Bread & Wine

Question from Cliff on 2/11/2008:

Does the bread and wine used at Mass need to be specifically made for use during Mass or can it be any bread or wine that includes only certain ingredients or is prepared a certain way, but not neccesarily meant only for Mass?

Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 4/10/2008:
The law is brief:

Canon 924
1. The Most Sacred Eucharistic Sacrifice must be offered with bread and wine, with which a small quantity of water is to be mixed.
2. The bread must be made of wheat alone and recently made so that there is no danger of corruption.
3. The wine must be natural wine of the grape and not corrupt.

While wheat flour may easily be obtained, it is more difficult to determine that wine is unadulterated. Prudence, and constant Catholic practice, dictates that wine be obtained from certified vendors of sacramental wine. Off-the shelf wine may indeed be valid, but if the winery fortified it or otherwise changed its character to enhance its saleability, it would be invalid. Catholic moral and sacramental teaching is that a priest must use CERTAINLY valid matter. He may not risk the invalidity of the sacraments. This is a serious obligation, and therefore grave sin if knowingly and willingly not observed.

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