Saturday, February 15, 2014

Catholic Culture: Byzantine Antimension

Gorgeous starched linen.

A blessed object.

Printed you see a hallowed liturgical tongue, Slavonic.

The actual relic is sewn in behind the center cross.

The glorious cross of Christ.  

"It is not so much that His birth cast a shadow on His life, and led to His death," wrote Bishop Sheen.  "It was rather that the Cross was there from the beginning, and it cast its shadow backward to his birth."


  1. It's not a corporal, it's an antimension. It's more equivalent to the altar stone than the corporal.

    1. Jose J. de Freitas-LopesFebruary 16, 2014 at 6:19 PM

      That's exactly what it is and the equivalency is exactly that of an altar stone. I once heard that the American military asked a Byzantine Bishop to consecrate antimensions for use by Catholic Military chaplains during war-time because it was proving difficult to safely carry the stones in the field.

    2. We have something similar in the Latin Rite: bishops bless and sign our standard corporal, with the relics sewn into the corner, for priests offering Mass away from a consecrated altar.

  2. Pope Pius XII did extend the use of antimensia for military chaplains during WWII, the Pontificale Romanum of Pope St. John XXIII has the rite for the consecration of a Latin Rite Antimension which was extended to all missionary priests.