QUESTION 74: OF THE MATTER OF THIS SACRAMENT
We have now to consider the matter of this sacrament: and first of all
as to its species; secondly, the change of the bread and wine into the
body of Christ; thirdly, the manner in which Christ's body exists in this
sacrament; fourthly, the accidents of bread and wine which continue in
Under the first heading there are eight points for inquiry:
(1) Whether bread and wine are the matter of this sacrament?
(2) Whether a determinate quantity of the same is required for the
matter of this sacrament?
(3) Whether the matter of this sacrament is wheaten bread?
(4) Whether it is unleavened or fermented bread?
(5) Whether the matter of this sacrament is wine from the grape?
(6) Whether water should be mixed with it?
(7) Whether water is of necessity for this sacrament?
(8) Of the quantity of the water added.
Article 1: Whether the matter of this sacrament is bread and wine?
Objection 1: It seems that the matter of this sacrament is not bread and wine.
Because this sacrament ought to represent Christ's Passion more fully
than did the sacraments of the Old Law. But the flesh of animals, which
was the matter of the sacraments under the Old Law, shows forth Christ's
Passion more fully than bread and wine. Therefore the matter of this
sacrament ought rather to be the flesh of animals than bread and wine.
Objection 2: Further, this sacrament is to be celebrated in every place. But
in many lands bread is not to be found, and in many places wine is not to
be found. Therefore bread and wine are not a suitable matter for this
Objection 3: Further, this sacrament is for both hale and weak. But to some
weak persons wine is hurtful. Therefore it seems that wine ought not to
be the matter of this sacrament.
On the contrary, Pope Alexander I says (Ep. ad omnes orth. i): "In
oblations of the sacraments only bread and wine mixed with water are to
I answer that, Some have fallen into various errors about the matter of
this sacrament. Some, known as the Artotyrytae, as Augustine says (De
Haeres. xxviii), "offer bread and cheese in this sacrament, contending
that oblations were celebrated by men in the first ages, from fruits of
the earth and sheep." Others, called Cataphrygae and Pepuziani, "are
reputed to have made their Eucharistic bread with infants' blood drawn
from tiny punctures over the entire body, and mixed with flour." Others,
styled Aquarii, under guise of sobriety, offer nothing but water in this
Now all these and similar errors are excluded by the fact that Christ
instituted this sacrament under the species of bread and wine, as is
evident from Mt. 26. Consequently, bread and wine are the proper matter
of this sacrament. And the reasonableness of this is seen first, in the
use of this sacrament, which is eating: for, as water is used in the
sacrament of Baptism for the purpose of spiritual cleansing, since bodily
cleansing is commonly done with water; so bread and wine, wherewith men
are commonly fed, are employed in this sacrament for the use of spiritual
Secondly, in relation to Christ's Passion, in which the blood was
separated from the body. And therefore in this sacrament, which is the
memorial of our Lord's Passion, the bread is received apart as the
sacrament of the body, and the wine as the sacrament of the blood.
Thirdly, as to the effect, considered in each of the partakers. For, as
Ambrose (Mag. Sent. iv, D, xi) says on 1 Cor. 11:20, this sacrament
"avails for the defense of soul and body"; and therefore "Christ's body
is offered" under the species of bread "for the health of the body, and
the blood" under the species of wine "for the health of the soul,"
according to Lev. 17:14: "The life of the animal [Vulg.: 'of all flesh']
is in the blood."
Fourthly, as to the effect with regard to the whole Church, which is
made up of many believers, just "as bread is composed of many grains, and
wine flows from many grapes," as the gloss observes on 1 Cor. 10:17: "We
being many are . . . one body," etc.
Reply to Objection 1: Although the flesh of slaughtered animals represents the
Passion more forcibly, nevertheless it is less suitable for the common
use of this sacrament, and for denoting the unity of the Church.
Reply to Objection 2: Although wheat and wine are not produced in every country,
yet they can easily be conveyed to every land, that is, as much as is
needful for the use of this sacrament: at the same time one is not to be
consecrated when the other is lacking, because it would not be a complete
Reply to Objection 3: Wine taken in small quantity cannot do the sick much harm:
yet if there be fear of harm, it is not necessary for all who take
Christ's body to partake also of His blood, as will be stated later
(Question , Article ).
Article 2: Whether a determinate quantity of bread and wine is required for the matter of this sacrament?
Objection 1: It seems that a determinate quantity of bread and wine is
required for the matter of this sacrament. Because the effects of grace
are no less set in order than those of nature. But, "there is a limit set
by nature upon all existing things, and a reckoning of size and
development" (De Anima ii). Consequently, in this sacrament, which is
called "Eucharist," that is, "a good grace," a determinate quantity of
the bread and wine is required.
Objection 2: Further, Christ gave no power to the ministers of the Church
regarding matters which involve derision of the faith and of His
sacraments, according to 2 Cor. 10:8: "Of our power which the Lord hath
given us unto edification, and not for your destruction." But it would
lead to mockery of this sacrament if the priest were to wish to
consecrate all the bread which is sold in the market and all the wine in
the cellar. Therefore he cannot do this.
Objection 3: Further, if anyone be baptized in the sea, the entire sea-water
is not sanctified by the form of baptism, but only the water wherewith
the body of the baptized is cleansed. Therefore, neither in this
sacrament can a superfluous quantity of bread be consecrated.
On the contrary, Much is opposed to little, and great to small. But
there is no quantity, however small, of the bread and wine which cannot
be consecrated. Therefore, neither is there any quantity, however great,
which cannot be consecrated.
