Water in the wine....

Something that I have always wondered about…and an AAA question and response spurred me to ask this today…

  1. What is the purpose of mixing water with the wine?

  2. Why does every priest I’ve ever seen only put the tiniest amount of water possible in the wine?

I always thought it had to do with the water and blood mixture that poured from Jesus after being pierced by the lance.
But I’ve also heard that it was common practice in the 1st century to add water to wine presumably to keep from imbibing too much alcohol while also sanitizing the water…

Just curious - - -


The apologists have given these answers:

Why does the priest add water to the wine?
Wine and water

The first link works…the second did not…:shrug:


Hmmm…it works for me and I don’t know how else to cite it. But at least one link answers your question.

The purpose of mixing water with wine is to represent that even if a little water is still present in the wine, it still turns into the Blood of Christ.

If there is more water than wine in the chalice, it ceases to be the Blood of Christ. That is why the priest might only put a drop of water in the wine.


I tried it again and it still did not work…I get an “untrusted site” screen which is really weird given that the first one works and it is the same site…:shrug:

Anyway - I did a search and saw this…by apologist Jim Blackburn
According to Joseph A. Jungmann, S.J. in The Mass of the Roman Rite, the mixture of water with the wine was expressly mentioned as early as the second century. Jungmann offers three explanations for this mixture: “intimate union of the faithful with Him to whom they have bound themselves in faith”; “reference to the blood and water which flowed from Christ’s side on Calvary”; and in the Orient “the wine and water were made to represent the divine and human natures in Christ”.
Is this the reply in your second link?


He added an https to the beginning of the second link, which is a secure connection to the site, but the site’s content isn’t secured, so most browsers don’t treat it nicely. So either copy the link and remove the ‘s’ from the end of the ‘https’, or just click these fixed links.

Why does the priest add water to the wine?
Wine and water

I wonder how the “s” got in there. I copied and pasted the links from the URL line in the browser. Thanks for noticing the problem.

I knew about various symbolisms of water and wine.

I always thought only a small amount of water was used because no one likes the taste of watered down wine…:smiley:

This was my understanding of it, and it comes from a more medical and biblical perspective and my husband who was an altar boy shared this with me. This to consider.

Whole Blood is made out of water in the ‘plasma’ and blood parts. Blood can not be whole blood without water added into it. When Jesus died and was speared blood came out first followed by water, and that is how whole blood drains out of the body. First it runs red than clear. But when the blood (Wine is made into complete blood again) it has to have water added to it. Water the last thing out of the body and the last thing back in to make it fully whole consecrated whole blood again. So we will be drinking the whole blood of Christ and share in His divinity by drinking it at the Eucharistic Feast.

Jesus when he came out of the tomb looked like he was flesh and bone (no blood) and thus immortal.

Jesus said after His Resurrection from the Tomb.

Luke 24:39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

He passed his life to us to share in His divinity.

So when we are immortal we will look like we are made of flesh and bone just like Adam and Eve did.

Of course we know that water always symbolizes a purification or a cleansing.

Now going back to Adam and Eve… before they had blood… they were made of flesh and bone (no blood). Genesis 2:23 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called Woman,
for out of Man this one was taken.”

When they sinned, Adam and Eve became filled with blood and then lost the gift of immortality.

Now Jesus passed the chalice of his blood onto us as the sacrificial bond at the Last Supper which gives immortality to all who drink of it. We will drink of this cup of the new and eternal covenant at the unending feast of our Lord until the Last Day and where it will render us immortal as Jesus is because Jesus restored immortality to us.

Ephesians 5: 30 Because we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Please tell where you got this unusual teaching from–I mean a source. I have never heard this bloodless thing before, and to tell the truth, I highly doubt it. That is why I would like a reference. I do not believe this is Church teaching. Thank you.

Of course I go to a lot of Catholic sources all the time… You want me to give you a direct source that explains all of this I ask you… Can you find it?

