Illicit Eucharist?


#1

So this is something that has happened numerous times at a particular parish in my town. The first few times it happened, I wasn't sure that I saw what I thought I had seen because I was praying during the consecration and not watching the priest very intently, but this week I purposefully watched to see what happened.

As the priest was preparing the gifts for weekday Mass, he blessed the bread and then he poured some wine from the clear glass "jug" into a chalice. He left the jug and the chalice on the corporal for the consecration. He then went through all of the prayers and we did the Our Father, sign of peace and Agnus Dei. As he was preparing to distribute the Eucharist with the EMHC's he poured wine from the glass jug into two or three other chalices that had been empty on a small table behind the altar during the consecration, and wine from these chalices was distributed.

My issue is this: I have heard that there is something wrong with consecrating the wine in a clear glass vessel. Is wine that is not inside a chalice consecrated and transubstantiated into the Blood of Christ? I'm not looking for preference or feelings here. I want to know what the Mass rubrics or canon law says about these things. I have a hunch that this was simply just wine and was distributed as Blood when it wasn't. I also wonder if that is true, does that invalidate the consecration of the Body? Does it invalidate the Mass? I generally try to air on the side of trust during the liturgy, that unless I specifically know that something is wrong, that the Mass is valid, no matter how irreverent the priest is.

For further information, water was not added to the wine in the glass, but only to the wine in chalice that was on the altar at the consecration in case that affects anything.

Thanks in advance for help on this issue.


#2

Hail Mary...


#3

[quote="deusnobiscum, post:1, topic:329149"]
So this is something that has happened numerous times at a particular parish in my town. The first few times it happened, I wasn't sure that I saw what I thought I had seen because I was praying during the consecration and not watching the priest very intently, but this week I purposefully watched to see what happened.

As the priest was preparing the gifts for weekday Mass, he blessed the bread and then he poured some wine from the clear glass "jug" into a chalice. He left the jug and the chalice on the corporal for the consecration. He then went through all of the prayers and we did the Our Father, sign of peace and Agnus Dei. As he was preparing to distribute the Eucharist with the EMHC's he poured wine from the glass jug into two or three other chalices that had been empty on a small table behind the altar during the consecration, and wine from these chalices was distributed.

My issue is this: I have heard that there is something wrong with consecrating the wine in a clear glass vessel. Is wine that is not inside a chalice consecrated and transubstantiated into the Blood of Christ? I'm not looking for preference or feelings here. I want to know what the Mass rubrics or canon law says about these things. I have a hunch that this was simply just wine and was distributed as Blood when it wasn't. I also wonder if that is true, does that invalidate the consecration of the Body? Does it invalidate the Mass? I generally try to air on the side of trust during the liturgy, that unless I specifically know that something is wrong, that the Mass is valid, no matter how irreverent the priest is.

For further information, water was not added to the wine in the glass, but only to the wine in chalice that was on the altar at the consecration in case that affects anything.

Thanks in advance for help on this issue.

[/quote]

Redemptionis Sacramentum says that is is reprobated but It does not invalidate the concecration if the wine is in a glass container. It is an illicit act.

Reprobated, therefore, is any practice of using for the celebration of Mass common vessels, or others lacking in quality, or devoid of all artistic merit or which are mere containers, as also other vessels made from glass, earthenware, clay, or other materials that break easily. This norm is to be applied even as regards metals and other materials that easily rust or deteriorate.[207]

If the priest intent was to concecrate the wine, than that is what was done. It sounds to me that he did and so it was truly the Blood of Jesus.


#4

The wine being in glass doesn't keep it from being transubstantiated into the Blood. The issue with glass is rather that it's sort of a common material to hold something so precious. Another issue here would be separating the Blood into chalices after consecration. Think of the drops potentially spilled!

Anyways, this was valid. It was also illicit. In fact, the problems that make it illicit wouldn't be a big deal if it were invalid (spilling wine or serving it in a glass is just called dinner time, not a travesty).

Oops! Just realized that my last musing made it seem as if it would have been better for the consecration to have been invalid. That was NOT how I meant it to come across. Of course, invalid consecration would be a million times more terrible, just the specific problems you mentioned wouldn't matter anymore. UGH I'll be quiet now :blush:


#5

As long as he had the intention to consecrate it, then it is valid. I would consider passing this information up to the Bishop’s Office because this is something to be avoided.


#6

The water only needs to be added to the celebrant’s chalice, not to every vessel that may also be on the altar for consecration.


#7

[quote="marty1818, post:5, topic:329149"]
As long as he had the intention to consecrate it, then it is valid. I would consider passing this information up to the Bishop's Office because this is something to be avoided.

[/quote]

Perhaps the concern should be diplomatically broached with the priest concerned first. Only if he refuses to see the point, should you then go over his head. Even tend I might hold back a little longer and maybe inform a friend of his who is a fellow priest and see if he would have a chat with the 'errant priest', before taking it to the next level.

ps. Tarpeian - You are of course also right in your observation.


#8

[quote="Mount_Carmel, post:7, topic:329149"]
Perhaps the concern should be diplomatically broached with the priest concerned first. Only if he refuses to see the point, should you then go over his head. Even tend I might hold back a little longer and maybe inform a friend of his who is a fellow priest and see if he would have a chat with the 'errant priest', before taking it to the next level.

ps. Tarpeian - You are of course also right in your observation.

[/quote]

The priest should be politely approached, indeed. It's charitable and good form. But...

Note that Redemptionis Sacramentum makes informing the ordinary of the priest almost obligatory.

6. Complaints Regarding Abuses in Liturgical Matters

[183.] In an altogether particular manner, let everyone do all that is in their power to ensure that the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist will be protected from any and every irreverence or distortion and that all abuses be thoroughly corrected. This is a most serious duty incumbent upon each and every one, and all are bound to carry it out without any favouritism.

[184.] Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff. It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity.

(Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum, as translated into English, from the Vatican website. Footnote links removed, bolding original.)

Item 183 makes it clear we have a duty to protect the eucharist
Item 184 makes it clear that if the priest doesn't follow the rubrics, we should tell the bishop.


#9

During the second world war, there were priests who offered mass in various circumstances where they were able to get a little wine and some bread and held mass for prisoners or soldiers in the field. The containers of the bread and wine were not gold but whatever was a suitably available container under the circumstances. So the condition and type of containers have nothing at all to do with a valid change into the body and blood of Christ. Whenever the priest says the words and meets the conditions necessary, the change takes place irregardless of the place, conditions, or containers.

Whether or not it is a sin is another question.

"Jesus at Cana gave a sign, turning water into wine." (hymn)


#10

In extraordinary circumstances, so long as the act of consecration is made in reverence by the priest, I feel sure that God will make charitable allowances. Of course as soon as the circumstances normalised he would be obligated to observe normal protocols.

ps. As a matter of interest is the nature of the 'Holy Grail' authentically validated - could it just have been a simple wooden or brass/bronze drinking cup?


#11

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.