In my experience, these objects house unconsecrated communion wafers (nushkhar in Armenian). I've never seen the one in my parish switched out, the wafer inside is a bit stale to say the least. I've never seen this particular thing used for anything but ornamental purposes. Reserved eucharist is usually held in a small metal box on the altar.
Thank you for your reply.
So, these monstrances then hold unconsecrated bread and not the Eucharist?
When I asked the pastor at one Armenian Apostolic parish about the monstrance on the altar, he replied, "Communion". When I asked the priest at the Armenian Cathedral whether it was the Eucharist that was in the monstrance in front of the burning candles, he replied, "Yes." It's possible they meant to say that it is the bread that eventually is used for communion or that eventually becomes the Eucharist.
I was reading online that an unconsecrated nushkhar
is presented to a family when their home is blessed or is placed on the chest of the deceased during a wake service (http://www.prosphora.org/page42.html
Is it correct to say there is a veneration for the unconsecrated nushkhar
, which would explain it being placed in monstrances?
I found other photos from the Western Prelacy website which show the monstrances containing the nushkhar
in the blessing of basil on the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross at Holy Cross Armenian Cathedral:http://www.westernprelacy.org/Pages/Photos/2007Events/Khachverats/HolyCross.htmhttp://www.westernprelacy.org/Pages/Photos/2009%20Events/Khachverats/Khachverats.htm