TillbakaIncarnation
paten1-mo-400

Paten

Silver paten with engraved medallions. The paten is dated to c. 1315–1335.

Basically, the paten is a dish. It is made of silver and has three depths namely a round rim and a circular well further pierced by a hexafoil. In the centre of the hexafoil is a gilded medallion engraved with an image of Majestas Domini, Christ in Glory, sitting on a bench and with his hands outstretched in benediction. His head is slightly inclined and his gaze directed downwards. An engraved halo surrounds his head. Christ is wearing a gown and mantle draped in large folds round his parallel knees. His bare feet protrude beneath the gown. Round about the figure of Christ, the medallion is decorated with a trailing vine. The paten is engraved underneath with the name of the church, Mo Church. The rim has a smaller gilt medallion with an engraved cross. All the arms of the cross are the same length and terminate in a circular decoration which, together with the arms, forms a heart shape.

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The paten is the dish which the host (communion wafers) is put on. In medieval times it was included in the group termed “Vasa Sacra”, i.e. the sacred vessels which came into direct contact with the elements of the Eucharist and therefore had to be made of precious metal or at least gilded where they came into contact with the bread and wine. The doctrine of transubstantiation held that the bread and wine, once consecrated, were the true body and blood of Our Lord, and so it was highly important that they be treated accordingly. The ”Vasa Sacra” also included the chalice, the pyx and the ciborium (the vessel for storing the consecrated host), as well as the monstrance, a device, increasingly popular from the 13th century onwards, for displaying the host for Eucharistic adoration.