When the people offered bread and wine at the holy communion, as they did at first in large quantities, the ministers of the altar were obliged, after receiving it, to wash their hands before proceeding to consecrate. This they did in large vessels, or basins, of silver, earthenware, etc. At the present day in the Latin Church, the form is still kept up by the priest dipping the tips of his fingers in water contained in a' little basin. The alms and other devotions of the faithful are, by the rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer, directed to be received in a decent basin, or, as it is otherwise called, an alms-dish (q.v.), which ought to be on every altar, that the alms, etc., collected by the churchwardens, deacons, or others may be received in it. SEE BASINS.