The Significance of the Monstrance

Of all the religious items and church supplies you purchase for your church, perhaps none is as divine as a monstrance. It is believed to contain the presence of Christ himself, making it an essential piece to have on display during Mass for Eucharistic adoration. Purchase a monstrance for your church today, as well as any other church supplies you may need, from St. Jude Shop.

The History of the Monstrance

The origins of the monstrance can be traced back to the Middle Ages. The purpose of this religious piece is to display the consecrated Host for congregations to adore and venerate.

As Eucharistic processions started to rise in popularity during the 13th century, the monstrance was constructed to house and display the Host.

The word “monstrance” comes from the Latin word “monstrare”, which means “to show.” In Catholic practice, the purpose of the monstrance is to show the presence of Christ.

Monstrance Designs

When Eucharistic processions first began, the Eucharist was carried in a closed gold container called a ciborium. Later on, the ciborium was constructed to include an elongated piece that a luna, or glass-encased sphere, sat on top of. The luna is where the Host resides. Monstrances are still mainly constructed using precious metals like gold and silver.

As the design of the monstrance continued to develop, rays similar to the sun were included around the luna to draw more attention to it. Since the 15th century, this has become the most common design for a monstrance.

Variations to the Design

While the most common design of a monstrance includes sun rays, other versions of the monstrance surround the luna with details that look similar to a laurel wreath. It is also common to see monstrances with a cross sitting on top of the luna.

Older versions of the monstrance are more ornate, sticking to the traditional design of rays with several intricate layers radiating from the luna. Modern interpretations of the monstrance are more simplified and sleek, but still include the luna at the center with details encircling it.

The Use of a Monstrance

As mentioned, monstrances were originally carried during Eucharistic processions. Today, monstrances serve a few purposes. Portable monstrances are carried by the priest and used in the service of benediction. The service of benediction is different from a priest’s blessing because, while in possession of the monstrance, the priest is blessing people with the Eucharist. This means that individuals are being blessed directly by Christ Himself.

Larger monstrances sit in a fixed position in a special part of the chapel referred to as the “Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.” Members of the congregation can visit this part of the chapel to offer their adoration for the Eucharist.

Ordering a Monstrance

St. Jude Shop offers a variety of church supplies, including sacred objects like the monstrance. We offer small monstrances with simple designs, monstrances with angels, heavily decorated monstrances for the Chapel of Blessed Sacrament, and even monstrance pendants to keep the presence of Christ with you wherever you go. Order your monstrance and any other church supplies you need from St. Jude Shop.