The Elijah Cup Program
The purpose of the Elijah Cup, a consecrated chalice, is to provide a focal point for prayer.
We are all aware of the need for vocations to the priesthood, the diaconate and to the
religious life. But sometimes we forget just how powerful praying for an increase in
vocations can be. If we pray with the faith of the widow of Zarapeth, our cup will never run
dry! We will always have priests to bring us Jesus in the Eucharist.
In 1 Kings 17, during a drought, Elijah tells the poor widow of Zarapeth that if she makes him a
small loaf of bread with the last of her flour and oil, her "jar of flour will not go empty, nor the
jug of oil run dry, until the Lord sends rain upon the earth." In faith, the widow baked the bread
and fed Elijah. For the next year, the widow, her son, and Elijah ate bread made from the bowl
of flour and jug of oil.
The 2nd Vatican Council instructs us that it is the job of the laity to pray for and raise up
vocations, and this has been echoed by Pope John Paul II in many of his teachings.
How the Program Works
Each week at Sunday Mass the celebrant will use the Elijah Cup as the chalice or a precious
blood cup. After purifying the Elijah Cup at the end of Communion, he calls a family,
individual, or couple forward to receive the Elijah Cup. They receive a blessing and take the
cup home, putting it in a place of honor.
Each day for a week, during prayer time (morning, bedtime or at meals), they pray for an increase
and perseverance of vocations. The following Sunday they return the Elijah Cup with the gifts of
bread and wine at the Offertory.
A prayer journal also travels with the Elijah Cup. Each week the family, individual, or couple
that has the cup enters a thought, prayer, or scripture verse. Over time, this diary becomes a
spiritual journal for the parish.
Praying for vocations is the most powerful way to support vocations. A vocation is a call from
the Holy Spirit, a gift from God that is nurtured in prayer. When we pray for vocations, we lift
up to our Father those men and women who he is calling in a very special way. We hope that
those who bring the cup home will continue to pray for vocations daily.
For more information on the Elijah Cup Program, please download this PDF document
Click here for the Elijah Cup Signup Form