chalice [Lat., = cup], ancient name for a drinking cup, retained for the eucharistic or communion cup. Its use commemorates the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper. Celebrated examples are the Great Chalice of Antioch (Syriac), of embossed silver, excavated there in 1910 and attributed to the 1st cent., and an elaborately ornamented chalice found in 1868 at Ardagh, Ireland, and believed to be Celtic work of the 9th or 10th cent. See Grail, Holy.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.