(Greek aer , "the air").
The largest and outer-most covering of the chalice and paten in the Greek church, corresponding to the veil in the Latin rite. It is slightly larger than the veil used to cover the chalice and paten in the Latin rite, and is beautifully embroidered in the same style and colour as the vestments of the officiating priest. It takes its name either from the lightness of the material of which it was formerly made or from the fact that the priest during the time of the recital of the Nicene Creed in the Mass holds it high in the air and waves it slowly towards the chalice. Its use, like that of the veil, was originally to cover the chalice and to prevent anything from falling therein before the consecration and before the sacred vessels were brought to the altar. It is first mentioned by name in an explanation of the liturgy (Mass) by a writer of the sixth century, and is also alluded to as "the so-called aër " in the Acts of the Council of Constantinople. In the Greek Orthodox church the veil is put on the shoulders of the deacon who brings the paten to the altar at the great entrance, and the same rite is preserved in the Greek Catholic church, where the aër usually has a couple of short strings to secure it over the shoulders. A similar ceremony is still preserved in the Roman rite, where the deacon at high Mass brings the chalice and paten to the altar and places a special veil over his shoulders.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online