One of the first problems a pastor faces is “What do I use for bringing the Sacrament to Shut-Ins?”
Of course, there is always the old “AAL communion kit.” (Does Thrivent still hand them out?) It is given to prospective pastors their first week at seminary. After four years of gathering dust, you realize that, unbearable student debt or not, you must find a way to get a different communion kit. The plastic cups simply won’t do for a reverent celebration of the sacrament. But there are problems :
1) They are expensive.
2) Communion Kits from your local protestant supply center have individual glass cups, which are only marginally better than the individual plastic ones.
3) Mass Kits from your local Roman Catholic supply store often have only a host box – no chalice.
4) The full-blown Mass Kit with a chalice and paten/ciborium are REALLY expensive. (More than an i-Phone, and sometimes even more than an i-Pad. Heaven forfend that a pastor should spend as much on one of these as he does on the latest electronic gadget.)
Many pastors create their own. Pastor Paul Cain, the worship chairman for the Wyoming District, did just such a thing, using a gun case – you need to build it sturdy in Wyoming.
Pastor Peterson, of Redeemer Fort Wayne fame, suggests using a camera bag (Which I have done from time to time.)
When I graduated seminary, I was fortunate to have two things happen to me :
1) I was given the worlds smallest Mass Kit – chalice, paten, and candlesticks in pocket size format. It was given by the widow of a pastor to the Dean of Students at Fort Wayne to be given to a young pastor, and he gave it to me. I used this for hospital calls and nursing home visits for several years. (It really is worn out, and so I do not use it regularly any more. Honorably retired would be the word, though it is still kept at the church, ready should the need arise.)
2) My congregation had a very large Mass Kit c. 1960. It was very nice. Dated, but nice.
When I was elected as Pastor of Trinity, I no longer had access to the nice big kit, so I began my search. After much looking, I knew what I wanted, so I began assembling my own Mass Kit. The Kerry Collection offered a reasonably priced brass chalice and ciborium – only about $200 for the set. (If you are making your own, I recommend stainless steel. Brass takes a lot of maintenance, and wears out more quickly) With the hardware purchased, all I had to do was make the case. I designed the case, and had intentions of building it, but I chickened out, so my Father did the building. (Thanks Dad!)
I even designed it to have a slot for the “Little Agenda”. Then they came out with the Pastoral Care Companion. It doesn’t fit, but I can squeeze it in the front next to the crucifix. I do put a printed copy of the Order of service in that. (TLH with the ‘Thees’ and ‘Thous’ – my elderly members aren’t used to the gently updated language.)
So what do I have? A first class, top of the line Mass Kit. No longer do I use the camera bag. This is dignified and churchly. A little bit large for use in hospitals, but it does fit on the sliding tables. The thing I love about it is : When you pull this puppy out, there’s no mistaking that it’s time for church. It even has it’s own altar surface and crucifix.
Without further ado, my Mass Kit :