Communion Wine

Below is an excerpt from the Standard Encyclopedia of the Alcohol Problem.

Wine used in the celebration of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, or the Eucharist, often called the "Holy Communion" or, simply, "Communion." In this sacrament, which was instituted by Jesus the evening before his crucifixion, either at the legal Passover, or, as seems more probable, at an anticipated paschal meal with his disciples, two of the five Passover elements, the bread and the wine, were given a new significance. The "cup" of the "New Testament" (I Cor. xi. 23) was the third of the four cups of wine of the Passover ritual.

In the early Christian era the question as to the nature of the wine used in the institution of the Eucharist was never raised; probably no one even thought of regarding the Communion wine as anything but fermented. But in later times divergent practises with regard to the cup gave rise to discussions concerning the nature and use of Communion wine which have been carried on with unabated vigor down to the present time.

Nature and Use of Communion Wine

With respect to the nature of the wine used in the Eucharist, it has been questioned whether the product of grapes is the only legitimate Communion wine and whether the wine must be fermented or unfermented. With respect to the use of wine in the Communion it has been debated whether the wine must be mixed with water, whether the wine may be displaced by some liquid that is not wine, such as water, honey, or milk, and whether the wine must be administered to the laity or only to the officiating clergy.

The introduction in certain Anglican churches of the use of unfermented wine in the Eucharist caused the Archbishop of Canterbury shortly before the World War to invite a small committee "to draw up and submit to him a report upon the historical facts which would be helpful for the effective consideration of the problem." In their report, which, after presentation to the Archbishop, was published at his request ("Unfermented Wine," London, 1917), the evidence compiled points to several conclusions, namely: (1) that only fermented wine (Hebrew, yayin) was used in Jewish religious observances in pre-Christian times, and that, therefore, the cup of the Eucharist contained fermented wine; (2) that the fermented wine was always mixed with water, and that the early church followed that practise; and (3) that until recent times, with only minor exceptions, only fermented grape wine has been recognized as legitimate in the Communion by the Church both of the East and of the West.

Wine at Jewish Passover

The conclusion of the Committee, that only fermented wine was used in Jewish religious ceremonies and that, hence, the cup of the Eucharist contained fermented wine, was arrived at after inquiry into Jewish usage with reference to the kind of wine used in the Passover. "It is true," says their report, "that wine is not mentioned in the Old Testament as being used in the Passover, but that this was the custom in pre- Christian times is clear, e. g., from the Book of Jubilees, xlix. 6: 'And all Israel was eating the flesh of the paschal lamb and drinking the wine.' This they are said to have been doing during the plague of the death of the first-born among the Egyptians." The chief ancient authorities cited for the celebration of the Passover are the two Mishna tractates "Berakhoth" and "Pesachim." In both of these tractates the Hebrew word used for the Passover wine yayin, which the committee asserts "never means anything but 'fermented wine,"' and "always means 'wine mixed with water.' " Thus, in "Berakhoth," vi. 1, mention is made of the blessing uttered over the wine (yayin is the word used) at table; and in vii. 5 occur the words: "The blessing over the wine (yayin) is only said when the water is added to it." From this mixing of wine and water arose the expression, frequently used, of "mixing the cups"; this occurs at least five times in this tractate (iv. 8 'bis, v. 4, vi. 2, viii. 2). In the Tosephta to the tractate reference is made to the fact that "mixed wine" (yayin mazug) is better than "natural or unmixed wine" (yayin Hai.). The idea of unfermented wine being used at the Passover is therefore excluded if we are to be guided by the evidence of this tractate. In "Pesachim," vii. 13, reference is made to the vessel (meham='kettle') in which the water was warmed before mixing with the wine. There would have been no mixing unless fermented wine was meant. In x. I it is said: "Let the poor man in Israel eat not otherwise than reclining [i.e., not sitting, as would be the wont of a poor man] and let them offer him not less than four cups of wine (yayin)." In x. 2, the phrase, "to mix the cup" (mezog kos) occurs (cf. vil. 13), the wine being too strong without water. In this passage yayin is the word used. In x. 4 the second cup is to be mixed; in x. 7, the third and the fourth. In x. 7, it is said that while wine may be drunk in addition to that of the Passover cups, none may be drunk between the third and the fourth. The meaning of this obscure expression is explained In the Talmud by saying that If they had so much they would be overcome. The statement of Perrar Fenton in "The Bible and Wine," p. 6 (London, 1907), that, since in the preparation for the Passover "No kind of Fermented Food or Drink was allowed to be in even a private dwelling for seven days," all Passover wine must have been unintoxicating, and that Jesus, therefore, must have used unfermented grape sirup In the institution of the Eucharist, is dismissed by the committee as being "sufficiently refuted by reference to two such authoritative works among the Jews as Friedlander's 'The Jewish Religion,' pp. 372-394 (1900), and Morris JoseDh's 'Judaism as Creed and Life,' pp. 215-226 (1903)."

