Why does the priest add water to the wine?

I hope this is not being posted twice. I’m new to this website. I had originally put this under sacraments.

What is the Church’s teaching as to why the priest mixes water into the wine? I have found three different answers in three different books, but could not find a reference in the Catechism The answers I found are:

  1. From ancient Jewish sacraments water was always added to cut the wine.
  2. To represent the water and blood that came from Christ’s side at the crucifixion.
  3. Per St. Cyprian, the water represents us.

Dear Marylee,

The answer is found in the prayer the priest says as he pours the water: “By the mystery of this water and wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled Himself to share in our humanity.”

The water represents us and the wine represents Christ. The mixing of them both symbolizes Christ sharing in our humanity that through His incarnation, passion, death and resurrection, we may share (to a degree) in His divinity. Go, St. Cyprian!

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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