No longer mentioning "bread" and "wine" in liturgy?

As of last week, our choir has been instructed to drop all hymns which reference “bread” and/or “wine.” At first I thought this was just our pastor’s instruction, but the choir director said that the word had come from higher up, and that the whole church would be observing this ban by 2011.

I mentioned that the liturgy referred several times to “bread” and “wine,” such as the memorial acclamation: “When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus, until You come in glory.” and also the Eucharistic Prayer: “We offer you, Father, this life-giving bread, this saving cup.” Our director brought up the subject of the new Missal translation, and said that all these references would be taken out.

So I have a few questions for you out there in forum-land. (1) Have you been instructed to drop these hymns at your parish? (2) Have you heard that this prohibition will be church-wide by next year? (3) Do the new Missal translations really drop all reference to “bread” and “wine?”

I seriously doubt that “the whole church” is going to be banned from singing hymns using the words “bread” and “wine”. While the use of those words (to refer to the consecrated Eucharist) can be imprudent at times, nevertheless, St. Paul uses the word “bread” to refer to the Eucharist. (cf. 1 Cor 10:16-17; 11:26-28) There are a fair number of hymns that use “bread” and “wine” indiscriminately or with other language that implies a lack of understanding of the Catholic doctrine on the Real Presence (i.e. transubstantiation).

That is not true. One of the acclamations said in the middle of the Eucharistic Prayer is:
Quotiescúmque manducámus panem hunc et cálicem bíbimus,
mortem tuam annuntiámus, Dómine, donec vénias.

When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup,
we proclaim your death, O Lord, until you come again.
Eucharistic Prayer I will say, after the consecration:
hóstiam puram, hóstiam sanctam, hóstiam immaculátam,
Panem sanctum vitæ ætérnæ et Cálicem salútis perpétuæ.

this pure victim, this holy victim, this spotless victim,
the holy Bread of eternal life
and the Chalice of everlasting salvation.
Eucharistic Prayer II will say, after the consecration:
panem vitæ et cálicem salútis

the Bread of life and the Chalice of salvation
Eucharistic Prayer III does not refer to the consecrated bread as “bread”.

Eucharistic Prayer IV will say, after the consecration:
ómnibus qui ex hoc uno pane participábunt et cálice

to all who partake of this one Bread and one Chalice

dge for yourself.
**Here is a link **to a page on the USCCB site showing changes in the wording in the 3rd edition of the Missal.

To the left on th epage you’ll see a list of different parts of the mass, i.e. introductory rite, liturgyof the word, etc.
The page showing is the one for the preparation of the Gifts. In the new translation we see - - -
Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the **bread **we offer you: fruit of the earth and work of human hands, it will become for us the bread of life.


Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received the wine we offer you: fruit of the vine and work of human hands it will become our spiritual drink.

Hope this clarifies for you.


That’s very strange.

Among many others, it means we “can’t” sing the traditional hymn “Pange Lingua…” because in English it contains the words “Word-made-Flesh, the bread of nature”

I cannot imagine that one being “banned” especially since the last 2 stanzas “Tantum Ergo Sacramentum…” are used at Benediction. The very idea sounds downright silly.

On the other hand, many modern compositions use the words “bread and wine” in reference to the Eucharist in such a way as to cause confusion. Is it just bread? I can certainly forsee the possibility of these hymns not being permitted.

This sort of thing would have to be done on a case by case basis. Every hymn is different and so every one would have to be evaluated on its own merits. I can certainly see some (many) of these being either banned or not-approved. The most likely scenario is “not approved”.

If your pastor wants to eliminate those modern hymns which cause confusion or doubt about the Eucharist, then he deserves credit for doing so.

However I cannot imagine that someone “higher up” would ban all hymns simply because they contain the words “bread” and/or “wine” It just doesn’t make sense.

It is very likely that in the next few years, we will see some more control by the USBBC on which hymns are approved for use at Mass–which is something they’ve been expected to do for decades, but simply haven’t done yet. It’s also likely (or at least hopeful) that they will choose not to approve many modern hymns which are unsuitable for use during Mass.

I don’t think that this refers to songs which quote Sacred Scripture with phrases as “Bread of Life” or “the Bread that came down from heaven.” I believe the target to be the large body of contemporary hymns in hymnals (from several publishers but predominantly OCP) which refer to the Eucharist exclusively in terms of bread and wine. In the OCP “Breaking Bread” hymnal sitting on my desk, I would estimate that about 80% of the hymns which are intended for use during the reception of Holy Communion fall into this category, making vague or no comparison with the Real Presence, nor of the transformation of bread and wine into Christ. Some songs even suggest that Jesus became bread and wine instead of the other way around. Many of these songs are merely vessels for the publishers’ unending social justice agenda and reorient Eucharistic language into a cry to feed the poor.

