Drops of water in the jar or in the Chalice?

A priest that celebrated Mass at my parish, poured the drops of water inside the small jar with wine and then poured the wine with water into the Chalice. :ehh:

I understand the priest should pour wine into the Chalice and then some drops of water into the wine.
What he did seems odd to me, but I wonder, ¿is it wrong?, ¿does it affect the wine inside the jar?, ¿should the watered down wine be substituted by pure wine if it is to be used in the next Mass?

Thank you for your comments,


The rubric in the Roman Missal’s Order of Mass is:

“24. The Deacon, or the Priest, pours wine and a little water into the chalice, saying quietly:
By the mystery …”

From the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, in the Mass Without a Deacon section:

“142. After this, as the minister presents the cruets, the Priest stands at the side of the altar and pours wine and a little water into the chalice, saying quietly …”.

Obviously it does not say he pours water from one cruet to another cruet. Clearly the intention is that the water go from a cruet into the chalice.

If the Words of Institution do not occur until after both the water and wine have left their respective cruets and are both in the chalice, does it really matter?

It may not matter for validity of the sacrament, but I do wonder why a priest would deliberately deviate from the rubrics.

I’d ask the priest. Maybe there’s some perfectly good reason.

Hell Therese.

While there may be a REASON a priest deviates from the rubrics, there can never be a “perfectly good” reason. No priest can on his own can change, add or omit ANYTHING in the rubrics. It is grave matter and can be a mortal sin and depending on how far he goes can even automatically excommunicate him. So, as for his reason, he may think he’s doing good but in fact it is an error. How serious and how deliberate takes someone Ordained and Commissioned to determine and deal with.


I think we are better off giving the priest the benefit of the doubt until we know otherwise. I’m certainly not going to accuse him (or anyone else, actually) of mortal sin on the basis of so little evidence.

Hello again Therese.

I did not accuse nor did the OP. Facts were simply stated. If you think presenting Church teaching to folks who ask questions is an accusation, then you’re in the wrong place when you come here. I apologize if I offend you, but the facts are simply that no priest can add, change or omit anything in any of the rubrics regarding any of the Sacraments. To do so IS grave matter and needs addressing and it is for those who are Ordained and Commissioned to do so. If you think that a person who expresses themselves about such matters and brings these things to the attention of others is at fault, then that is your opinion and not a fact.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say it is incumbent upon all the laity to become and remain well informed about all the things necessary regarding the Sacraments and their institution and authenticity. We are, after all expected to be guardians of the faith, whether lay, or Ordained. If folks remain ignorant of the things necessary for our Sacramental life in the Church, such things as Liturgical abuse can go on and on and on. A well-informed laity is an asset in every parish and place they are.

But thanks for sharing your opinion about accusations Therese.


The fact remains that we do not know why he does that, so we do not know how grave the matter is. If everyone who prefers to have facts before bringing up mortal sin and excommunication is “in the wrong place,” then there are an awful lot of people on CAF who shouldn’t be.

It is not absolutely obvious.

If one cruet contains wine-and-a-little-water, then from that single cruet one can certainly pour wine and a little water into the chalice, no?

It would be wrong, by the above rubrics, to pour a little water into the wine cruet saying quietly …

IMHO, one reason it can be mistaken to mix water into the wine cruet is that if that wine cruet is not emptied for the consecration, then any of the mixture remaining unconsecrated ought not be returned to the wine stock nor otherwise retained after the liturgy.


Hello Therese.

But he did do it. That’s enough. He needs correction. He’s goofed whether it was taught to him that way or one day he simply decided it was simpler to do it that way for reasons unknown or for another weirder reason. I’m inclined to think he wasn’t taught to do it that way and has done so out of his own thought processes. He still needs to know it is an error to do so.

My point to you was that no one actually accused the priest of anything. All that was said was that it CAN be a mortal sin. And it actually can carry an automatic excommunication depending on how far a priest goes in his deviations. You think I’m accusing by stating that then you’re reading into my post things that aren’t there.


