Working up a communion set

A couple of blog posts ago I described communion cups used centuries ago and British Unitarian churches. Some were decidedly not of a typical chalice shape. I think the tumbler (beaker) shape deserves consideration.

Flexibility has benefits. A Christian minister might have to bring his or her own communion wear. But the affordable pieces are often shabby and a good stuff is extraordinary really expensive. The unreasonable choices a minister might make have led me to an unexpected suggestion.

  1. Communion ware should be affordable (though not necessarily cheap) and easy to maintain.
  2. Congruent in form with established practice.

I think I have something: a Japanese titanium tumbler. This one is from Horie.

You’ll excuse that it’s marketed for beer. It’s attractive, easy to keep clean, doesn’t have a metallic smell and is not commonly seen in the United States, so easy to distinguish for sacred service. It weighs next to nothing and is terribly strong; you don’t get both (or sometimes either) with pewter, which was formerly my favorite material for communion ware. It’s not tiny — a problem with “chapel sized” communion chalices — and you could even go a size down.

Downsides: they’re hard to get, and there’s no plate or basin to go with it. A rectangular wooden tray, perhaps of laminated wood, might do the trick.

I considered this question with individual cups several years ago.

One Reply to “Working up a communion set”

  1. I think this titanium tumbler has alot of merit for communion ware. And aesthetically, I think you would be on the right track to pair it up with a high quality, rectangular wooden tray. I would suggest something that shows the wood grain – instead of something laquered. The combination is decorative and a bit earthy, and reminds me of some Arts and Crafts table sets I’ve seen in secular settings. And the appearance would clearly make it look different enough to signify that this is not just any cup and platter.

    To complete the communion set I would also invest in some pieces of good quality linen squares that can be used to wrap/veil the communion bread while it awaits consecration.

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