It is liturgical drivel like this which should be banned. It is misleading and borders on blasphemy.

so we can’t sing, “One Bread, One Body” anymore? (not even sure if thats the title, but the song starts with that line)

That song should have faded away decades ago. Although it has much more to do with Christian unity than with Holy Communion, it at least refers to the “bread” as being the “Body” and “Lord of all.” It also implies in the second line that we co-consecrate the “cup of blessing” with the priest, which is inaccurate.

it says we bless the cup, doesn’t say we co-concecrate
blessing has many meanings, one of which is to glorify. i can’t remember the exact passage, but i’m pretty sure theres one in the bible that says “we bless God”, meaning we glorify God, and no way does it suggest we concecrate God or make Him holy

According to the 2001 Instruction Liturgiam Authenticam at :
“108. Sung texts and liturgical hymns have a particular importance and efficacy. Especially on Sunday, the “Day of the Lord”, the singing of the faithful gathered for the celebration of Holy Mass, no less than the prayers, the readings and the homily, express in an authentic way the message of the Liturgy while fostering a sense of common faith and communion in charity.[78] If they are used widely by the faithful, they should remain relatively fixed so that confusion among the people may be avoided. Within five years from the publication of this Instruction, the Conferences of Bishops, necessarily in collaboration with the national and diocesan Commissions and with other experts, shall provide for the publication of a directory or repertory of texts intended for liturgical singing. This document shall be transmitted for the necessary recognitio to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
(My bold text.)

I am not aware of any recognito having been given to any Conference of Bishops for a list of approved hymns.

The USCCB seemed to regard this as impractical, and so approved a Directory for Music and the Liturgy, rather than a list of hymns, as reported at .

As it has in the Media Release at :
“The directory is to serve not so much as a list of approved and unapproved songs as a process by which bishops might regulate the quality of the text of songs composed for use in the liturgy.”

I don’t think that part counts. At that point in the Mass, it is bread and wine, because it hasn’t been consecrated yet. There can’t be any possible objection to calling it bread and wine then.

I can’t speak to the other points, but I’ve certainly not heard anything about any such ban, and I think I would have heard it if it were going to be a universal ban that is coming as soon as next year. And frankly, I seriously doubt that anyone is going to make us stop singing Panis Angelicus either, as well as the Pange Lingua mentioned by another poster.

I think the OP’s choir director is in some way confused. Possibly this is a Diocesan-wide thing, rather than a universal thing? And maybe it’s just the “bread” and “wine” songs that are currently in use at your parish that won’t be allowed? A lot of the newer ones are pretty shaky, theologically, and although they would probably be OK as presentation hymns (when bread and wine are still present) they are confusing to people as Communion hymns (when there is the Body and Blood of Christ but no actual bread or wine).


So you’d like to see a song with “real presence” in it? Try to rhyme that.

"…the bread is actually the real presence
but not in apearance, just the essence
and the wine is really the blood, not wine at all

what important is respect-ness
above all, liturgical correct-ness
lest we into blasphemy and drivel fall…"

My answer was directed mainly at her third question in the OP:
(3) Do the new Missal translations really drop all reference to “bread” and “wine?”
It is obvious from the link that this is not the case.
I cannot speak to the other issues.


Thanks for the answers. I am relieved to hear this is not nearly as widespread as we were led to think. It may be diocese-wide for us.

For as long as I have been a choir member, ten years across three parishes, we’ve been plagued by OCP and especially… Spirit & Song. Our last choir director, God rest her soul, purchased somewhat-decent hymnals from OCP called “Choral Praise.” (They were so good, apparently they’re already out of print.) Our pastor has requested that we draw exclusively from Choral Praise and not from Spirit & Song. This is a vast improvement IMHO.

I was personally incredulous that we would have to cut something like “Panis Angelicus.” Not that we do that hymn too often, but Corpus Christi is coming!

In 2001, OCP’s English text of Panis Angelicus was revised by Owen Alstott into yet another social justice dirge. It isn’t even an amateur attempt to translate the Latin, and it is so bad that we do not sing the English words in my parish. It would be better to avoid it altogether than to have to sing those English words at Corpus Christi.

Or perhaps in an iambic pentameter terza rima:

Master of lake, of pond, river, and air
Lord of the goose, duck, teal, pheasants
Supernal Creator beyond compare:

Give us now your living meal, peasants,
Who your dominions toil, and hope to share
In the glory of your Real Presence.

These kinds of “issues” seem to come back to haunt us over and over.

Thanks for raising the question.

And thank you to the other posters for this important discussion.

You’re making me hungry.

LOL, I really thought I’d be able to come up with a few more Gilbert-and-Sullivan-esque four-syllable rhymes for “Real Presence,” but those were really the only ones!

(And if I may correct myself, I intended “Lord of the goose, of duck, teal, pheasants.”)

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