Why does the Communion wine have to be alcoholic?


#1

Question in title.
Thank you.


#2

Because if it did not have any alcohol in it, it would be grape juice. :wink:


#3

I think there is something called “grape must” or “mustum” that an alcoholic priest or one with a health issue can use in place of wine. It is a bi-product of wine making and is not just grape juice. It is fermented so it probably has trace alcohol but I’m not sure.

I just found on an old post a reference to Pope Julius I saying this is okay. I’m new to the forum and don’t know how to quote from one post to another!


#4

Because without alcohol it would not be wine. The poster above talked about mustum, which is allowed, as it has a very very tiny amount of alcohol in it.


#5

Because Jesus used wine. In ancient times there was no way to prevent grape juice from becoming wine.


#6

[quote="johnnykins, post:5, topic:275590"]
Because Jesus used wine. ...

[/quote]

A lot of thought went into what constitutes valid communion; not just any bread will do. It has to be the same as what was used at the Last Supper, or as close as can be determined. One parish in the U.S. was found to be using a "Betty Crocker" recipe for their hosts for ten years, during which no one received the Real Presence.

The same would go for the wine. Don't ask me why white wine is acceptable.


#7

White wine is acceptable because, if it has not been tampered with, it is natural unadulterated wine. Otherwise, you could get into questions about which grapes were used? How long was it aged? Were the grapes crushed or pressed? Wine is the needed matter. For purposes of liceity it at least was, and may still be - I haven’t bothered to look it up, required that the wine have a minimum alcohol content. (With liceity, the laws can be waived as with mustum.)

As to Betty Crocker, as long as it was wheat bread and not a cake or cookie, it was valid even if illicit. I’m personally unaware of any Betty Crocker bread mix, so I have no problem believing it was invalid. If it was indeed a bread mix, it’s possible it was valid, but it was certainly illicit.


#8

[quote="ExGratia, post:3, topic:275590"]
I think there is something called "grape must" or "mustum" that an alcoholic priest or one with a health issue can use in place of wine. It is a bi-product of wine making and is not just grape juice. It is fermented so it probably has trace alcohol but I'm not sure.!

[/quote]

Mustum is grape juice that has started the fermenation process, but the process was stopped while the alcohol content is low ( %1 range).

Thus it is still wine, but wine with a low alcohol content


#9

[quote="sedonaman, post:6, topic:275590"]
A lot of thought went into what constitutes valid communion; not just any bread will do. It has to be the same as what was used at the Last Supper, or as close as can be determined.

[/quote]

Not so much. Wheat bread is valid. Cake, cookies, rye bread, oat bread, etc., are invalid. The Bible itself is self-contradictory over whether the Last Supper was a Seder or meal on the day of preparation - before Pesach. The East uses leavened bread which was also commonly used in the early Church in the West. The rules on licit western rite communion bread call for wheat flour and water only. I feel certain that was not what was eaten at the Last Supper - too crumbly and difficult to make generally. The Church knows wheat bread was eaten. Exactly what sort, etc, is unclear. A wheat bread of flour and water makes sure the bread is wheat bread and not a cake or cookie. That is, the rule is to make sure the matter is valid matter without question.


#10

Because we're not Puritans, Muslims, or Mormons, and Jesus' first miracle was to make alcoholic wine; he drank alcoholic wine at the last supper; and he was accused of being a drunkand.

The Eucharist is the re-presentation of the last supper and the Passion, with Christ present. He didn't say, "this is the cup of grape juice spilled out in the new covenant in my blood, do this in remembrance of me". Grape juice would have been poison in warm areas in those days, without preservatives or refrigeration. Alcohol was safe to drink.


#11

We are told that the Body and Blood are in the appearance of bread and wine. I would think it would at least look as much like blood as possible.


#12

It’s based on the old Jewish ritual; sacrifice of male lamb, offering of wheat/grain (bread) and offering of wine. These were offered to God.

The Mass is the repetition of the ancient ritual, Christ carried out the Pass Over meal while He lived, not long before He died and He said, do this in memory of me.

From Old Testament to New, from Christ’s acts to the Church’s, we are doing the same thing that was done so long ago.

God told Moses what was acceptable to offer to Him. We perform the same act even now.

The Mass is the Pass Over meal.


#13

[quote="sedonaman, post:6, topic:275590"]
The same would go for the wine. Don't ask me why white wine is acceptable.

[/quote]

A better question would be why it WOULDN'T be acceptable...???

Perhaps you can enlighten us on your reasoning here...


#14

[quote="sedonaman, post:11, topic:275590"]
We are told that the Body and Blood are in the appearance of bread and wine. I would think it would at least look as much like blood as possible.

[/quote]

The fact that the Body and Blood are present in the appearance of bread and wine in no way implies that there is an obligation to ensure that the wine looks like blood. Rather what is said is that the Blood looks like wine, no matter what the color of that wine... the important aspect is that the wine is indeed wine, and white wine does not fail to pass on that account. (in fact, the only difference is when the skins are removed from the fermenting product)


#15

Wine was used at the First Mass celebrated by Jesus Christ and has been used at every Mass since. Unfermented grape juice -- used in the observance of "the Lord's Supper" by some Protestants -- was not available until 1849, when Mr. Welch finally figured out how to produce it. The use of grape juice is neither biblical nor historical.


#16

[quote="sedonaman, post:11, topic:275590"]
We are told that the Body and Blood are in the appearance of bread and wine. I would think it would at least look as much like blood as possible.

[/quote]

Since looks are deceiving, it might be preferable to look less like blood.

I might also add that the host - or any bread - doesn't look at all like a body.


#17

[quote="johnnykins, post:16, topic:275590"]
Since looks are deceiving, it might be preferable to look less like blood.

I might also add that the host - or any bread - doesn't look at all like a body.

[/quote]

It looks more like flesh than white wine looks like blood.


#18

[quote="sedonaman, post:17, topic:275590"]
It looks more like flesh than white wine looks like blood.

[/quote]

Ah, yes, but plasma looks like white wine, so....


#19

[quote="sedonaman, post:17, topic:275590"]
It looks more like flesh than white wine looks like blood.

[/quote]

Still, from where did you gather the idea that the Eucharist needs to look like actual flesh and blood? There is no such requirement stated anywhere...


#20

[quote="sedonaman, post:17, topic:275590"]
It looks more like flesh than white wine looks like blood.

[/quote]

??? It doesn't look anything like flesh. Unless you've seen some very very strange bread....:D


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