A piscina or sacrarium is a shallow basin placed near the
altarof a church, used for washing the communion vessels. They are often made of stone and fitted with a drain, and are in some cases used to dispose of materials used in the sacraments. They are found in Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheranchurches, and a similar vessel is used in Eastern Orthodoxchurches.
The "piscina" is a
Latinword originally applied to a fish- pond, and later used for natural or artificial pools for bathing, and also for a water tank or reservoir. In ecclesiastical usage it was applied to the basin used for ablutions and sometimes other sacraments.
They were originally named for the baptismal font. [CathEncy|wstitle=Piscina] Piscinae seem at first to have been mere cups or small basins, supported on perforated stems, placed close to the wall, and afterwards to have been recessed therein and covered with niche heads, which often contained shelves to serve as ambries. They were rare in
Englanduntil the 13th century, after which there is scarcely an altar without one. They frequently take the form of a double niche, with a shaft between the arched heads, which are often filled with elaborate tracing.
The purpose of the piscina or sacrarium is to dispose of water used sacramentally, and particles of the
consecrated Eucharistby returning these particles directly to the earth. For this reason, it is connected by a pipe directly to the ground.
Ordinarily the sacrarium is used in cleaning the vessels used during the course of the
Mass(see Ablution in Christianity). Cleaning the vessels in this basin ensures that any remaining consecrated particles are returned directly to the Earth. If the consecrated Hosts become unusable, the priestdisposes of the hosts by placing them in the sacrarium. This is accomplished by breaking the hosts up into small pieces and washing them into the basin - which returns the consecrated hosts to the ground.Fact|date=December 2007
At times the sacrarium has been used for disposal of other items, such as old baptismal water,
holy oils, and leftover ashes from Ash Wednesday. In the past, consecrated wine was also poured down the sacrarium. In modern church practice, however, any wine that is left over after communion is consumed either by the priest or by those who assist in the distribution of the Eucharist (the Eucharistic Ministers).
In the Roman Catholic Church, pouring the consecrated wine, the Blood of Christ, or the Host down a sacrarium is never permitted. ["Redemptionis Sacramentum" 107] In accordance with what is laid down by the canons, “one who throws away the consecrated species or takes them away or keeps them for a sacrilegious purpose, incurs a "
latae sententiae" excommunicationreserved to the Apostolic See; a cleric, moreover, may be punished by another penalty, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state.” [ Ibid. 194] This applies to any action that is voluntarily and gravely disrespectful of the sacred species. Anyone, therefore, who acts contrary to these norms, for example casting the sacred species into the sacrarium or in an unworthy place or on the ground, incurs the penalties laid down. [Cf. "Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts", Response to dubium, 3 July 1999: AAS 91 (1999) p. 918.]
In the Eastern Orthodox and
Eastern Catholic Churchesthe piscina is called a thalassidion, and is located in the diaconicon(sacristy). The thalassidion is a sink that drains into an honorable place in the ground where liquids such as the water used to wash holy things may be poured, and where the clergy may wash their hands before serving the Divine Liturgy. In Orthodoxy the Sacred Mysteries(consecrated elements) are never poured into the thalassidion, but must always be consumed by a deaconor priest. In some ancient churches, the thalassidion was placed under the Holy Table(altar), though now it is almost always located in the diaconicon. At one time, before a monkor nunwas tonsured, their religious habitwould be placed on the thalassidion; [Citation | last =Robinson | first =Nalbro' Frazier | year =1911 | title =Monasticism in the Orthodox Churches | pages = | publisher =AMS Press | id =ISBN 978-0404053758] now it is placed on the Holy Table.
* [http://www.easthoathlychurch.org/building.html East Hoathly Parish Church] building and contents, with a photograph and description of an 11th or 12th-century piscina
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
PISCINA — locus proprie in quo pisces. Et quidem Piscinae quales veteribus recentioribusque Romanis fuerint, indicat Varro de Re Rust. l. 3. c. 3. Quis (Maiorum nostrorum) habebat Piscinam, nisi dulem et in ea duntaxat squalos ac mugiles pisces? Quis… … Hofmann J. Lexicon universale
Piscina — steht für: in der römischen Antike ein im Freien gelegenes Schwimmbecken, siehe Natatio Piscina (Kirche), in spätmittelalterlichen Kirchen eine kleines Wasserbecken mit Abfluss Santa María de La Piscina, eine nach der Badeanlage (span. Piscina)… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Piscina — Administration Nom piémontais Pissin a Pays Italie Région … Wikipédia en Français
piscină — PISCÍNĂ, piscine, s.f. 1. Bazin cu peşti amenajat în scop decorativ sau productiv. 2. Bazin de înot. – Din fr. piscine. Trimis de oprocopiuc, 19.03.2004. Sursa: DEX 98 piscínă s. f., g. d. art. piscínei; pl. piscíne Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004 … Dicționar Român
Piscina — • Liturgical structures used in baptisms or priestly ablutions Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Piscina Piscina † … Catholic encyclopedia
piscina — s. f. 1. Grande tanque usado para fins recreativos ou esportivos. 2. Viveiro ou reservatório de água onde se criam peixes. 3. Nome dado em alguns conventos à fonte onde os religiosos lavavam as mãos depois da comida. 4. Pia batismal. 5. … … Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa
piscina — (Del lat. piscīna). 1. f. Estanque destinado al baño, a la natación o a otros ejercicios y deportes acuáticos. 2. Estanque que se suele hacer en los jardines para tener peces. 3. Lugar en que se echan y sumen algunas materias sacramentales, como… … Diccionario de la lengua española
Piscina — Pis*ci na, n. [L., a certain, fishpond, fr. piscis a fish.] (Arch.) A niche near the altar in a church, containing a small basin for rinsing altar vessels. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
Piscīna — (lat.), 1) Fischteich; 2) Wasserbehälter, worein das Wasser aus den Wasserleitungen (s.d.) lief; 3) ein Bassin im Baptisterium, s.d. 2) … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon
Piscīna — (lat.), bei den Römern ein Fischteich; dann auch ein großes Bassin zum Baden; in den katholischen Kirchen eine Vertiefung zum Wasserablauf in der südlichen Wand des Chores neben dem Altar … Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon
Piscina — Piscina, der Wasserbehälter in dem Peristyl des römischen Wohnhauses oder der Thermen, in christlicher Zeit das Taufbecken … Lexikon der gesamten Technik