Teaching Mass Q&A: What about the wine?

Thanks to all those who handed in questions after the Teaching Mass.  I shall work through them slowly, and thought I’d do it in this forum, so that there could be comment – and even debate!

First up: “What sort of wine is used in the Mass?  Who makes it?”

What goes on in the Church is governed by Canon Law (Codex Iuris Canonici), and Canon 924 states:  ” §1 The most holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist must be celebrated in bread, and in wine to which a small quantity of water is to be added. …§3   The wine must be natural, made from grapes of the vine, and not corrupt.”

In other words, any kind of wine can legitimately be used, but it must be natural – so, for example, mulled wine, or wine artificially fortified (especially by non-grape alcohol) cannot be used.  Because it must not be “corrupt” (off!), sweeter wines tend to be used because they keep better.

It would be perfectly legitimate to open a bottle of Cotes du Rhone from Tesco, but churches often purchase wine from suppliers that give an assurance that the wine has been produced in accordance with Canon Law.

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