Repository for the Blessed Sacrament
Author: Miguel Joaquim de Freitas
Date: 1795 – 1796
Material: White and gilt silver and gilt bronze
Dimensions (cm): H 52 x W 35 x L 50
Provenance: Guimarães, Colegiada de Nossa Senhora da Oliveira
Inventory No.: MAS O 14
This repository of rectangular section rests on four feet and the faces are decorated with Eucharistic motifs: the Agnus Dei (the Lamb of God) on the Book of the Seven Seals, the pelican, the table with the loaves of the Proposition, a phoenix, ears of wheat and bunches of grapes.
On the cover, there are two gold cherubs that protect a grapevine branch with their wings. These two cherubs resemble those God directed Moses to represent when building the Ark of the Covenant.
This repository was used to keep the consecrated Host during the ceremonies of the Holy Week. The Host was placed inside a closed chalice that, in turn, was kept inside this urn from Maundy Thursday to Good Friday. The repository was then placed on a suitably decorated altar – called a Sepulchre – between flowers and candles, surrounded by rays of mirrored wood, creating a brilliant scenographic effect.