Tag Archives: pyx

When at first you don’t succeed, punt.

After a dithyrambic performance of the closing hymn the priest offered up vituperations to the organist, then grabbed some malmsey and the pyx and through the means of the sacrament brought both he and her a healing unacheived by any tisanes.  Meanwhile at the dock, some stevedores unloaded crates off a ship.

These are the words, with which you too can construct a sentence.  Or two.

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Posted by on July 7, 2012 in Madame Bovary


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Shine, Verger, Shine!

pyx – n.  a box used to hold the Eucharistic hosts, or a box used to hold sample coins at a mint

Classical Usage:  When Emma falls ill after Rudolphe’s abandonment the priest arrives with holy water for her bed, and pulls a white host from the sacred pyx.  Context there was pretty handy at defining the word, but not for making it stick, because when I ran across it again in Chapter I of Part Three I couldn’t remember at all what it meant.  Flaubert describes the verger of the church approaching Léon, anxious to give him a tour of the place.  He was in full regalia, with plumed hat, rapier and staff, more majestic than a cardinal, shining like a pyx.  So, I’m justified by not getting it that time on context, right?

Classically Mad Usage:  I have friends on the altar guild at church.  I think I might just test out their vocabulary.

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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in Madame Bovary


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