Capsa (Capstila, or Capsella)
Capsa (Capstila, Or Capsella)
is a name applied to several kinds of receptacles for ecclesiastical use:
(1) The casket used to contain the unconsecrated elements. According to the direction of the Ordo Romanus I, c. 8, two acolytes bear in the procession before the pope, when about to celebrate, "capsas cum sanctis apertas."
(2) The vessel in which the reserved eucharist was carried from one place to another. The 17th canon of the Council of Orange enjoins, "cum capsa et calix offerendus est, et admistione Eucharistise consecrandus." Mabillon (Comm. Prcev. in Ord. Rom. p. cxxxix) considers this to mean that, together with the capsa containing the sacred vessels and perhaps the eucharist, the chalice was also to be brought to the altar.
(3) A repository or shrine for preserving the relics of saints. In the description of the altar built by St. Benedict at Aniane, we read that an opening was made in the back of it for inserting the "capsae" containing relics of saints (Actac Sanctorum, Feb. ii, 614). s.v.
(4) A casket to contain the book of the Gospels. Ado of Venice speaks (Chronicon, A.D. 519) of twenty capsae evangeliorum of gold, richly jewelled