Credence table

An elaborate Rococo credence table with marble top

A Credence table is a small side table in the sanctuary of a Christian church which is used in the celebration of the Eucharist. Etymology: from latin credens, -entis, believer).

The credence table is usually placed near the wall on the epistle (south) side of the sanctuary, and may be covered with a fine linen cloth. It is sometimes tended by an acolyte or altar server, and contains on it the implements that are used in the Eucharistic celebration, which may include the bread and wine prior to their consecration, a bowl, ewer and towel for the lavabo and the ablutions after Holy Communion, etc. The wafers for the communion of the faithful may be stored in a host box (sometimes erroneously referred to as a pyx). The wine and water for the chalice will be in cruets. The chalice, and paten, covered with their cloths and veil (see chalice cloths for details) may be placed on the credence from the beginning of the service until the Offertory, at which time they are moved to the altar.


Roman Catholic

In the traditional Roman Catholic Mass, the chalice, and paten, covered with their cloths and veil (see chalice cloths for details) are placed on the credence from the beginning of the service until the Offertory.

During the Offertory, the subdeacon, deacon or priest places the sacred vessels on the altar. The wine and water are taken in their cruets to the altar to be poured into the chalice. After the altar has been incensed (if it is a High Mass), two servers wash the priest's hands. The priest will hold his hands over the lavabo bowl and the first server (if there are two) will pour water over the priest's hands; the second server then hands the priest the lavabo towel for him to dry his fingers. During the washing, the priest says the words of Psalm 25:6-12. When a bishop is serving, a larger and more ornate basin and ewer are used to wash his hands.

After Communion, when the priest, deacon or Eucharistic minister(s) consume the remaining elements in the chalice(s) they are rinsed out and wiped, then replaced on the credence table and re-covered by the veil.

Traditionally, at Low Mass, the credence was not used, but a niche in the wall was used instead.


In the Eucharist of the Anglican Communion the ceremonial regarding the use of the credence table is not so elaborate. Depending upon local custom, the chalice and paten may already be on the altar from the beginning of the service. Normally the server will bring the wine, water and wafers to the priest at the offertory, and then wash his hands.

Eastern Orthodox

The term credence table is not normally found in use among the Eastern Orthodox. All of the items for the celebration of the Divine Liturgy are normally placed on the Table of Oblation. There is, however, an ancillary table on which other items, such as the lists containing the names of the faithful living and departed whom the priest will commemorate, will be placed. Other items, such as incense and a bowl and towel for the washing of hands may be there also.

See also

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • credence table — noun see credence 5 * * * credence table, = credence. (Cf. ↑credence) …   Useful english dictionary

  • Credence — • A small table of wood, marble, or other suitable material placed within the sanctuary of a church and near the wall at the Epistle side, for the purpose of holding the cruets, acolytes candles, and other utensils required for the celebration of …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Credence — can have several meanings: In probability theory, credence means a subjective estimate of probability, as in Bayesian probability. In economics, a credence good is a good whose value is hard for a consumer to ascertain. A letter of credence is a… …   Wikipedia

  • credence — /ˈkridns / (say kreedns) noun 1. belief: to give credence to a statement. 2. something giving a claim to belief or confidence: letter of credence. 3. Also, credence table. a small side table, shelf, or niche for holding articles used in the… …   Australian English dictionary

  • credence — /kreed ns/, n. 1. belief as to the truth of something: to give credence to a claim. 2. something giving a claim to belief or confidence: letter of credence. 3. Also called credence table, credenza. Eccles. a small side table, shelf, or niche for… …   Universalium

  • credence — n. 1 belief. 2 (in full credence table) a small side table, shelf, or niche which holds the elements of the Eucharist before they are consecrated. Phrases and idioms: give credence to believe. letter of credence a letter of introduction, esp. of… …   Useful english dictionary

  • crédence — [ kredɑ̃s ] n. f. • 1519; « croyance » v. 1360; it. credenza « confiance », dans la loc. fare la credenza « faire l essai » (des mets, des boissons) 1 ♦ Buffet de salle à manger dont les tablettes superposées servent à poser les plats, la… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Credence — Cre dence (kr[=e] dens), n. [LL. credentia, fr. L. credens, entis, p. pr. of credere to trust, believe: cf. OF. credence. See {Creed}, and cf. {Credent}, {Creance}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Reliance of the mind on evidence of facts derived from other… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Credence — Crédence La crédence (de l italien credenza : confiance) est un meuble ou partie de buffet où l on range et expose la vaisselle, les plats précieux et les objets servant pendant le repas. Le terme désigne également une table où l’on pose les …   Wikipédia en Français

  • table — [ tabl ] n. f. • 1050; var. taule XIIIe (→ tôle); lat. tabula « planche, tablette » I ♦ Objet formé essentiellement d une surface plane horizontale, généralement supportée par un pied, des pieds, sur lequel on peut poser des objets. 1 ♦ Surface… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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