I have bought alcohol for New Year night


I have decided to drink alcohol on this night because it will be the new year.
I have not drunk alcohol in many months and then it was very little.
So i have bought the following:
5 x 16,9 fl oz (500 ml) Beers 5,2%
1 x 23,67 fl oz (700 ml) Vodka 37,5%
1 x 50,7 fl oz (1500 ml) Fanta 0%

So I have done some research about how much of this I can drink tonight without committing sin. I know that drinking too much is sinful.
According to a website I can drink 4 standard drinks during one day and then it will be moderate. They have a comparison of what is a standard drink and it shows for e.g. that one beer or 12 fl oz is a standard drink.
According to that website I can drink 2,84 of my beer cans or 4 x 1.5 fl oz Vodka shots. I could also try to (drink 3 fl oz Vodka + 3 fl oz Fanta) x 2. One drink before I go out. Then one when it is New year.
In a sense 4 standard drinks feels pretty little.
How much can a grown man drink without committing sinful drunkenness?
Are there maybe some Catholic measurements of how much you can drink?


Make sure you don’t drink and drive. One drink before driving is still irresponsible and sinful.

As for how much to drink before you commit a sin, it depends on your weight and tolerance for alcohol - with the lack of drinking you normally do you probably have very little tolerance for alcohol. I would stop as soon as I began to feel its effects on me - a light buzz. If you have a hard time judging this, than stick to the guidelines of the website you mentioned. 4 drinks should be plenty for someone who already drinks as little as you do.

Make sure you allow at least one hour per drink before driving. That’s just a general rule of thumb. There’s a great blood alcohol calculator at bloodalcoholcalculator.org/#LinkURL that can give you more specific information.


Catholics are to develop the virtues-- temperance and prudence among them. Those who form their conscience and focus on practicing virtue do not need a “measurement guide” for how much they can drink without committing a sin.

The Church provides no such “measurements”.

Instead, she provides the moral groundwork of the commandments and Beatitudes, the sacraments, and grace. It is up to us to do the heavy lifting of living the moral life and practicing the virtues. The Church doesn’t tell us when to arrive for Mass for it to “count” as our obligation, how much we can drink before sinning, how far we can “go” with a date, how many minutes to pray ever day, how much food to eat when fasting. All of these are elements of the moral life that must be discerned through prayer and growth in holiness through the practice of the virtues.

We receive all we need from the Holy Spirit in our baptism and confirmation to act with virtue-- we must access this grace and use it. We must stop asking how much we can do before something turns into sinning, and instead think about how to please God each day in our actions, words, and deeds and judge for ourselves if we are conducting ourselves in a godly manner.


Well, it does. The Rule of Saint Benedict says that a “hemina” of wine per day is sufficient for a monk.

The problem is that monks and oblates the world over have been searching for a valid definition of “hemina” to no avail! :stuck_out_tongue:

So it seems to vary from person to person. Once a friend and fellow oblate was looking for a place to stay near the abbey, on Good Friday because he wanted to attend Vigils at 5 am the next day to hear the chanted Lamentations. He lives away from the abbey and I live near it. Since my wife was away visiting her ill mother, leaving me alone, I invited him over for dinner and to use our spare room; I also had to get up early as our choir was chanting 7 am Lauds at the cathedral and we had a rehearsal an hour before. Being Good Friday, the dinner I had planned was a baked potato and a few veggies, and a glass or two of wine. I had a 3L carton of wine that I was using as table wine; it was about half-full when my friend came over. I had two glasses.

He finished off the rest of the carton. So my “hemina” was two glasses, and his was over a liter of wine!!!

All in good humour Ke, in actual fact, as you say our formed consciences should tell us what a “hemina” really should mean to us.


Forgive my directness but if you have to measure and count to that extreme, you probably have bigger problems than trying to get a letter from the Catholic Church excusing you from having to be careful about alcohol. Everyone I know who counted drinks was an alcoholic. I am not saying you are, only you can decide those things but it seems obsessive and manipulating.

How could the church give you a number? Everyone’s bodies are different. The church does talk about moderation and this just seems either totally OCD or alcohol dependent.


And, if alcohol is problematic for you (I’m not saying it is!), one drink is too much because an ocean-full would not be “enough.”


You sound like you have a problem with alcohol or wouldn’t need to be counting drinks.

I was just thinking something St. Augustine said. I think he was referring to impurity, but I think it can apply here.

He said, “To many, total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation”.


To drink alcohol is not a sin, to get drunk is. Can you drink one drink and stop? I can’t, so one drink for me is a sin.


If you don’t have an alcohol problem and are just trying to avoid drunkenness, do realize that someone who has not had alcohol in months is going to get drunker more quickly than someone who drinks habitually. Also, alcohol processing varies from person to person, and you should NEVER feel that it is somehow unmanly to restrict your drinking.

A proper answer to your question depends on your drinking behavior. Are you able, while drinking, to monitor yourself and say, “I have a buzz–this is enough”? Will you be with someone who can monitor your state, and will you listen to this person? If the answer to these questions is “No,” then really limit your drinking–no more than one per hour, and no more than three drinks total.

If you are struggling with alcoholism, then yes, the correct response is “Don’t drink,” and as previous posters have said, NEVER drink and drive.

Happy New Year!


No, the Church gives us no such measurement.

St. Benedict gave a guideline to those under his rule, which is monks/priests of his order. That is not the same as “the Church” giving a measurement either via law or other discipline.


Best possible answer!


How much you can handle depends on how tall and heavy you are, whether or not you drink regularly, and how quickly you drink. Either 2-3 beers, 2-3 glasses of wine, or 2-3 shots of hard liquor (or any combination) ought to be plenty for one night. If that is a problem, I suggest you find another activity.


Lighten up Ke, I was just trying to be humorous.


If you are that obsessive about it, you might want to stay away from drinking completely. All this math sounds very unhealthy.


In addition, there are issues such as any medications you may be on, metabolic factors unique to your biology and gender, and other such factors. You can’t count on your math to identify a bright line of intoxication or impairment.


Hope this finds you well. The key here is to use moderation and that means not drinking to the point where the ability to reason and apply fairly good judgment is not lost. When it comes to alcohol consumption, St. Ben tells us (not quoting directly) don’t drink too much least we become drunk. Many people look for a specific volume to consume. It can be one drink or many. Sin occurs when we do inappropriate things (thoughts or actions) because of the alcohol. Moderation in anything helps us avoid gluttony

Peace Be With You.


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