Many persons who, for temperance reasons, favor the use of unfermented grape-juice in the was used in the institution of the sacrament, but Communion do not deny that fermented wine justify the use of the unfermented juice on the 'ground that it is of the nature of wine, and that this departure from traditional usage does not diminish the spiritual import of the sacrament.

Gospel Abstainers' Theory

There is, however, in the Christian Church, a Protestant element known as Gospel total abstainers, who contend that fermented wine was not used in the institution of the Eucharist and deny that there is any proof that the wine spoken of in connection with the Passover was intoxicating wine. Their arguments are well summed up in a tract, entitled "Unfermented v. Intoxicating Communion Wine," which was published Jan. 31, 1919, by a committee of the Ealing and Hanwell Temperance Union. The tract says: "Our belief that (1) The Bible condemns the use of Intoxicating Wine, and (2) Approves of Unfer- mented Grape Juice, rests upon Facts which cannot be disproved. There is only one Infallible Interpreter, God's Holy Spirit of Truth; scholars always differ, but they are human. Solomon condemned intoxicating Wine as a 'mocker,' but spoke with approval of unfermented grape juice as the 'wine of wisdom.' " The tract goes on to say:

All true Christians are agreed that the Bible being inspired by God's Spirit cannot contradict itself in meaning. Apparent Scriptural contradictions are due to unbelief and misinterpretation. What other meaning can there be to lsaiah lxv. 8, than unexpressed unfermented grape juice" - As the new wine is found in the cluster."

The context of the words translated wine generally quoted in support of the use of alcoholic beverages, upon examination and comparison, with other Passages of Scripture will be found to refer to unfermented instead of alcoholic wines. As an example the phrase "Wine which cheereth God and man" is only part of Judges ix. 1 3 , "and the vine said unto them shall [sic] I leave my wine which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?" That of course refers to natural wine or unexpressed grape juice.

The wine miraculously made by the Lord Jesus Christ at the Marriage Feast of Cana, must have been unfermented-(l) God's Written Word condemns the use of intoxicating wines, and (2) alcoholic wine is not God-made but a man-made beverage. Natural wine or God-made grape juice is always unfermented, alcohol is not produced till the juice has been expressed by man, and allowed to ferment.

In the Bible "leaven" or ferment is the symbol of moral corruption; and the use of intoxicating wine at Holy Communion is altogether unscriptural.

Besides which all imported alcoholic wines are fortified by brandy or spirit, including Intoxicating Tent Wine. Nothing is said in Scripture about THE USE OF BRANDY AT THE HOLY COMMUNION.

Criticizing the above-mentioned Report to the Archbishop, the tract states that: The Report is valuable as it admits the following Historical Facts-the use of "mustum" [Appendix C], boiled or inspissated Unfermented Wine by the Ancients, and the Ancient and Modern custom of the Jews of mixing water with wine; but the conclusions are erroneous-
(I) That the use of water with Passover wine "is probable evidence that the wine was fermented"; and the dogmatic assertion
(2) "that yayin (one of the principal Hebrew words translated wine) always denotes intoxicating liquor," which can be disproved from the Scriptures.

The Report mainly emphasizes Ecclesiastical Custom as though that were the dominating issue in the Controversy; but according to the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Spiritual Head of the Church, authority should be based upon the Word of God, and not upon Tradition or Custom.

The principal reason for the use of water with wine by the Jews, was not that Intoxicating wine was used, but the admitted fact that ancient wines were generally inspissated or boiled to a thick syrup like I'mustvm" of the Romans (referred to in Appendix C) ; they were too thick or "strong" for drinking and had to be "mixed" or mingled with water. Both kinds of wine, unfermented and fermented juice of grapes, dates, etc., were used by the Ancients as beverages; for religious purposes, however, as the Report admits, unfermented wine made from dried grapes or raisins steeped in water was used by various churches, with or without official Ecclesiastical authority.

The late Dr. Norman Kerr in "Unfermented Wine a Fact" states-"If unfermented grape juice be enclosed in an air-tight vessel, and heated in boiling water, fermentation will be rendered impossible" (this is one of the modern methods of preserving Unfermented Wine).

