Adding water to consecrated wine

Discussion in 'Liturgy, and Book of Common Prayer' started by Scete, Jun 29, 2018.

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  1. Scete

    Scete New Member

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    Recently at a Anglican Eucharist, the server running short of wine added a small amount of water to the chalice. Apparently they had been told by the incumbent they could do this the visiting minister objected and said this should not be done. Can anyone point me to any Church of England rules on this?
    Thanks.
     
  2. Symphorian

    Symphorian Well-Known Member

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    If the consecrated wine proved insufficient when the chalice was being administred to communicants, the Priest should return to the altar and consecrate more. This is is according to the rubrics of Common Prayer 1662 and Common Worship 2000.

    If you're referring to the preparation of the chalice, the practice of having a mixed chalice (a little water added to the wine) is of great antiquity in the Church. It was a cuItural practice of Jesus' day to mix water with wine. Liturgically it developed symbolism. It's symbolical of the humanity and divinity of Jesus (water = humanity, wine = divinity.) It also symbolises the piercing of Jesus' side at the Crucifixion when blood and water flowed forth.

    The First Book of Common Prayer (1549) had a rubric directing a mixed chalice but the rubric was dropped in later editions. The legality of having a mixed chalice has been called into question in the Church of England in the late 19th century (along with other so called 'unlawful' practices such as elevation, use of mass vestments, having lighted candles on the altar, use of wafer bread etc.) but such things are now common place and widely accepted.
     
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  3. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I instinctively feel that this is porr sacramental practice. It almost seems to point to some idea of a diluted salvation or a watered down Gospel. In a day and age where much is made of the common cup debate with all sorts of options being made available (don't start me) I think watering down the sacrament to make it stretch out a little more is the last thing we should be doing.

    By the mingling of this water and this wine may we share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity.
     
  4. Scete

    Scete New Member

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    Thanks for the comments. In a discussion with a fellow minister he remembers seeing a Bishop add wine rather than water. From talking to other clergy, both happen but appear not to be the norm.
     
  5. Tiffy

    Tiffy Active Member

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    Quite so! Charging the cup with wine and a little water before the elements are consecrated is a different matter to what the OP is suggesting here. If more is required, just adding water is not sufficient, (unless one has a great deal of faith and six stone jars each containing 20 to 30 gallons of it).

    That being said though, it is the faith by which it is received that matters, not the proportionate alcoholic content.
     
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