Skip to comments.Vatican says wine must be put in chalices before consecration
Posted on 05/20/2004 1:06:20 PM PDT by NYer
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Following up on its recent instruction on the Eucharist, the Vatican has ordered a change in U.S. liturgical norms.
It has ordered that any wine to be used for distributing Communion under both kinds be poured into the individual chalices during the preparation of the gifts, before it is consecrated.
It reversed a widespread custom, codified in U.S. norms approved in 2002, that called for distribution of the consecrated wine into the chalices at the time of the breaking of the bread, just before Communion.
Msgr. James P. Moroney, executive director of the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for Liturgy, said the revised norms are effective immediately, but it is up to each bishop to determine how to implement any liturgical change in his diocese.
Cardinal Francis E. George, chairman of the bishops' Committee on Liturgy, notified the bishops of the Vatican ruling and the corresponding changes in the U.S. norms in mid-May.
He sent them copies of a May 6 letter from Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, modifying paragraphs 36 and 37 of the "Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion Under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America."
The original norms, adopted by the bishops in June 2001 and approved by the Vatican in March 2002, had said nothing about bringing additional chalices to the altar and pouring the wine into them in No. 36, which describes actions to be taken at the preparation of the gifts.
In No. 37, on actions just before Communion, the 2002 norms said that after the celebrant breaks the eucharistic bread: "Other empty chalices and ciboria or patens are then brought to the altar if this is necessary. The deacon or priest places the consecrated bread in several ciboria or patens and, if necessary, pours the precious blood into enough additional chalices as are required for the distribution of holy Communion."
The difficulty with the norm arose with the April 23 publication of an instruction on the Eucharist, "Redemptionis Sacramentum" ("The Sacrament of Redemption"), by the divine worship congregation.
Paragraph 106 of the instruction said that "the pouring of the blood of Christ after the consecration from one vessel to another is completely to be avoided, lest anything should happen that would be to the detriment of so great a mystery. Never to be used for containing the blood of the Lord are flagons, bowls or other vessels that are not fully in accord with the established norms."
The previous paragraph of the instruction says, "If one chalice is not sufficient for Communion to be distributed under both kinds to the priest concelebrants or Christ's faithful, there is no reason why the priest celebrant should not use several chalices." In such cases it urges that the primary chalice be larger than the rest "by reason of sign value."
In an April 27 letter to Cardinal Arinze, Cardinal George noted that the U.S. particular law contained in the 2002 norms "is apparently in contradiction to" the new instruction and asked for a "clarification ... in a timely fashion."
Cardinal George also noted that at least one liturgical commentator had been quoted in U.S. news reports observing that as a matter of church law approved particular law prevails over an instruction from a Vatican congregation in the event the two are in conflict.
In his May 6 response Cardinal Arinze said, "The instruction's clear exclusion of any pouring of the precious blood after the consecration overturns certain presuppositions that seem to underlie the above-mentioned (U.S.) norms."
A modification of the norms would resolve the difficulty, he added. "Hence this congregation wishes to modify its original confirmation in regard to Nos. 36 and 37 of these norms."
In the revised version of No. 36, on the offertory procession and preparation of the gifts, two sentences were added to the paragraph.
After the gifts are brought up, the revised norm says: "If one chalice is not sufficient for holy Communion to be distributed under both kinds to the priest concelebrants or Christ's faithful, several chalices are placed on a corporal on the altar in an appropriate place, filled with wine. It is praiseworthy that the main chalice be larger than the other chalices prepared for distribution."
While the new instruction prohibits consecrating wine in a pitcher or flagon and then transferring it to chalices, it does not forbid use of such a larger container to bring the wine to the altar before it has been consecrated. In fact it implies such use by calling for the wine to be distributed at the altar into any additional chalices that are needed immediately after the presentation of the gifts.
The instruction "does not describe what a vessel for wine (at the presentation of gifts) should look like," Msgr. Moroney said, but in accord with general liturgy norms "it should be worthy of the sacred celebration."
In the revised version of No. 37 in the U.S. norms, on actions surrounding the breaking of the bread before Communion, all references to bringing up additional chalices and distributing of the consecrated wine into them are simply deleted.
The new No. 37 says that after the breaking of the eucharistic bread "other empty ciboria or patens are then brought to the altar if this is necessary. The deacon or priest places the consecrated bread in several ciboria or patens, if necessary, as required for the distribution of holy Communion. If it is not possible to accomplish this distribution in a reasonable time, the celebrant may call upon the assistance of other deacons or concelebrating priests."
