Thursday, March 13, 2014

Holy Communion Wine

The wine within the Divine Liturgy changes into the Blood of Christ. But what wine do we use for the Holy Communion. Is it special? Can we buy it anywhere?  Currently many buy the wine used for the Divine Liturgy. There are many companies and makes who make wine for this purpose. However, in older times, farmers would choose their best grapes. They would make the wine not by stepping on them, but by crushing them with their own hands, separately from the wine used for other purposes. However, today we can easily purchase wine from the supermarket. According to Tradition, the wine has to be red, symbolising the blood of Christ. We can also see that the wine is normally sweet and watered down, the way the ancient Greeks used to drink wine. 


During my university years, in Athens, where I studied Theology, I was told by a professor that some churches around the world, in some remote areas, where deliberating whether to change this tradition and use what they produced or what they could find in their immediate environment. He gave Greenland as an example, where they were thinking of using cheese instead of bread and milk instead of wine. To the best of my knowledge this has not been realised yet; however, it is important to understand the symbolism. Jesus Christ used bread and wine; therefore, it is crucial we continue his example. Wine, due to the red colour, can be easily identified as the blood of Christ, where for example milk cannot. I understand that bread and wine is to be found in abundance within the Mediterranean region; but, despite any difficulty any church has around the world, they have to maintain a number of basic traditions given down to us all for the past 2 thousand years.

2 comments:

  1. I remember reading a letter written by a Syrian bishop to a group of desert nomads (either in the Arab peninsula or somwhere in modern day Iraq, I don't recall) admonishing them for using milk instead of wine, due to the latter being unobtainable. No wine, no Eucharist.

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  2. Are not bread and wine the quintessential human food and drink? It seems that most peoples around the world make bread, in one form or another; wine is more difficult but, again, most peoples seem to have made alcohol. Both of these require human work for their production - it is interesting that we do not offer fruit and water, although these are given to us by God, but what our own labours can make.

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