It's done!! (picture me running/hobbling in circles flailing madly like Kermit and you will get a pretty good idea of my joy at typing that) The purse strings are fingerlooped, the tassels are tassels, and the linings is all attached and finished off. I'm really quite happy with how this turned out. The finished relic bag represents about 135 hours of work in total, but overall I think it was worth the effort.
I may still make a separate hanging string, the first bag I made has one, and that seems to be a common arrangement of strings where strings or any sort have survived. Plus it would make it easier to hang off my belt if I decided to actually wear it as a pouch. The only other change I may at some point make is to add the turks head knots to the tassels. I've been trying to teach myself how to make them and can do ok with twine or yarn, but the small silk I used for the tassels is a bit too much. If I can find something a little stiffer to work with that might help. I can always add them later once I get the hang of it.