A final sentence of the original No. 37 -- which said the distribution of the consecrated hosts and wine into multiple vessels before Communion "is usually carried out at the altar, so that the sharing of all from the one cup is signified" -- has also been deleted.
Msgr. Moroney said the new Vatican instruction "makes clear that all of its provisions are effective immediately. However, the diocesan bishop is in charge of the careful implementation of all liturgical matters. His guidance should be followed."
In the same mailing containing notice of the revised U.S. norms, the bishops also received a complimentary copy of the newly published English translation of the Vatican instruction, published under the auspices of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
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Editor's Note: Titled "Instruction on the Eucharist: 'Redemptionis Sacramentum,'" the 84-page book costs $9.95 and may be ordered from USCCB Publishing online at: www.usccb.org, or by phone at: (800) 235-8722.
Therefore, this is going to continue until the heterodox bishops are gone.
In St. Louis, I was serving at the cathedral basilica when Archbishop Burke was saying Mass the Sunday after Redemptionis Sacramentum was issued--and he had already implemented all the changes, including this one.
We started last week.
"How do you like the way I have arranged the deck chairs, Captain?"
-Jesus, Matthew 16:18
There have always been sinners in the Church, from Pope to the lowest pauper on the street, but the fact the Church has lasted 2,000 years has testified to this promise made by Our Lord.
Any it will surely outlast Catholicism.....
I hope you are not a betting man...
That's a quality reply....
It's nice when people can make their point without name calling...
To paraphrase a spiritual hero of mine, "You catch more flies with a spoonful of honey than with a barrelful of vinegar."
Yes, the same old loophole mentality shysters at work.
I'm not doubting - I heard him on EWTN last Friday, and he was clear about Redemptionis Sacramentum.
I noticed the absence of a ceramic chalice the past two weeks including this AM.
All metal (gold) and the wine was poured into another metal chalice before concentration.
I don't mean to sound like I'm searching for ways to defend everything His Excellency does, but he has certainly won my respect and admiration, and I'd give him the benefit of the doubt. I was very pleasantly surprised to see that he implemented the changes so quickly at the cathedral. In my home diocese of Galveston-Houston (where I am now), nothing has been said yet by the chancery about the new norms, and none of the parishes I've attended have made the changes (but I would suppose that Annunciation downtown probably has).
Almost makes me want to go back to my former RC parish to see what has become of the glass salad bowl and pitcher service ..... lol! ...... on second thought, I am much too happy - perhaps 'giddy' is the proper word - ensconced in the Maronite liturgy. It has taken them 400 years to arrive at this and I was most fortunate to step into one of their churches, after all of the changes were finalized. It is so beautiful that I often find myself crying during the liturgy.
In today's edition of The Evangelist, there is an article about the changes in the RC liturgy, and how it is being implemented in the Albany Diocese. The article is entitled: Parishes ease into changes in liturgy from Vatican. This is the opening paragraph and I quote:
"In workshops on changes being made by the Vatican to the Mass, Elizabeth Simcoe (she is the director for the liturgy) likes to point out that the first murder was committed over liturgy. Cain killed Abel because Abel's sacrifice was pleasing to God and Cain's was not. So this is explosive territory!?"
Yes indeed, that is how the article begins. It then goes on to describe how each parish is implementing the changes, what the changes are, and how it is being received.
The new plan is to use their Sunday televised mass to 'demonstrate' the proper positions to be taken by the faithful, as if Catholics bowing their heads when Jesus name is mentioned, is such a major furor. I was taught (i.e. programmed to do) that in elementary school and have never stopped. I had to laugh when I noticed that one of the 'changes' was to carry the Book of the Gospels and NOT the lectionary.
In my Maronite Catholic Church, the first thing anyone sees when entering are 3 large alcoves, illuminated by downlights. These contain, from left to right - the Tabernacle (with a candle burning before it), the Crucifix, and the Book of the Gospels. These are the 3 most important elements of our faith! These are givens and should NEVER be abandoned, set aside or forgotten. "
Is he saying that local laws override the Vatican? Perhaps, I am not reading this correctly?
If Burke was out at CBC, it's technically not his house.
The high schools around here are really a cultural thing and a hotbed of liturgical abuse - and you can't convince the teachers at the schools there is any problem. They just don't believe there is.
I would also tend to believe that he was put in a awkward position in this case.
I believe we have been extraordinarily blessed to have had Bishop Burke assigned here. I look forward to the positive changes he will implement here in the coming months.
I still don't understand why we now receive the Eucharist in both forms? Why is this necessary? This was not done for hundreds of years. Why now?
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