He also states "Inspissated grape juice boiled down to a half, a third, or a fourth of its bulk, does not ferment for a very long period, and then only slightly and on its surface."

Inspissation appears to have been one of the principal methods adopted by the Ancients to preserve wine from fermentation; the thick syrup had to be "mixed" or diluted with water for drinking. The Jewish Custom of mixing water with Passover wine proves that wine as originally used was unfermented, and not intoxicating, as the Report wrongly infers; intoxicating wine is fluid and requires no added water to make it drinkable. Even were it true that Ancient Wines were at first slightly fermented, the fact that they were afterwards boiled would expel the fermenting yeast germs...

The contention that the use of unfermented wine was contrary to recognized Ecclesiastical Authority is of little importance. According to the "Encyclopaedia Britannica," "The Rabbins would seem to have interpreted the command respecting ferment as extending to the wine as well as the bread of the Passover."

The following passages of Scripture are cited by the Gospel total abstainers as disproving the assertion that the word yayin refers only to intoxicating wine:

Fact No. 1. The Bible refers to more than one kind of Wine. Neh. v. 18. "Store of all sorts of wine" (Yayin).

Fact No. 2. Unfermented Grape-juice. Psalm civ. 14-:l5. "Wine that maketh glad the heart of man." The use of alcoholic wine causes sorrow, vice, and crime, not joy. The phrase is from verse 15, quoted apart from the context by the drinker ; the conjunction "and" however connects it with verse 14, which refers to "food out of the earth"-alcohol is not a food, but a poison. Compare this passage with Judges ix. 13, where the word "tirosh," instead of yayin, is used for wine, and refers to unexpressed, unfermented grape-juice-"and the vine said unto them, Shall I leave my wine which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?" Drinkers omit the word "my" and the poetical phrase which refers to the election of Abimelech as king; the text has nothing to do with alcoholic wine. "Tirosh" evidently refers to natural wine, unexpressed, and yayin to expressed fruit juice, unfermented or fermented.

Fact No. 3. Solomon used the word "yayin" to describe two different kinds of wine, one harmless, the other intoxicating. Prov. ix, verses I and 5. "The Wine of Wisdom, mingled" (unfermented grape-juice mixed with water or spices). Prov. xx. 1. Intoxicating wine is described as a "mocker." A wise man like Solomon would not contradict himself by approving and condemning the same kind of wine.

Fact No. 4. Solomon emphatically condemned intoxicating wine. Prov. xxiii. 20. "Be not among wine (yayin) bibbers." Prov. xxiii. 31-32. "Look not thou upon the wine when it is red (fermented) ; at the last it biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder."

Fact No. 5. Yayin is used for Pomegranate Juice mixed with spices (Song of Songs viii. 2).

Pact No. 6. The Prophet Isaiah used yayin for both kinds of wine. xvi. 10. "The treaders shall tread no wine in their presses" (natural unfermented grape-juice). v. 2. "Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine" (intoxicating kind) and also xxviii. 7. "The priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink (shakar) they are swallowed up of wine (yayin)...they err in vision, they stumble in Judgment."

Fact No. 7. The Prophet Jeremiah used the word yayin xxv. 15. "The cup of fury" for intoxicating wine and xl. 10. "Gather ye wine and summer fruits," for natural unfermented grape-juice.

Views of Modern Orthodox Jews

Modern Ashkenazic orthodox Jews follow the precept of the "Magen Abraham" (a commentary on the "Shulchan Aruk," which is a rabbinical authority of first importance on all ritual questions since the destruction of the Temple) directing the ritual use of old wine (Hebrew yayin yashan). In a note under section 272 of this commentary it is said that there is a difference of opinion whether consecration may be made over strong wine (Hebrew, shaker). Dr. M. Gaster, the haham, a contemporary Jewish scholar, speaking for all Sephardic Jews, denies that a Passover has been celebrated if unfermented wine has been used. On the other hand, the late Chief Rabbi, Dr. Adler, stated in 1883: "Jews from time immemorial used fermented and unfermented wine on every occasion including the Passover." However, the general consensus of orthodox rabbinical opinion is that the use of unfermented wine is contrary to the ritual, and that where fermented wine is not procurable, sanctification is to be said only over the unleavened bread, while the words for the wine are to be omitted.

