What is that white thing Father puts on top of his chalice, and what is it for? It’s called a pall. It’s practical purpose is to keep debris and bugs (gnats & flies) out of the wine in the chalice. It’s symbolic purpose is to be an outward sign of respect for the wine that is poured into the chalice so it can be consecrated — transformed by the loving power of God into the body and blood of Jesus Christ, risen from the dead. Remember, the Eucharist is the greatest gift we have from Jesus, because it is Jesus Himself. Handling the pall reminds me of the awesome action that you and I are sharing in at the Mass.