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Bible Encyclopedias

1911 Encyclopedia Britannica


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An offering (Late Lat. oblatio, from offerre, oblatum, to offer), a term, particularly in ecclesiastical usage, for a solemn offering or presentation to God. It is thus applied to certain parts of the Eucharistic service in the Roman Church. There are "two oblations," the "lesser oblation," generally known as the "offertory," in which the bread and wine yet unconsecrated are presented, and the "greater oblation," the "oblation" proper, forming the latter part of the prayer of consecration, when the "Body and Blood" are ceremonially presented. The word "oblate" is an ecclesiastical term for persons who have devoted themselves or have been devoted as children by their parents to a monastic life. "Oblate" is more familiar in the Roman Church as the name of a religious congregation of secular priests, the Oblate Fathers of St Charles. They are placed under the absolute authority of the bishop of the diocese in which they are established and can be employed by him on any duties he may think fit. This congregation was founded in 1578 under the name of Oblates of the Blessed Virgin and St Ambrose by St Charles Borromeo, archbishop of Milan (see Borromeo, Carlo). There is a similar congregation of secular priests, the Oblates of Mary the Immaculate, founded at Marseilles in 1815.

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Bibliography Information
Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Oblation'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britanica. 1910.

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