Liturgy & Liturgical Law Forum: sacramental wine
sacramental wine QUESTION from Mary Andersen on April 10, 2002 Dear Mr. Slavek,
I have just seen your forum questions and answers about sacramental wine. I researched this topic a few years ago out of concerns about validity, similar to the concerns of one of your posters. I learned that ALL commercially sold wines, without exception, contain sulfite additves. This includes even registered communion wines that carry Bishops' approvals for use in the Holy Mass. A couple of different vintners told me the sulfites are absolutely necessary for the preservation of the wine.
Since added sulfites are universally used, we have to assume they do not invalidate the Mass, despite the prohibition of additives. Perhaps the Church has not taken this exception into account because a low level of sulfites are also naturally present in every wine. It would be interesting to hear from the Magisterium on this.
It is very important to know that approved Communion wines are certified to be made strictly from grapes, and otherwise suitable for the Mass. Communion wines are often comparatively expensive. The hazard of using ordinary wines labeled as grape wine is that they do not have to state on the label that they have been adulterated either with wines from other fruits, fruit juices, or water. It is very common to use adulterating liquids to adjust the alcohol content. Thus, using ordinary wine from a store without checking with the producer is risking the validity of the Mass. My own parish is using a wine which, although not certified as Communion wine, has the producer's guarantee that it is unadulterated grape wine. It's not the cheapest wine available, but it is within the canon law for use in the Mass. Personally, I am pretty sure box wines would be adulterated.
ANSWER by Mr. Jacob Slavek on April 19, 2002 Dear Miss Andersen,
Thank you for this helpful information. I agree with it all.
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