10 Confusing Objects You'd Find in a Catholic Church, Explained

If you’ve ever been inside a Catholic church, or are anything like me, then you’ve probably seen a lot of the items on this list but have no idea what they are actually called. As a child, I just made up names for everything, but apparently, there are proper names and uses for each of these 10 items from the church:

1. This incense burner:


What you thought it was called: Smokey Chain Thingy

What it is actually called: Censer and Boat 

Use: Carries incense which is used for the wine and bread before Communion.  

2. These cloth things:


What you thought it was called: Napkin

What it is actually called: Purificator

Use: Cleans the chalice. 

3. Big white crackers:


What you thought it was called: Insufficient Snack.

What it is actually called: Eucharist

Use: Eucharist means "Thanksgiving." The Eucharist is not a representation of the body of Christ, but it is believed that Christ is present in the Eucharist. 

4. Funny little hats:


What you thought it was called: The thing Heuy, Dewie and Louis wear in Ducktales?

What it is actually called: Zucchetto

Use: Worn by members of the Catholic Clergy every day. 

5. Oddly shaped crown:


What you thought it was called: Bedazzled Beehive.

What it is actually called: Triregno 

Use: Worn by the pope to signify the three powers: teaching, sanctifying, governing. 

6. I'm not even sure:


What you thought it was called: Really ornate mirror?

What it is actually called: Monstrance

Use: A sacred vessel that houses the consecrated Eucharist. 

7. Rope:


What you thought it was called: The thing my mom used to tie back the curtains in the living room.

What it is actually called: Cincture 

Use: Helps to keep the Alb (a long white garment) in place. 

8. Special bathrobes:


What you thought it was called: Oversized sweater.

What it is actually called: Chasuble 

Use: Symbolizes the virtue of charity and the service which the priest assumes on the day they are ordained. 

9. This bowl:


What you thought it was called: Fancy bowl

What it is actually called: Ciborium

Use: Holds the Hosts that are used for communion. 

10. Those big buildings with all of the above in them:


What you thought it was called: Church

What it is actually called: Nave

Use: This is where parishioners stand or sit during Mass.

Now go and impress all of your friends.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Andrea Ayres-Deets

PM Politics Intern- M.A. in Writing from the University of Warwick. Lover of sci-fi, awkward situations, and coffee.

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