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A small table of wood, marble, or other suitable material placed within the sanctuary of a church and near the wall at the Epistle side, for the purpose of holding the cruets, acolytes' candles, and other utensils required for the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice. The credence, properly so called, is contemplated only in connexion with solemn Masses; on it the chalice, paten, corporal, and veil are placed from the beginning of the Mass until the Offertory. When a bishop celebrates, it should be of larger dimensions than usual, the ordinary size being about forty inches long, twenty broad, and thirty-six high. On very solemn festivals it should be covered with a linen cloth extending to the ground on all sides, on less solemn occasions the cloth should not extend so far, while on days of simple rite it should merely cover the superficies. For low Masses the rubrics contemplate a niche or bracket in the wall, or some small arrangement for holding the cruets, finger-bowl, and towel, but custom now favours the use of a credence-table.
Cæremoniale Episcoporum, I, xii sq.; Rubr. Gen. Miss., XX; VAN DER STAPPEN, De Missæ Celebratione (Mechlin, 1902).