Church Fathers refute the Protestant error of using only Bread and Wine

The following link shows many quotes from Early Church Fathers and Councils that say it is wrong to use only Bread and Wine for Communion, contrary to Protestant thought. It turns out, using Bread and Wine alone is contrary to the command of Jesus and the Apostles, so this is no lite matter:

Huh? The protestants do use just bread and wine, unless your talking about using something else non-alcohol in substitution for the wine.
Are you meaning transubstantition vs consubstantionation or symbolist substantiation?

The link was provided, they are subtracting from Christ’s command at the institution of the Eucharist.

I think he’s talking about how they don’t mix a little water in with the wine.

Sidenote: I think the more liturgical denominations actually follow the Catholic custom on this…I would be surprised if Lutherans, Anglicans, Presbyterians, and Methodists didn’t use wine mixed with a little water. And combined, they are the majority of protestants.

Yes. I just read the article and that is precisely the topic.
You know, I never really thought about this before. I knew water was to be used in the liturgy, but never thought about why. Of all the references in the article, I like Aquinas’s explanation best because it gets into “why”:

"First of all on account of its institution: for it is believed with probability that our Lord instituted this sacrament in wine tempered with water according to the custom of that country: hence it is written (Proverbs 9:5): “Drink the wine which I have mixed for you.” Secondly, because it harmonizes with the representation of our Lord’s Passion: hence Pope Alexander I says (Ep. 1 ad omnes orth.): “In the Lord’s chalice neither wine only nor water only ought to be offered, but both mixed because we read that both flowed from His side in the Passion.” Thirdly, because this is adapted for signifying the effect of this sacrament, since as Pope Julius [AD352] says (Concil. Bracarens iii, Can. 1): “We see that the people are signified by the water, but Christ’s blood by the wine. Therefore when water is mixed with the wine in the chalice, the people is made one with Christ.” Fourthly, because this is appropriate to the fourth effect of this sacrament, which is the entering into everlasting life: hence Ambrose says (De Sacram. v): “The water flows into the chalice, and springs forth unto everlasting life”. (Quoted from article linked in OP, bold for emphasis)

I know that our priests always put a little water into the Chalice they us for the Eucharist…maybe that covers all those at mass…some one is sure to know the answer…

Exactly. Per the command of Jesus and the Apostles, wine alone (sola wine) is not proper celebration of the Eucharist. A little bit of water is supposed to be added to the chalice along with (mostly) wine. Any Protestants not doing this are following Traditions of Men, while any Protestants doing this (if any) cannot really explain it using Scripture Alone.

It seems (?) Isaiah the prophet had a different opinion:

Isaiah 1:21-22
"How is the faithful city, that was full of judgment, become a harlot? justice dwelt in it, but now murderers. Your silver has become dross, your choice wine is diluted with water."

I suppose someone would say this is non-applicable and that the church now can examine what is proper better than the prophet (let’s hope so, cause if not…).


For instance, in the documents of the Council of Trent (15xx) under the ON THE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS heading Section IX we read: If any one says that the rite of the Roman Church, according to which a part of the canon and the words of consecration are pronounced in a low tone, is to be condemned; or, that the mass ought to be celebrated in the vulgar tongue only; or, that water ought not to be mixed with the wine that is to be offered in the chalice,** for that it is contrary to the institution of Christ; let him be anathema.

To a student of theology/church and scriptures, one might be thrown a little bit for a loop here.

It seems the catch here is the “for that it is is contrary to the institution of Christ”. The language can be a little unclear to a modern ear: does this mean that it is wrong to say it is against Christ’s institution, or does it mean Christ instituted this with water, and so therefore it is wrong to say otherwise? :cool:

There’s one little extra paragraph that is linked to this that states that “it is believed” rather than known that this was done by Christ and shows some symbolism for remembrance sake and that the sacrifice of the mass then isn’t only Jesus’ body and blood but also the people symbolized by water:

On the water that is to be mixed with the wine to be offered in the chalice.

The holy Synod notices, in the next place, that it has been enjoined by the Church on priests, to mix water with the wine that is to be offered in the chalice; as well because it is believed that Christ the Lord did this, as also because from His side there came out blood and water; the memory of which mystery is renewed by this commixture; and, whereas in the apocalypse of blessed John, the peoples are called waters, the union of that faithful people with Christ their head is hereby represented.

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