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Antique Monstrance from Cologne

From post-classical Latin monstrantia, from classical Latin monstrāns, present participle of monstrāre (to show).



monstrance (plural monstrances)

  1. An ornamental, often precious receptacle, either open or with a transparent cover, in which the sacramental bread is placed for veneration.
    • 1890, Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Chapter 11:
      He loved to kneel down on the cold marble pavement and watch the priest, in his stiff flowered dalmatic, slowly and with white hands moving aside the veil of the tabernacle, or raising aloft the jewelled, lantern-shaped monstrance with that pallid wafer that at times, one would fain think, is indeed the "panis caelestis," the bread of angels, or, robed in the garments of the Passion of Christ, breaking the Host into the chalice and smiting his breast for his sins.
    • 1935, Francis Beeding, “7/2”, in The Norwich Victims[1]:
      Sir Oswald had done pretty well during the war out of his timber, and there had been no death duties to pay for many years, not since the old man had died. But there was no doubt that the shoe was beginning to pinch. He had been obliged to sell that Spanish monstrance in '30, or was it '31?