(from Lat. corpus, body, i. e., of the Eucharist). Linen cloth, ca. as wide as the depth of the mensa* from its front edge to the retable* and originally ca. twice as long; the sacred vessels of the Eucharist were set on part of it, the other part being brought forward to cover them and the offerings of the faithful. Later 2 cloths were used; the vessels were set on one; from the other developed the pall.* The symbolism of the corporal is drawn from Mk 15:46. Beginnings of the corporal can be traced to the 4th c. The chalice veil, and the Communion veil of sheer linen or silk used to cover all the sacred vessels, are of comparatively recent origin. See also Paraments.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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