dj_ordinaire   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Robertus Liverpolitanae:
Title change is fine with me

I must admit, it was the idea that the ewer (very similar to the one in Brenda's post) may once have contained consecrated species that threw me: if a pair of cruets had been used for milk and sugar, it might have amused me, but not shocked me.

When I explained the provenance of the ewer to the waiter he did offer to replace it.

I find it odd that a font must be destroyed, but that the sacred vessels can be disposed of

I've heard of several East Anglian churches where medieval fonts had been rediscovered being used as water troughs for livestock before being returned to use in more, ahem, enlightened times.

--------------------
Flinging wide the gates...

Posts: 10323 | From: Hanging in the balance of the reality of man | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
In the British context with churches closing all the time I can imagine church 'paraphernalia' ending up in all sorts of places.

I suppose it's easier to tolerate if you don't believe that these objects are somehow holy in themselves. And not all Christians believe in transubstantiation, so by extension a chalice (or the 'wee cuppies' that Methodists etc. use) wouldn't be such an important object. I can imagine, for example, that in some parts of the world an ordinary cup or bowl would be used at communion, and it would be thrown away and replaced if it got chipped, or put to humbler uses if a nicer alternative became available.

In the same situation, though, many Christians might share at least something of OP's astonishment. IMO it would feel worse if the chalice were being used as a prop in a bar. But what about collecting old coins and dust on some old heathen's shelf? Or just going rusty in a pile of junk in the attic?

The fact that the chalice had religious symbols on it makes any flippant usage seem disrespectful. The Muslims surely wouldn't allow that. But we're not Muslims.

Posts: 6510 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
Shipmate
# 5430

 - Posted      Profile for Bishops Finger   Email Bishops Finger   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
If it is the case that 'in the British context churches are closing all the time', which is not really true today (though it has been so in the past), then it is also the case that new churches are being built, too.

There is, therefore, sometimes a market for previously-enjoyed items to be put to sacred use again in a new setting.

IJ

--------------------
Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

Posts: 9633 | From: Behind The Wheel Again! | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I didn't say they were CofE churches, did I?

Also, the churches that are opening aren't necessarily the same type as those closing, so their requirements might not be exactly the same. But yes, churches do often pass their stuff on to other churches when they close.

[ 05. April 2017, 00:31: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

Posts: 6510 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

 - Posted      Profile for Lamb Chopped   Email Lamb Chopped   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Our congregation did use my silver sugar bowl for a pyx when burglars stole the church silver, and the donated set was incomplete. So I could see that. But it just feels... rude, somehow... to take an object purpose made and dedicated to such service and put it to lesser use without great need. Sort of like using the backside of my wedding invitations to do scratch math.

--------------------
Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 20015 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

 - Posted      Profile for Pigwidgeon   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Sort of like using the backside of my wedding invitations to do scratch math.

That would have been a good use for mine -- preferably before the wedding.

--------------------
Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

Posts: 9614 | From: Hogwarts | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

 - Posted      Profile for Lamb Chopped   Email Lamb Chopped   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
yes, and I wouldn't hesitate to use a satanism-dedicated chalice as a convenient spittoon. [Snigger] It all depends on the person, right?

--------------------
Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 20015 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
Shipmate
# 5430

 - Posted      Profile for Bishops Finger   Email Bishops Finger   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
SvitlanaV2 said:

'I didn't say they were CofE churches, did I?'

Neither did I - and there are new and refurbished churches of all denominations opening all the time. Requirements for worship may indeed be different, of course.

IJ

--------------------
Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

Posts: 9633 | From: Behind The Wheel Again! | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

 - Posted      Profile for Brenda Clough   Author's homepage   Email Brenda Clough   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I don't suppose there is a rite of deconsecration. "We're done with this ewer, Lord, so if You take the blessing off of it we can sell it to the restaurant."

--------------------
Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5916 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

 - Posted      Profile for Pigwidgeon   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
I don't suppose there is a rite of deconsecration. "We're done with this ewer, Lord, so if You take the blessing off of it we can sell it to the restaurant."

The Book of Occasional Services (Episcopal Church, U.S.A.) has an order for "Restoring of Things Profaned" (but not the other way around), as well as one for "Secularizing a Consecrated Building." That second one instructs that "The Altar(s) and all consecrated and dedicated objects that are to be preserved are removed from the building before the service begins." There's nothing about what to do with the objects that are not to be preserved.

--------------------
Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

Posts: 9614 | From: Hogwarts | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
There are new and refurbished churches of all denominations opening all the time.

Indeed there are. But there are still churches closing all the time too.
Posts: 6510 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
Shipmate
# 5430

 - Posted      Profile for Bishops Finger   Email Bishops Finger   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Not round here - rather the reverse, with churches long-closed being re-opened, and this is by no means a generally affluent area, either.

AFAIK, this Diocese (yes, I am talking C of E for the moment) has not closed any church since the 70s, though some indeed have been demolished and rebuilt. Only one has been pulled down and not replaced, and that was simply due to the almost complete depopulation of its parish. Most of the nonconformist churches are holding their own, and two Methodist churches have been extensively refurbished or extended. The RCC had to shed one church - it was poorly built, difficult to maintain, and a drain on their limited clergy resources.

I can think of several fairly new churches, however, (Anglican, Baptist, and Roman Catholic), built in recent years to serve new housing developments, as well as others that have had to be extended to accommodate growing congregations.

The Jeremiahs would have us believe that the Christian Church is dead in the water (or perhaps they would just liketo have it so, for their own reasons?), but, although I agree that churches may have to adapt as circumstances change, there's a way to go yet!

IJ

--------------------
Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

Posts: 9633 | From: Behind The Wheel Again! | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
OK. I admit I wasn't talking about your particular area, wherever that happy place may be! Glad it's doing well.
Posts: 6510 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
Shipmate
# 5430

 - Posted      Profile for Bishops Finger   Email Bishops Finger   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Thank you! There are, of course, problems and challenges galore....but there is hope, too.

IJ

--------------------
Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

Posts: 9633 | From: Behind The Wheel Again! | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged


 
Post new thread  Post a reply Close thread   Feature thread   Move thread   Delete thread Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
 - Printer-friendly view
Go to:

Contact us | Ship of Fools | Privacy statement

© Ship of Fools 2016

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0

 
Check out Reform magazine
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
 
  ship of fools