Unfermented Wine Theory

The several points urged by those who would defend the unfermented wine theory in connection with the institution of the Eucharist, may be thus summed up: (1) That Jesus' use in the institution, and Paul's in the description of the Eucharist of the phrase "fruit of the vine," instead of wine (Greek oinos), would seem to point to the fallacy of the fermented wine theory, the omission of a direct reference to wine implying its absence from the supper; (2) that clusters of grapes might have been preserved from the autumn harvest and pressed out especially for the Passover cups; (3) that unfermented juice, pressed out six months before, could have been preserved by boiling or some other process; and (4)that Jesus would not have countenanced the use of fermented wine because the use of it leads into temptation.

Fermented Wine Theory

Those who hold to the fermented wine theory would reply to the preceding arguments as follows:

(1) The fact that the phrase "fruit of the vine" appears in the early part. of the Passover ritual for the blessing of the cup is sufficient reason for Jesus' use of it in the institution of the Eucharist, and, since in Jewish usage at the Passover the "fruit of the vine," that is, the juice, was always fermented, Jesus must have meant fermented wine, mixed with water, when he used the words "fruit of the vine." The phrase "fruit of the vine" was used instead of "wine" in the ritual because in Jewish usage God was thanked only for the natural products of the earth, not for man-made products, such as wine.

(2) There is no evidence of the existence in Jesus' time of any process of refrigeration or chemical treatment by which grape clusters could have been kept from autumn till Passover time.

(3) Even if it could be established that the unfermented must was, by some such process as boiling, kept in the unfermented state for half a year or longer, the entire evidence of the Jewish authorities cited above undeniably excludes the idea of unfermented juice at the paschal supper.

(4) The charge that Jesus, by endorsing the use of fermented drink, would have been leading his disciples into temptation, can not with fairness be made, inasmuch as the two-thirds admixture of water considerably lessened the strength of the wine. Furthermore, Jesus must not be judged by a viewpoint with reference to fermented wine which was not recognized in the domestic life of his day, in which he, together with his disciples, participated.

In the Apostolic Church the use of fermented wine was a presupposition, based on the facts of the institution. The Cup of Blessing, which has been identified with the "third cup" of the Passover, undoubtedly contained mixed wine. Its intoxicating nature may be inferred from the words "too much" in I Cor. xi. 21.Practise The Apostolic Constitutions ( the 44), while not imposing upon the Apostolic clergy total abstinence in connection with funeral feasts, warn them against drunkenness. Undoubtedly, the intoxicating wine used at these feasts was used also in the Agape, or Love Feast, of which in Apostolic times the Eucharist was the climax.

Symbolism of the Mixed Cup

Harnack's supposition that the ancient church was indifferent to the use of wine in the Euchcarist ("Texte uncl Untersuchungen," new series, vii. 2, 1891) is disproved by the abundant testimony of the "Didache," Ignatius, Justin, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Hippolytus, Tertullian. and Cyprian. Patristic literature abundanily mentions the necessity of wine and water in the cup. Thus Justin Martyr speaks ("Apologia," i. 67) of water and wine. Irenaeus and Abercius designate the mixed cup (Lat calix mixtus) a temperamentum (Gr. Krama), that is, "a suitable modification." Origen refers ("Commentary on Mathew," xxvi. 29) to the wine in the mixed cup as fermented.

To Cyprian this mixture symbolized the union of Christ's godhead (wine) with his humanity (water). Clement saw in it the union of the Spirit with man. In Catholic tradition the mixture symbolizes, also, the flowing of water and blood out of Jesus' side and the union of Christ with the faithful. This mystical meaning grew out of a practise originally utilitarian and in accord with domestic usage. From the fourth century onward there is frequent reference in the Councils to the mixed chalice. According to the 98th Canon of Basil, not more than a third part is to be water. This proportion is also directed in the Nestorian liturgy of Addai and Mari. In the Syrian church of the fifth century some discretion was allowed the deacons as to the proportion of wine to water. In the Greek Church, as sometimes at the Passover (see above), for some centuries hot water was mixed with the wine to increase the resemblance to blood. This custom is recorded in the catacomb paintings. The legitimacy of the mixed chalice was firmly established by the Council of Trent (Session xxii, Canon 9).

The sole exception to the use of the mixed cup was found in the Monophysite churches; for example, the Armenian. As the ordinary domestic custom in Armenia, was to use unmixed wine, this practise would quite naturally be followed by the Church of Armenia in the Eucharist. In later times it was alleged that the Armenian Church eschewed the mixed cup in the Eucharist because it symbolized the union of the two natures of Christ in one person, a doctrine which this branch of Christendom rejected; but there seems to be no ground for this explanation of the unmixed cup, domestic custom furnishing adequate reason for it. The Armenian practise fell under the condemnation of the Council of Trullo in 692.

