The word in Italian for monstrance ‘ostensorio’ derives from the Latin ostendĕre, which means to show.
This has always been the function of this particular sacred object. Since the beginning, the intention behind its creation was to show the Body of Christ in the most solemn and sacred way possible, the consecrated Host during Eucharistic liturgy.
The metal monstrance is by definition, a small alter on which the object of sublime devotion is placed, a profoundly moving artifact, which in the highest moment of celebration must capture the attention and spirituality of all the faithful that have gathered.
In the past, instead of using metal monstrances, it was commonplace to use sacred images and liturgical objects of all kinds, such as crosses, reliquaries and ciboriums to carry out the same function. However, over the centuries current the format symbolizing a small temple and tower was favored, in which the Host was placed on top of a support made of gold and silver. This later developed into its current form which is characterized by its structure in the form of a radiant sun. This form, more than any other demonstrates the true nature and essence of this object.
The radiant sun of the metal monstrance recalls the haloes of the saints and symbolizes Christ our Lord, who’s light so powerful and healing shines upon and warms the hearts of all the faithful, lighting up their path. Moreover, the sun recalls imaginative folk tradition of the past to manifest joy and exultation for the triumph of life, by burning crowns of intertwined dry branches to light up the night, and therefore challenge its domain.
The metal monstrance is a highly suggestive object, which artisans have always placed a lot of attention to detail when making. Above all, the choice of materials used must be thought through carefully. The metal monstrance must reflect externally the veneration and reverence of what is encased within its splendid heart. The purity of the silver, the authority of the bronze, the vibrancy and elegance of the brass, in addition to of course the radiant magnificence of the gold. As well as friezes, ornaments, and enamel ornaments, coral, and precious stones, which represent angels and evangelists, or life, symbol of the connection with Christ the origin of existence.
There is no other object like the metal monstrance, where the importance of the primary materials exceed the limits imposed by its form, to symbolize something more, becoming one with the mystery which it keeps and exults, which it offers and preserves.
Here following you can see a selection of our best metal monstrances, that you can find within Holyart.com catalogue.