Dear Forum Members,
I learned recently that, in some exceptional and extremely necessary cases, non-alcholic "wine" and "bread" with no gluten can be consecrated for those struggling with alcohol addiction and who are allergic to gluten.
Do any of the Eastern Orthodox or Eastern Catholic Churches practice this?
I find it very odd, personally. I mean, apparently worked without these exceptions for 2000 years. Can non-alcholic "wine" and "bread" sans gluten even be consecrated?
What are your Byzantine practices and views?
The non-alcoholic wine is known as "mustum", though I thought this was no longer used. It was allowed for priests.
In our Byzantine parish, we had a women (may her memory be eternal) who was an alcoholic, but consumed both species, because she no longer considered the wine as wine but the Blood of Our Lord. Some of her AA friends were alarmed, but I certainly would not question her faith. Others who might be allergic to gluten would partake of the Holy Blood. In the past before I was ordained, I've seen Father reserve a Particle and not place It in the Cup, perhaps this person suffered from alcoholism, but I do not know.
If I recall, Should a priest run out of the consecrated bread while distributing communion the consecrated wine is the complete body of the Lord. The same is true if the priest should run out of the consecrated wine the consecrated bread is our Lord.
So if one has trouble with alchol then taking the consecrated bread is the Lord. And vis a versa.
Father Deacon John,
Perhaps it is no longer aloud. My RCIA directress just mentioned it in passing a couple of nights ago. She used the present tense, so I assumed it was still being practiced. Nonetheless, I've never seen this practice at my parish or any other, for that matter.
Posted By: Diak
Re: No Bread, No Wine? - 01/16/04 07:31 PM
Dear Teen, we have three recovering alcoholics at our parish and while all are fastidious now (one is even his local AA group leader) neither have ever expressed even a word about the use of wine.
I doubt seriously any Orthodox church would seriously consider consecrating non-alcoholic wine. Even with the gluten issue, if the communicant made the situation known to the pastor, I am sure he would accomodate with a very small portion of the Holy Body.
One of our Extraordinary Ministers has a bad gluten intolerance - she Receives only from the Chalice
Posted By: no one
Re: No Bread, No Wine? - 01/16/04 10:30 PM
As for the use of "mustum" in the Latin Church, it is valid matter, but may or may not be licit...depending on the circumstances and whether or not the celebrant had the necessary permission to use it. Except in extreme circumstances (i.e. to consecrate the Sacred Species in order to provide Viaticum for someone in danger of death) a special indult is required. There was a time when Rome gave them out frequently or even gave permission for diocescan bishops to do so, but I understand this is no longer the case. Don
Posted By: incognitus
Re: No Bread, No Wine? - 01/17/04 12:11 AM
It is true that the Holy See no longer gives the indult for the clergy to celebrate the Eucharist using non-alcoholic "wine", although I believe that those who have already received such an indult are permitted to continue to do so. Lay communicants are another matter; those who are allergic to gluten may receive only the Precious Blood and those who for one reason or another find it inadvisable (for serious reasons) to receive the Precious Blood may request and receive Holy Communion in the form of Bread alone.
The observation that the Precious Blood is not "wine" is theologically accurate. We may speak by analogy of the Body of Christ as "Bread", because the Lord Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life, but it is not proper to speak of "wine" after the Anaphora.
Posted By: Danj
Re: No Bread, No Wine? - 01/23/04 05:05 PM
It is true that the Holy See no longer gives the indult for the clergy to celebrate the Eucharist using non-alcoholic "wine", although I believe that those who have already received such an indult are permitted to continue to do so.
So, what's a priest or deacon supposed to do if they are in recovery for alcoholism?? What if this wine on a daily or weekly basis is what "sends them off on a bender"? Let's face it, we believe it to be the Blood of Christ, yet the fact remains that there is still alcohol in it. Would a priest/deacon then have to be removed from priesthood since they cannot tolerate alcohol? Seems to me this is a medieval view of the disease of alcoholism if the church cannot accomodate someone who suffers from it in light of modern medical advances (ie: total abstinence is usually the best method to combat this disease).
Posted By: incognitus
Re: No Bread, No Wine? - 01/24/04 12:19 AM
I was stating the position of the Holy See regarding non-alcoholic wine; I was not attempting either to defend or to criticize that position. But there do exist problems which must be solved by virtue, not by technology.
On the other side of the coin, so to speak, there is a blanket permission to celebrate the eucharist with "wine" made on-the-spot with raisins (I'm not making this up!). The alcohol content of such dubious vino must be minimal to zero (it probably tastes horrid, but that's a different dicussion).
Talk about tasting horrid, at a large exhibition of various and sundry items of Christian paraphernalia (liturgicalia?) I once sampled a small swig of non-alcoholic communion wine bottled for Protestants. It did indeed taste horrid.