The chalice is one of the utensils employed during the Eucharist or communion service, when bread and wine are consecrated and consumed in remembrance of the Last Supper and Jesus’s body and blood: “And He took the cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And He said unto them, ‘This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many, resembling the cup’” (Mark 14:23–24). During the communion service, wafers of bread are dipped into the chalice, which is brought out through the royal gates.

Chalices are employed in both the Eastern and Western churches. Their form repeats the goblets allegedly used to keep the manna that fell from heaven (Exodus 16:15). Russian chalices were revered as holy objects and Orthodox believers genuflected before them during the communion and other church services.

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