Terms

Chalice

A Chalice is used in the Christian Mass to commemorate the blood of Christ in the form of wine. The story of the Holy Grail is believed to involve the actual chalice that Christ used at the Last Supper. A chalice at the Cathedral in Valencia claims to be this original chalice. A number of other chalices elsewhere in Europe also make claim to be the original. The idea of symbolic body and blood is older than Christiantity. It played a significant role in the rites of Mithras, appears to have had equivalents in the rites of Demeter and Cybele in honour of the Great Mother. An older tradition suggests that there were initially feasts in the spring in honour of grain and beer (which eventually became the host) and feasts in the autumn in honour of grapes and wine which eventually became the chalice of wine symbolizing blood. In Sumer this was the contrast between Tammuz and Gesthinanna. In India the contrast was between Madhumalli (Vine of Spring) and Madira (Goddess of Wine). According to the sacred books the Goddess Madira was present at the creation. The earliest documented wine goes back to Persia some 10,000 years BC. The earliest traces of wine are said to go back 40 million years. The roots of the grail story go back a very long time.
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