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Catholic Dictionary




A saucerlike dish of the same material as the chalice--gold-plated and consecrated by a bishop or his delegate with holy chrism. It must be large enough to cover the chalice. On it rests the bread to be consecrated, and later on the Sacred Host. it was customary to have a subdeacon hold the paten, covered by the humeral veil, from the Offertory to the Pater Noster in solemn Masses. (Etym. Latin patena, a broad, shallow dish or pan.)