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monstrance

monstrance in the Roman Catholic Church, an open or transparent receptacle in which the consecrated Host is exposed for veneration. Recorded from late Middle English (also in the sense ‘demonstration or proof’), the word comes via medieval Latin from Latin monstrare ‘show’.

A monstrance is the emblem of St Clare and St Norbert, founder of the Premonstratensians.

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monstrance

mon·strance / ˈmänstrəns/ • n. (in the Roman Catholic Church) an open or transparent receptacle in which the consecrated Host is exposed for veneration.

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monstrance

monstrance (eccl.) vessel in which the Host is exposed. XVI. — medL. mōnstrantia, f. prp. stem of L. mōnstrāre show, f. mōnstrum; see prec. and -ANCE.

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Monstrance

Monstrance (Lat., monstrare, ‘to show’). A vessel used for containing and displaying the sacrament at exposition and benediction.

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monstrance

monstranceabeyance, conveyance, purveyance •creance • ambience •irradiance, radiance •expedience, obedience •audience •dalliance, mésalliance •salience •consilience, resilience •emollience • ebullience •convenience, lenience, provenience •impercipience, incipience, percipience •variance • experience •luxuriance, prurience •nescience • omniscience •insouciance • deviance •subservience • transience •alliance, appliance, compliance, defiance, misalliance, neuroscience, reliance, science •allowance •annoyance, clairvoyance, flamboyance •fluence, pursuance •perpetuance • affluence • effluence •mellifluence • confluence •congruence • issuance • continuance •disturbance •attendance, dependence, interdependence, resplendence, superintendence, tendance, transcendence •cadence •antecedence, credence, impedance •riddance • diffidence • confidence •accidence • precedence • dissidence •coincidence, incidence •evidence •improvidence, providence •residence •abidance, guidance, misguidance, subsidence •correspondence, despondence •accordance, concordance, discordance •avoidance, voidance •imprudence, jurisprudence, prudence •impudence • abundance • elegance •arrogance • extravagance •allegiance • indigence •counter-intelligence, intelligence •negligence • diligence • intransigence •exigence •divulgence, effulgence, indulgence, refulgence •convergence, divergence, emergence, insurgence, resurgence, submergence •significance •balance, counterbalance, imbalance, outbalance, valance •parlance • repellence • semblance •bivalence, covalence, surveillance, valence •sibilance • jubilance • vigilance •pestilence • silence • condolence •virulence • ambulance • crapulence •flatulence • feculence • petulance •opulence • fraudulence • corpulence •succulence, truculence •turbulence • violence • redolence •indolence • somnolence • excellence •insolence • nonchalance •benevolence, malevolence •ambivalence, equivalence •Clemence • vehemence •conformance, outperformance, performance •adamance • penance • ordinance •eminence • imminence •dominance, prominence •abstinence • maintenance •continence • countenance •sustenance •appurtenance, impertinence, pertinence •provenance • ordnance • repugnance •ordonnance • immanence •impermanence, permanence •assonance • dissonance • consonance •governance • resonance • threepence •halfpence • sixpence •comeuppance, tuppence, twopence •clarence, transparence •aberrance, deterrence, inherence, Terence •remembrance • entrance •Behrens, forbearance •fragrance • hindrance • recalcitrance •abhorrence, Florence, Lawrence, Lorentz •monstrance •concurrence, co-occurrence, occurrence, recurrence •encumbrance •adherence, appearance, clearance, coherence, interference, perseverance •assurance, durance, endurance, insurance •exuberance, protuberance •preponderance • transference •deference, preference, reference •difference • inference • conference •sufferance • circumference •belligerence • tolerance • ignorance •temperance • utterance • furtherance •irreverence, reverence, severance •deliverance • renascence • absence •acquiescence, adolescence, arborescence, coalescence, convalescence, deliquescence, effervescence, essence, evanescence, excrescence, florescence, fluorescence, incandescence, iridescence, juvenescence, luminescence, obsolescence, opalescence, phosphorescence, pubescence, putrescence, quiescence, quintessence, tumescence •obeisance, Renaissance •puissance •impuissance, reminiscence •beneficence, maleficence •magnificence, munificence •reconnaissance • concupiscence •reticence •licence, license •nonsense •nuisance, translucence •innocence • conversance • sentience •impatience, patience •conscience •repentance, sentence •acceptance • acquaintance •acquittance, admittance, intermittence, pittance, quittance, remittance •assistance, coexistence, consistence, distance, existence, insistence, outdistance, persistence, resistance, subsistence •instance • exorbitance •concomitance •impenitence, penitence •appetence •competence, omnicompetence •inheritance • capacitance • hesitance •Constance • importance • potence •conductance, inductance, reluctance •substance • circumstance •omnipotence • impotence •inadvertence • grievance •irrelevance, relevance •connivance, contrivance •observance • sequence • consequence •subsequence • eloquence •grandiloquence, magniloquence •brilliance • poignance •omnipresence, pleasance, presence •complaisance • malfeasance •incognizance, recognizance •usance • recusance

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Monstrance

MONSTRANCE

A liturgical vessel used for showing the Blessed Sacrament at exposition and benediction, and in processions. Its name and the alternative name of Ostensorium are derived from the Latin words monstrare and ostendere, both meaning "to show."

The monstrance appeared first in France and Germany in the course of the 14th century, as a result of devotion to the Real Presence fostered by the institution of the feast of Corpus Christi (see corpus et sanguinis christi). At first the Blessed Sacrament was shown in reliquaries of the type that had a vertical glass cylinder mounted on a base like that of a chalice and surmounted by some kind of gothic metal crown. Some monstrances, intended for use in processions, were so big they had to be drawn along on carts. During the baroque age the cylindrical glass was superseded by the flat "windowpane" type of monstrance, usually surrounded by metal rays; there were also other types in which the base or stem was developed into chalice forms or even Jesse Trees. Some were made like statues of Christ or the Blessed Virgin Mary and showed the Blessed Sacrament through a circular pane of glass set into the breast. More recent monstrances are far simpler and more functional. The Host is fitted into a holder called a lunette, which slides into a fitting accessible from the back of the monstrance.

Bibliography: j. braun, Das christliche Altargerät (Munich 1932). j. hazelden-walker, "Reservation Vessels in the Earliest Roman Liturgy," Studia Patristica 15:1 (1984) 568572. c. c. kovacs, "Monstrances," in Eucharistic Vessels of the Middle Ages (Cambridge, MA 1975) 97103.

[c. w. howell/eds.]

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