Wine not in chalice

Can the wine be validly consecrated if it is not in the chalice or other proper container? Also, what if the water was not added first? Can wine without the water be validly consecrated? Can water be added to the Precious Blood after it is consecrated (in case it was forgotten)?

If the water is added to the wine prior consecration, does the water also undergo transubstantiation? Or does it remain water?

The wine does not have to be in any official “chalice.” It works just fine in a paper cup, vessel made out of tree bark, or whatever else you might be able to get your hands on in a concentration camp or on a desert island. I know of no reason, for that matter, to think it wouldn’t work if the wine were cupped in the celebrant’s hand, or free-floating in a globule in zero gravity.

Wine is mostly water to start with. When additional water is mixed in, the result is all wine – just somewhat diluted. If it’s overly diluted the sacrament would not be possible, but that is not a concern when only a few drops are used. If the water is not added, the sacrament is still valid.

Many of your questions, by the way, can be answered by reading [edited] De Defectibus.

Yes, it can be validly consecrated–meaning that the wine becomes the Blood of Christ. However, it cannot be licitly consecrated–meaning that to do so would be a violation of Church liturgical law (in this case, a serious violation).

As for the water, what is actually consecrated at Mass is ‘wine mixed with a little water’ although for brevity, we usually just say “consecrate the wine.” It isn’t only the wine that undergoes transubstantiation, but the mixture of wine and water.

If the water was forgotten, and the priest realizes this after the consecration, he simply goes on with the Mass as usual. Water is not added after the consecration.

Thanks for posting the link to De Defectibus. It’s an important Church document. I would just like to add a word of caution to other readers though, to read only the document, and not the rest of the webpage. Unfortunately, the only online sources for De Defectibus are sites which attempt to use it to disparage the Ordinary Form of the Mass. Until someone posts it on reputable webpages, we’re stuck referencing those unfortunate pages.

FrDavid, thanks for the post . . . it’s annoying to think there are people out there who believe they are more Catholic than the Pope.

An additonal warning is to obtain a current copy of instructions for the Roman Missal and reveiw current Church documents. Much of what is in De Defectibus has been changed and revised.
You can tell it was a document written to address issues of the time particullar the issue of wine freezing in the chalice.


FrDavid and Mark and to the OP:

Here is a link to de Defectibus from the Congregation for the Clergy’s website. You don’t have to worry about this site, I am fairly certain that they accept the Ordinary Form, Vatican II, and are not sede vacanti. :wink:

FAB: While what you say is correct, most of de Defectibus still holds water today. I don’t know of anything that was changed, only expanded.


Sorry, that was totally not the link I intended to post! In a previous thread another user showed me this link to De Defectibus at the website of the Congregation for the Clergy. I actually looked it up again to put into my post above, but I must’ve cut and pasted the wrong thing. My apologies!

Thanks DF, that’s what I had been looking for again.


Besides the part about wine freezing, there is not a requirment any longer to have wax candles on the altar, the sacrate vessels can be made our of durable precious materials, not just gold, nor do I think that have to blessed by the bishop before they can be used.
Besides, there are more recent documents concerning these things beside one written in 1570, which are th ones to be followed today [edited].

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