Altar and Communion Linens

Altar Cloths are special cloths (at the turn of the 20th century only linen or hemp was considered acceptable in the Catholic Church) to cover the altar in many Christian churches during services and celebrations, and are often left on the altar when it is not in use.

Communion Linens are special linens which pertain to the Eucharist:
. The purificator (purificatorium or more anciently emunctorium) is a white linen cloth which is used to wipe the chalice after eachcommunicant partakes. It is also used to wipe the chalice and paten after the ablutions which follow Communion.
. The pall (palla) is a stiffened square card covered with white linen, usually embroidered with a cross, or some other appropriate symbol. The purpose of the pall is to keep dust and insects from falling into the Eucharistic elements.
. The corporal is a square white cloth upon which the chalice and paten are placed when the Eucharist is celebrated. It may be edged with fine lace, and a cross may be embroidered on it near the front edge, where the Tridentine Mass prescribed that the host be placed. Embroidery in the centre was not used, lest the chalice become unstable.
. The lavabo towel is used by the priest to dry his hands after washing them.
The chalice veil: It is a praiseworthy practice for the chalice to be covered with a veil, which may be either of the colour of the day or white.

A Funeral Pall (also called mortcloth) is a cloth which covers a casket or coffin at funerals. The word comes from the Latin pallium (cloak), through Old English.

Sort by: