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(492 words)

[German Version]

The monstrance (monstrantia; also ostensorium, hierotheca, custodia) was the last vas sacrum of the Christian liturgy (Liturgical vessels) to develop. It meets the need of the faithful to see with their own eyes the sacred, consecrated (Consecration) host, otherwise kept in a pyx, a chrismal, or (later) a ciborium. Similar vessels are already evident in the early Middle Ages for the exhibition of relics. In the liturgy of the mass itself, we find exhibition of the species as early as the 7th century in the “small ele…

Cite this page
Elbern, Victor H., “Monstrance”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 25 January 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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