This link may help…


M aybe it’s just me today, but it seems that this thread has taken a very bizarre, almost ghoulish, turn.

From that link…

First, they allude to the piercing of Christ’s heart after His death. St. John records that one of the soldiers, to ensure that Christ was dead, “pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.” (John 19:34; cf. 1 John 5:6)

And of course the Adam and Eve part, is from the scriptures also… Jesus restored immortality…that is in the scriptures also…

Okay I found this from another post.forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=302959

This is explained by the Council of Trent, which also incorporates the significance of the symbolism of the water which flowed from the side of Christ (John 10:34):

The holy council in the next place calls to mind that the Church has instructed priests to mix water with the wine that is to be offered in the chalice; because it is believed that Christ the Lord did this, and also because from His side there came blood and water; the memory of this mystery is renewed by this mixture, and since in the Apocalypse of St. John the “people” are called “waters,” the union of the faithful people with Christ their head is represented (Trent: Session 22, Chapter vii).


No, this does not explain your very bizarre statements at all! Where did you get the idea that Adam and Eve had no blood? Where did you get this interpretation? What you are citing has nothing to do with the interpretation you are giving.

OK folks fair enough on the general principle…How about the amount…

Although the cruet of water has plenty in it I’ve never seen a priest use more than the slightest dribble…
If it is to represent the water from Christ’s side - well that small amount of water would never even have been noticed. So more water would seem to be appropriate.
If the symbolism is the incarnation - well something more equal would seem appropriate.
The only idea mentioned that might explain it is the idea that we are the water and Jesus the wine…We being so small compared to the majesty of our Lord and King…

Someone mentioned something about people not liking the taste of watered sown wine…This I reject. We are not taking wine. We are taking the blood of Christ and taste should have nothing to do with it.

So - any ideas on why so little water???


Here’s a quick video answer from Bishop Christopher Coyne. :thumbsup:


The need to go directly to the source is evident in your post. The Church is the teacher, we are the students; being an altar server does not qualify us to be anything but an altar server. Medical terms and directives give nothing to understand Christ’s life or death. Biblical sources must be weighed against the understandings of Mother Church, not our own ability or fundamental understandings.

Although some of the things you say are true here about blood, none have significance in the discussion. The Blood and Water ran out of His side for particular spiritual reasons, not for medical reasons. Are there medical reasons involved, yes, but not the focus or purpose of the event. Furthermore, the water added to the wine is not required for validity of the sacrament. For instance, when I prepare the altar and the vessels and gifts, many times we end up with many chalices, not all will have water added, mingled. Typically only the celebrant’s chalice has water added unless the wine is in one vessel before being poured into separate vessels. The validity of the “unmingled” wine is not in question at all.

Please provide any site for this fundamental interpretation. Neither Tradition nor Scripture back this up.

So anywhere the reference in Scripture is to flesh and bones that means there is no blood present? That is just simply not so. The Sacred Body at Mass is Jesus’ body, blood, soul and divinity; the entire person of Jesus Christ. The same is true for the Precious Blood. It is only a fuller symbol of Jesus when received under both the Eucharistic Bread and Wine. Not that the Eucharist is a symbol, it is not.

Again, please help us understand where you get these ideas.

Ok, here we can agree; however, the way you use this truth in out of context. The water added to the wine does not have any significance to purification or cleansing.

This has got to be one of the most disturbing things I have ever heard from a Catholic. Adam and Eve were created fully human, this includes blood or they would not have been alive. Where on earth do you get this?

Again, much of what you write in this portion although truth, you use it out of context. The Scripture you site is truth, we are members of His Body, but to say that this means only His flesh and bones and not His blood is just strange. Flesh contains blood, bone contains marrow which produces blood cells. How do you separate blood from flesh and bone? What is the biggest trouble for me to follow, how do you make the leap that this is what Sacred Scripture is referring to when no where in any Catholic commentaries make these statements?

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