Friday, March 16, 2012


Chalices have been used through out history as holy cups for religious ceremonies or to symbolize the ultimate spiritual goal one strives to achieve. The name comes from the Greek word kalyx. In Roman times, the chalice was more of a drinking bowl known as a calix and was frequently used at banquets.

One of the most famous chalices is the Holy Grail -- the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper.

Chalices are sacred vessels in Christianity and are blessed.

The style of chalices have changed over the years, starting with drinking vessels resembling large bowls. Many of these had handles. One of the most famous of this design is the Medieval chalice known as the Ardagh Chalice of Ireland. In later years the style of the chalice was downsized. It took the form of a cup attached to a stem, a design we're familiar with today.

As for the individual designs, chalices have been made from wood, clay, pewter, silver and gold, and have been decorated with everything from jewels, ornate scroll work, enamel and even religious icons.

In the Roman Catholic church, chalices are often given as gifts to priests to mark special occasions. But Christianity is not the only religion to use these sacred cups. The chalice is also used in Wicca, representing the feminine aspect. It is used ceremoniously in rites.

In my book, Shadows of the Soul, a paranormal romance featuring angels and demon slayers, my hero and heroine are on a quest to find a sacred chalice that bears the antidote to a supernatural disease. I've always been in awe of tales of the Holy Grail and Arthur's Knights. While my novel is not Medieval, but rather contemporary, I was fascinated by the whole aspect of a sacred quest to find a magical cup. That led me to think of the outcome - where would my characters find the chalice? What would they discover in the magical cup? What would they resolve once they reached their goal?

Are you fascinated by mystical relics and quests?

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*Chalice images from wikipedia and newadvent


  1. Very interesting post. The book sounds very good.


    1. Hi bn100! Glad to see you at the blogs today as I know there are many and you've visited them :) I appreciate the support.

  2. it may not necessarily fall under this category, but I've always been intrigued by Camelot and all that surrounds King Arthur, the knights of the Round Table and the Crusades. As I stood at Stonehenge several years ago and looked at the burial mounds which contain, the historians believe,thousands of bodies of soldiers who'd come to fight, I did think back to the quest for the Holy Grail. Looking out over the stones and mounds made me feel transported back to those times--a bit haunting. As I toured Southern England and visited cathedrals and museums in London, we came upon a multitude of chalices and relics some telling a story by the figures worked into the design. Absolutely breathtaking.

    1. I went to Stonehenge and various English cathedrals years ago. It was a wonderful experience. Chalices have always intrigued me - the story of the Holy Grail and the many mysteries surrounding it, the tales of King Arthur, and chalices as artwork. It's amazing what designs you'll find based on local culture. Thanks for visiting the blog!

  3. Hi
    I am a huge history buff and I love romance. Combining them both in historical romance novels is the absolute best of both worlds. Sounds like a great book!! Jackie