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Funerary Paten, Medieval

  • Funerary chalice bowl
  • Funerary chalice paten

More Info

A paten is a special plate used to place blessed church bread on.  This is used in the Mass or Holy Communion - the most important Christian ceremony representing Jesus’ Last Supper. At the time the priest was buried England was a Roman Catholic country. This paten was found in a grave on Bank Street in Carlisle. The objects identify the burial as that of a priest and Bank Street suggests that the priest came from the Greyfriars monastery, as there was no parish church nearby. The Greyfriars monastery was in the area between Bank Street and Devonshire Street, where there is a lane called Friar’s Court   A lot of archaeology is this type of detective work.

In the Middle Ages it was common practice for a priest to be buried with a chalice and paten like this one,  to show when called to the Last Judgement that he had been able to perform the sacraments [services], including Mass, when alive. The church silver would have been too costly to bury, so a cheap one was used instead.

Related: Pewter Chalice

Key facts: 
  • A paten is a special plate, used to place blessed or consecrated bread on during mass or holy communion

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