The Proper Vessels for Consecration

Dear Catholic Exchange:

About a year ago I read and article on the rules pertaining to the Eucharist.

One of the statements was, "The wine should not be kept in a decanter for the Consecration and then poured into a chalice" as this is the Blood of Christ.

I have noticed quite a few times this has been the case. Has this message not been passed on to all the parishes?

Thank you,



Dear Maggie,

Peace in Christ!

The rule you read was likely from the Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum, a document promulgated by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (March 2004), which states:

"If one chalice is not sufficient for Communion to be distributed under both kinds to the Priest concelebrants or Christ's faithful, there is no reason why the Priest celebrant should not use several chalices. For it is to be remembered that all Priests in celebrating Holy Mass are bound to receive Communion under both kinds. It is praiseworthy, by reason of the sign value, to use a main chalice of larger dimensions, together with smaller chalices (no. 105)."

"However, the pouring of the Blood of Christ after the consecration from one vessel to another is completely to be avoided, lest anything should happen that would be to the detriment of so great a mystery. Never to be used for containing the Blood of the Lord are flagons, bowls, or other vessels that are not fully in accord with the established norms" (no. 106)."

Thus, it is no longer an acceptable practice to consecrate the wine in carafes and then to transfer the Precious Blood to a chalice.

It's difficult to speak to your particular case, but in general it's up to the bishop in collaboration with his pastors to implement liturgical changes. 

United in the Faith,

Eric Stoutz
Information Specialist
Catholics United for the Faith
827 North Fourth Street
Steubenville, OH 43952
800-MY-FAITH (800-693-2484)

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