Do You Know the Purpose of This Item in Catholic Ceremonies?

By: Chelsea
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

AMEN, I SAY TO YOU! When it comes to the Catholic faith, there are many items used throughout their religious ceremonies. From the incense to the alb, do you know the purpose of these Catholic items?

Christianity is the most practiced religion in the world with over 2.2 billion followers. Underneath the umbrella of Christianity, there is the division of Catholicism. With around 1.2 billion Catholics, this faith takes up over half the population of Christians and over 15% of the world's population.

The Catholic religion begins with Jesus Christ and has Peter as the first Pope of the Church. Since then, the religion has been founded on Jesus's teachings in the Bible, and along with it comes a series of services and items needed to mirror them.

Catholics must attend mass every Sunday, and this is where many of the items can be seen in use. The Catholic Church also has a series of sacraments that include Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, and Matrimony. Many of these items can be seen during these services as well. If given a picture of all these items needed for Catholic ceremonies, could you guess their purpose?

Do you know what the tabernacle is for? Can you figure out what the alb is? What is the thurible used for? If you can answer these questions, you're well on your way to acing this quiz! 

Will you be able to figure out the purpose of all these Catholic items? Let's find out!


The Roman missal is the book that contains the prayers for all masses. Did you know it was formerly called the Sacramentary?

The deacon carries this book in the procession during mass. What’s in it? All Gospel readings, including readings for feasts and ritual masses.

Do you need to know when to sit, stand or kneel at mass? Read the hymnal! It contains directions on this and includes most hymns.

Don’t forget to stop by this font when you first walk into church. Dip your fingers in it and make the sign of the cross. Don’t forget to do so when you leave after mass too!

The censer is also known as the Thurible, and incenses the altar. It is held by the boat.

At the beginning and ending of each mass, this specific crucifix is carried by the denoted carrier down the main isle. During the mass, it stays on the altar.

The altar is one of the most important items in a Catholic church and at mass. The consecration of communion is done here, because it signifies Jesus Christ.

The priest stands at the ambo when reading scriptures, prayers, announcements and other general instructions. Did you know it is a symbol of elevation?

No, this isn’t a purse! It does hold the corporal though. Want to know what the corporal is? Continue taking the quiz to find out!

This white cloth is 100% linen, and is used for the bread and wine during communion. Did you know it must be folded in 9 sections before being placed in the burse?

This cloth napkin is used to wipe the special cup that the priest drinks the wine from. It is white and has a red cross in the middle.

Thanks to the pall, the priest doesn’t need to worry about any unwanted objects falling into the Chalice that holds the wine. This stiff cover is placed over the paten and chalice.

This object catches the water that is poured over the priest’s hands when he recites Psalm 26. It’s a clear bowl.

The paten is the special dish that holds the bread before it becomes the Body of the Christ. The paten can’t just be any dish, it must be totally smooth, gold and shallow.

The priest drinks the wine, or Blood of the Christ, from the chalice during communion. Don’t try to drink from this one! Only the priest is allowed to do so.

Fitting that ‘ciborium’ means ‘food container’ in Latin, right? This holds the hosts used in Communion.

Did you notice that the congregation doesn’t drink from the same cup as the priest? Communion cups are used for the same purpose as the chalice, but for the congregation rather than the priest.

Did you know the tabernacle is only used for holding the blessed sacrament? It must be round or rectangular, made of a solid material and opaque.

This is different than a bulb with a shade; the sanctuary lamp is actually a wax candle or oil lamp. It symbolizes the Lord being present during a mass.

Similar to the Holy Water font, the baptismal font Is used for holding water. However, this font can only be used for baptism.

These three oils usually are held in a box with a glass front. What are the three oils? Oil of the Sick, of the Catechumens and of Chrism.

In addition to being used in the baptism service, these beautiful candles can also be used as a gift! Remember this special day by writing who was baptized, which church performed the ceremony, and the date, on the designated area on the back of the box.

What does the aspersory hold? Holy water, and a sponge. It used to also hold hyssop!

Did you know this item is covered with a veil when walked to and from the altar? The veil that covers it must be white or gold.

These glass bottles are symbols of gifts that are brought to the altar. The water and oil inside is unconsecrated.

During the Eucharistic celebration, this table is used to hold the implements. It is small, and placed off to the side.

Who is the Holy family? Saint Joseph, the Virgin Mary and Jesus of Nazareth. The Catholic church honors them in the Feast of the Holy Family celebration.

This is the name in reference to the Virgin Mary as she appeared to St. Juan Diego in ghost form. In Spanish, she is known as ‘Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe’.

Why is this dress called an ‘alb’? It comes from the Latin word ‘albus’, which means white! Although it wasn’t used for a while, the classic linen alb has come back into use since the 20th century.

Also known as Paschal candle, the Easter candle is no ordinary candle. It is large, and has decorations on it, including a cross.

These bells come in a set of four, and are made of brass. They’re used to tell that the Elements contain the Real Presence of Christ, and signify the movement of the Sacrament from one altar to the other.

Wear this special robe while singing in the choir! All choir members must wear this robe, giving them a formal, unified look.

Catholics say you don’t only have to use this when someone in the home is sick; since it’s also a good reminder of Jesus’ healing powers. The priest will take this set with him when he goes to visit members who are very ill in their homes.

This board hangs on the wall with the numbers and order of hymns sung on it. Look here if you’re not sure which hymn to sing next!

Functionally speaking, this is used as a belt for priests; they tie it around their waists when wearing the alb. But it’s more than just a belt! It is an important symbol that regards honor to the saints.

This colored, oversized ‘vest’ is worn over the alb, during the Eucharist celebration.

Use this item to rest your knees on when kneeling during mass. It will give your knees some cushion!

These beautiful, white veils used to be worn by women during mass. This veil is also called a mantilla, and comes from tradition in the early Church. Catholics believe this tradition was mandated by Saint Paul.

Also called a aspergillum, this is used to sprinkle water as a blessing. Some come in the form of a stick with a ball that holds water on the end, others are a brush.

Are you getting married? The priest will wear this special stole while giving marriage services. It is not worn for any other mass or celebration.

Yes, it smells good, but why is incense used during mass? It is used because it is thought to symbolize prayers rising to heaven, just as the smoke rises.

These hold the small candles used at mass. They keep everything in the church safe from fire!

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