First Regulations as to Kind of Wine

The first regulations with respect to the kind of wine to be used in the Communion are met with in the sixth century. The Council of Dorin in Armenia (527) forbade, in Canon 8, the use of new wine. The Fourth Council of Orleans (541) ordered, in Canon 4, the use of grapewine only. The Council of Auxerre (between 573 and 603) required, in Canon 8, the mixture of wine with water and not any other liquid that is not wine, such as a decoction of honey, or milk. This modification of wine with milk or honey was made in many places at the neophytes' Communion.

The Third Council of Braga (675) prohibited, in Canon 1, the use of milk instead of wine, the intinction of the bread into the wine, and the presentation to communicants of grapes instead of wine-irregularities which locally had crept into favor in the celebration of the Communion.

Burchard of Worm's Falsifications

The isolated instance of sanction being given to the use of unfermented wine, contrary to the universal practise of the Church in the West, arose through a falsification by Bishop Burchard of Worms (d. 1025) of the first Canon of the Third Council of Braga as a decretal of Pope Julius (d. 352), with the expanded provision of his own that, in case of necessity, so long as water was mixed with the juice, it might, in case of lack of wine, be pressed directjy from a bunch of grapes for use in the Eucharist. The original Bragan Canon did not sanction the use of fresh grape-juice, but only disallowed the use of grape-clusters in the Communion, since the admixture of water with these, according, to Cyprian's command was precluded. But Burchard, believing perhaps that there was nothing in the Canon against the use of grape-juice so long as water was added, went on to allow this in a case of necessity; and from him the permission passed unaltered into Ivo and Gratian and became part of the unquestioned law of the Middle Ages. Whether it played any part in the appearance of the cautel, or caution, in the Roman Missal, can not be determined. Some light on this isolated sanction of unfermented wine in a case of necessity is perhaps obtainable from the observation just at that time in the Western Church unleavened bread was ousting leavened bread, which practise Greek writers were condemning. Where unleavened (unfermented) bread was still looked upon as bread, it may have appeared a natural corollary, as C. H. Turner suggests ("Unfermented Wine," Appendix A), to regard unfermented grape-juice as of the nature of wine.

In Roman and Greek Churches

In the Roman Church the decision has been given ("De Defectibus," iv. 2, in the "Ritus Servandus" of the Tridentine Missal) that, while there is a valid sacrament when unfermented wine is consecrated, yet the celebrant of the Mass commits a grave violation of canonical law, unless there is extreme necessity for such consecration of fresh juice. St. Thomas was perhaps the first to condemn the use of freshlypressed juice, except in a case of necessity. A. Lehmkuhl in "Casus Conscientiae," 1907 (vol.ii, Case 34), holds that the use of unfermented wine in Mass is always valid, but never licit, except in extreme necessity.

In the Greek Church, as in the Roman, only in extreme necessity may the juice of grapes freshly pressed for the purpose be used in the Eucharist.

The Coptic, Abyssinian, Nestorian, and Armenian churches use only fermented wine, though there is evidence that in the Abyssinian Church the juice of raisins, washed Saturday night by monks and pressed Sunday morning, is sometimes given bv the priests to the communicants, before fermentation has begun or proceeded very far. Coptic sacramental wine has shown, under analysis, a considerable alcoholic content, in one instance as high, as 7 per cent. The following recipe for the making of Coptic sacramental wine has been received verbatim from the Coptic priest of Khartum (April 8, 1914) :

Gather dried grapes [raisins]. Put them in water (under water] for three days. Place the raisins, which have now become full grapes, under a native wine-press, and squeeze into a native bottle [and] any water left in the vessel in which the raisins were first placed. Seal the bottle, and place under the ground for forty days. Then use for Church purposes only.

In the Eastern Church

The use of dried grapes (raisins) is very common in the Eastern Church, owing to the difficulty of procuring a supply of wine the year round. This is especially the case in regions where the vine is not cultivated, and communication with the outside world is difficult. Moreover, it is with difficulty that wine is kept in many places, as bottles are unknown there; and wine, when stored in large clay pots, turns to vinegar. The priests commonly place raisins in water early in the week, later stirring the liquid with a stick in order to bruise the skins and start fermentation. By Sunday morning the juice is fully fermented and ready for use in the Communion.

