He knew very well that the theologians of his church almost without exception held that the handing over of the paten and chalice with the words, " Receive power of offering sacrifice," &c., were the essential matter and form of ordination to the priesthood; indeed he published the decree of Eugenius IV.
1023); a fine silver paten, decorated with figures in niello, attributed to his hand, still exists among the many rich treasures in the church of Hanover Palace.
The social work of the Church was transferred to others, and little by little the deacons sank in importance until at last they came to be regarded merely as subordinate officers of public worship, a position which they hold in the Roman Church to-day, where their duties are confined to such acts as the following: - censing the officiating priest and the choir, laying the corporal on the altar, handing the paten or cup to the priest, receiving from him the pyx and giving it to the subdeacon, putting the mitre on the archbishop's head (when he is present) and laying his pall upon the altar.
The handing over of paten and chalice in ordination to the priesthood, are admittedly non-essential, unless we adopt the opinion of some Roman theologians that our Lord left the determination of matter and form to the church, which has insisted on different rites at different times.
Ablution of paten and chalice.