P.S. Any deviation from the rubrics IS grave matter. That leaves knowledge and consent. Since he’s an Ordained man, I’m sure at some point in his days and weeks and years at whatever Seminary he was at learning how to be a Priest and administer the Sacraments he was informed enough to have sufficient knowledge.

Keep in mind that there is only one “chalice”, but if the precious blood is being offered to the congregation, there often are several “cups” as well.

If the water is poured into the “chalice”, the cups have no water, only wine. Which may be fine, or not. If the water is poured into the jug/pitcher/carafe first, then everyone will be recieving both the water and the wine.

The rubrics are not specific in the case of communion cups used in addition to the chalice, whether the water should be added to the wine before pouring into several cups or only into the “chalice”.

We were taugh in seminary that it is therefore left to the discretion of the priest/deacon. My pastor prefer I add the water only to the chalice. At a confirmation mass at our parish recently, I was chided by the Bishop’s emcee for adding water only to the chalice and instructed to add it to all the cups, and told that from now on I should add the water before pouring, so . . .

Go figure

Thank you for this Deacon Jeff. Just more proof that one should always give the benefit of the doubt to the one who is duly trained.

As I recall (but cannot find at the moment) there was some kind of clarification from Rome about that question.

The answer goes back to de defectibus, that the addition of the water is not required for validity, but only for liciety. Therefore, it’s not strictly necessary to add the water to the other chalices (with a node) or cups (without a node). It’s better to do it, but not required. If the bishop’s policy is to add water, then of course, it should be done that way.

CDWDS Offers Guidance on the Mixture of Wine and Water at Mass
The Secretariat of Divine Worship frequently receives inquiries about the practice of mixing water and wine in
the chalice during the preparation of the gifts at Mass, specifically how this is to be carried out if there are
several chalices prepared when Holy Communion is distributed under both species. In a letter dated April 30,
2012 (Prot. n. 1193/11/L), Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia, O.P., Secretary of the Congregation for Divine
Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, offered to Archbishop Gregory Aymond, Committee Chairman,
an observation regarding the practice, as the Congregation, too, has received questions about how to interpret
and enact the rubrics in this regard.

Archbishop Di Noia writes: “[T]his Congregation takes the view that it is sufficient for the water to be added
only to the chalice used by the main Celebrant. The addition of water to the other chalices, however, would not
in any way be considered to be an abuse.” Canon 924 §1 states, “The most holy Eucharistic sacrifice must be
offered with bread and with wine in which a little water must be mixed.” Still, it has long been held, and
affirmed by the Council of Trent, that the ritual mixing of wine and water is symbolic of the blood and water
flowing from Christ’s side as he hung upon the cross. The words spoken as the gesture is carried out, “By the
mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in
our humanity,” also indicate that the mixing represents the unification of Christ’s divinity with our humanity.

source: usccb.org/about/divine-worship/newsletter/upload/newsletter-2012-05-and-06.pdf

Excellent! Thanks Fr. David. This postdates my ordination. It appears based on this, that it still basically is at the discretion of the presider. Would you agree?

I would say that adding the drop of water to the principle chalice is still required, though not strictly so for validity (de defectibus says that if the priest realizes later that he forgot, he should do nothing). Still, it should never be intentionally omitted from the main chalice.

As for the other chalices/cups I would say that yes, it’s at the presider’s discretion, but still with due regard for the norms of the local bishop (official, promulgated norms, if such exist, not just someone’s expert opinion).


This may be of interest to you.

See #15

Thanks Fr. David. I was aware of that. In fact that is what I did and have been doing. Apparently the Bishop’s emcee doesn’t agree.

Could the “Jar” have been a small container used to take the precious blood to sick calls or similar? The Precious Blood is not supposed to be reserved but is it taken on sick calls or for other purposes?

I’m asking out of ignorance.


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