Substitutes for Wine Condemned

It has been made clear that the common decision of the Church has been against the substitution of anything for fermented wine in the Eucharist. But there have been irregular practises that need to be noted, where water, milk, honey, salt, and even cheese were used instead of wine. Chrysostom referred ("Homily on Matt." lxxxiii. 4, arid Gen. xxix. 3) to the use in certain places of bread and water. Though this practise was never so common as Harnack supposed (see above), it was followed by quite a number of heretical sects. Irenacus said of the Encratites that they used water in the cup. Epiphaiiius ("Haereses," xlii. 3 and xlvi. 2) repeats this charge against the followers of Substitutes Marcion and Tatian. Cyprian had occasion to condemn this practise among certain African bishops. Archbishop Benson has explained that communion with water in these African churches was not traceable to any religious antipathy to wine, but to the unworthy suspicion which many incurred, especially women, by having the scent of wine about them at an early hour. Another explanation is that Christians feared that the scent of wine early in the morning would betray that they were Christians, as it was generally known that the Christians communed early in the day. In the neophytes' Communion it would seem that milk and honey were sometimes given instead of wine. In the old Spanish provinces of Gallacia and Asturia, where wine was scarce, milk was substituted.

Encratites Aquarii, and Artotyrites

The Encratites, who opposed the use of all intoxicating drinks, consistently communed with water. In the fourth century the users-of water in the Communion were called "Aquarii" or "Hydroparastatae" and, under the Code of Theodosius, were liable to death for their practise. Others known as having substituted water for wine are: Tatian, a pupil of Justin Martyr; Galatia, the confessor of Alcibiades of Lyons; Pionius, the Catholic martyr of Smyrna; the Marcionites; the Ebionites; the Montanists; and the Therapeutae of Philo. In the second century the African Montanists were sometimes called the "Artotyrites" because they added cheese, instead of wine, to the bread in the Eucharist on the ground that the Aquarii, and first men offered the fruits both of Artotyrites the earth and of their flocks (Gen. iv. 3, 4). Marcus, a Valentinian (circa 150), according to Irenaeiis, used cups apparently mixed with wine, but really containing water, and during long invocations made them appear purple and red. All these irregular practises were condemned as heretical, and their continuance was checked by the Councils.

Communion in One Kind

In the Greek Church and in the Protestant churches of the West wine has always been received in the Communion by all communicants. The Greek Church still follows the practise of intinction, by which the bread is dipped into the wine. The Roman Catholic Church withholds the cup from the laity on the ground that Christ is totally present in either element. The fear of wasting drops of the consecrated wine was alluded to by Tertullian ("De Corona" iii). In 1099 Pope Paschal II permitted children to omit wine in the Communion. Up to that time the cup had been received by all communicants, except some under discipline. It, would appear ("Encyclopaedia Britannica, " s. v. "Eucharist," p. 873) that the cup was voluntarily renounced by the people of England in the Communion twelfth century, scarcity of wine perhaps helping to establish the new practise of communion in one kind. As a culmination of this tendency the Council of Constance in 1415 definitely withdrew the cup from all the laity, and the Council of Trent in 1562 reaffirmed the practise for all Roman churches.

In the Roman Catholic churches to-day the wine used in the chalice is always fermented and mixed with water. The use of grape-juice is held valid, but never licit. Basis, or chemically manufactured, wines are invalid, though their chemical constitution is identical with that of grape wine. The general consensus is also against the chemical treatment of wine to lower the degree of fermentation. Many priests personallv supervise the process of making wine for use at their altars, in order that they may be certain that nothing but naturally fermented wine will enter the chalice.

In the Episcopal and Lutheran churches fermented wine is generally required. Usage varies in these churches with respect to the mixed cup, three practises being followed:
(1) the use of unmixed wine;
(2) wine mixed with water; and
(3) wine mixed with unfermented grape-juice to lessen the strength.

In the churches of the Reformed group, in the newer sects, and in the liberal Christian bodies, as well as in the liberal synagogues, temperance considerations have made the use of unfermented grape-juice quite general, it being regarded as of the nature of wine, and therefore legitimate for sacramental purposes.


Entry from the Standard Encyclopedia of the Alcohol Problem

Westerville History MuseumWesterville History Museum

As the site of the Anti-Saloon League’s former headquarters, the Westerville History Museum works to preserve the history of the temperance movement, the passage of the 18th Amendment, and the Prohibition era.
As the site of the Anti-Saloon League’s former headquarters, the Westerville History Museum works to preserve the history of the temperance movement, the passage of the 18th Amendment, and the Prohibition era.

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