What is a monstrance?Connected to Eucharistic adoration, the liturgical vessel is traced back to the Middle Ages.
Expressions of faith in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist have developed over time. One such development was the introduction of Eucharistic adoration outside of Mass and outside of the tabernacle. To facilitate this new devotion, a liturgical vessel called a “monstrance” was invented.
Monstrance comes from the Latin word monstrare, meaning “to show.” The purpose of the monstrance is to put on display a consecrated Host for those present to adore and venerate. The development of the monstrance can be traced back to the 13th century, when Eucharistic processions rose in popularity connected to the new feast of Corpus Christi.