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It is thus applied to certain parts of the Eucharistic service in liturgical Christianity. The rites of Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, and some Lutheran churches employ an oblation: gifts of bread and wine are offered to God.
Liturgically speaking, there are two oblations: the lesser oblation, sometimes known as the offertory, in which the bread and wine, as yet unconsecrated, are presented and offered to God, and the greater oblation, the oblation proper, in which the Body and Blood of Christ are offered to God.
The word oblate is also 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 Catholic Church as the name of a Religious Congregation of secular or diocesan 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.