Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: Preparation of the gifts at Mass

Preparation of the gifts at Mass QUESTION from Ken September 23, 2001
Mr. Jacob Slavek,
Some priests, when preparing the gifts at Mass, will use multiple Chalices/Cups when the Precious Blood is to be distributed to the laity at two or more communion stations. Wine and water is poured into one cup only. This one is used by the priest while saying Mass. The other Cups receive wine only. They are placed near the center of the altar to be consecrated during Mass.
Is this practice of preparing the wine to be consecrated acceptable?
Ken Happ
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on September 16, 2001
Dear Mr. Happ,
The documents of the Mass never explicitly state that more than one chalice may be used. The word chalice always appears in the singular. There is one exception. In concelebrated Masses, the priests receive two by two IF TWO CHALICES ARE USED. The documents do not state WHEN the other chalices are filled with wine or the precious blood.
I would argue that the other chalices are not to be filled until communion time, because the GIRM and rubrics always refer to the chalice in the singular. The paten or ciborium is also used in the singular, I have never seen explicit authorization to use more than one. But, since it is lawful to have more than one minister distributing Communion, it can rightly be presumed that more than one vessel may be used, so that each minister may have his own chalice.
In the situation described above, failure to add water to the other chalices does not invalidate the matter. In order to more strictly follow liturgical guidelines, I think that the priest needs to wait until Communion time before he fills them.
Mr. Slavek
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