Mappa the name of the linen cloth with which the communion table, and subsequently the altar, was covered. It came to be considered essential that this cloth should be of linen, according to some, in commemoration of the linen cloth in which the body of the Lord was wrapped. This, however, it seems would apply better to the corporale (q.v.). Optatus of Milene, in De schismnate Donatistarum, speaks of this custom as general. In the Roman Catholic Church there are a number of regulations concerning the maspspa, which is always to be blessed by the bishop, or by some one commissioned by him for the purpose. — Pierer, Universal-Lexikon, 10:848; Herzog, Real-Encyklopädie, 9:7.

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