I answer that, Some have maintained that the priest could not consecrate
an immense quantity of bread and wine, for instance, all the bread in the
market or all the wine in a cask. But this does not appear to be true,
because in all things containing matter, the reason for the determination
of the matter is drawn from its disposition to an end, just as the matter
of a saw is iron, so as to adapt it for cutting. But the end of this
sacrament is the use of the faithful. Consequently, the quantity of the
matter of this sacrament must be determined by comparison with the use of
the faithful. But this cannot be determined by comparison with the use
of the faithful who are actually present; otherwise the parish priest
having few parishioners could not consecrate many hosts. It remains,
then, for the matter of this sacrament to be determined in reference to
the number of the faithful absolutely. But the number of the faithful is
not a determinate one. Hence it cannot be said that the quantity of the
matter of this sacrament is restricted.
Reply to Objection 1: The matter of every natural object has its determinate
quantity by comparison with its determinate form. But the number of the
faithful, for whose use this sacrament is ordained, is not a determinate
one. Consequently there is no comparison.
Reply to Objection 2: The power of the Church's ministers is ordained for two
purposes: first for the proper effect, and secondly for the end of the
effect. But the second does not take away the first. Hence, if the priest
intends to consecrate the body of Christ for an evil purpose, for
instance, to make mockery of it, or to administer poison through it, he
commits sin by his evil intention, nevertheless, on account of the power
committed to him, he accomplishes the sacrament.
Reply to Objection 3: The sacrament of Baptism is perfected in the use of the
matter: and therefore no more of the water is hallowed than what is used.
But this sacrament is wrought in the consecration of the matter.
Consequently there is no parallel.
Article 3: Whether wheaten bread is required for the matter of this sacrament?
Objection 1: It seems that wheaten bread is not requisite for the matter of
this sacrament, because this sacrament is a reminder of our Lord's
Passion. But barley bread seems to be more in keeping with the Passion
than wheaten bread, as being more bitter, and because Christ used it to
feed the multitudes upon the mountain, as narrated in Jn. 6. Therefore
wheaten bread is not the proper matter of this sacrament.
Objection 2: Further, in natural things the shape is a sign of species. But
some cereals resemble wheat, such as spelt and maize, from which in some
localities bread is made for the use of this sacrament. Therefore wheaten
bread is not the proper matter of this sacrament.
Objection 3: Further, mixing dissolves species. But wheaten flour is hardly to
be found unmixed with some other species of grain, except in the instance
of specially selected grain. Therefore it does not seem that wheaten
bread is the proper matter for this sacrament.
Objection 4: Further, what is corrupted appears to be of another species. But some make the sacrament from bread which is corrupted, and which no longer seems to be wheaten bread. Therefore, it seems that such bread is not the proper matter of this sacrament.
On the contrary, Christ is contained in this sacrament, and He compares
Himself to a grain of wheat, saying (Jn. 12:24): "Unless the grain of
wheat falling into the ground die, itself remaineth alone." Therefore
bread from corn, i.e. wheaten bread, is the matter of this sacrament.
I answer that, As stated above (Article ), for the use of the sacraments
such matter is adopted as is commonly made use of among men. Now among
other breads wheaten bread is more commonly used by men; since other
breads seem to be employed when this fails. And consequently Christ is
believed to have instituted this sacrament under this species of bread.
Moreover this bread strengthens man, and so it denotes more suitably the
effect of this sacrament. Consequently, the proper matter for this
sacrament is wheaten bread.
Reply to Objection 1: Barley bread serves to denote the hardness of the Old Law;
both on account of the hardness of the bread, and because, as Augustine
says (Question ): "The flour within the barley, wrapped up as it is within a
most tenacious fibre, denotes either the Law itself, which was given in
such manner as to be vested in bodily sacraments; or else it denotes the
people themselves, who were not yet despoiled of carnal desires, which
clung to their hearts like fibre." But this sacrament belongs to Christ's
"sweet yoke," and to the truth already manifested, and to a spiritual
people. Consequently barley bread would not be a suitable matter for this
Reply to Objection 2: A begetter begets a thing like to itself in species. yet
there is some unlikeness as to the accidents, owing either to the matter,
or to weakness within the generative power. And therefore, if there be
any cereals which can be grown from the seed of the wheat (as wild wheat
from wheat seed grown in bad ground), the bread made from such grain can
be the matter of this sacrament: and this does not obtain either in
barley, or in spelt, or even in maize, which is of all grains the one
most resembling the wheat grain. But the resemblance as to shape in such
seems to denote closeness of species rather than identity; just as the
resemblance in shape between the dog and the wolf goes to show that they
are allied but not of the same species. Hence from such grains, which
cannot in any way be generated from wheat grain, bread cannot be made
such as to be the proper matter of this sacrament.
Reply to Objection 3: A moderate mixing does not alter the species, because that
little is as it were absorbed by the greater. Consequently, then, if a
small quantity of another grain be mixed with a much greater quantity of
wheat, bread may be made therefrom so as to be the proper matter of this
sacrament; but if the mixing be notable, for instance, half and half; or
nearly so, then such mixing alters the species; consequently, bread made
therefrom will not be the proper matter of this sacrament.
Reply to Objection 4: Sometimes there is such corruption of the bread that the
species of bread is lost, as when the continuity of its parts is
destroyed, and the taste, color, and other accidents are changed; hence
the body of Christ may not be made from such matter. But sometimes there
is not such corruption as to alter the species, but merely disposition
towards corruption, which a slight change in the savor betrays, and from
such bread the body of Christ may be made: but he who does so, sins from
irreverence towards the sacrament. And because starch comes of corrupted
wheat, it does not seem as if the body of Christ could be made of the
bread made therefrom, although some hold the contrary.
Article 4: Whether this sacrament ought to be made of unleavened bread?
Objection 1: It seems that this sacrament ought not to be made of unleavened
bread. because in this sacrament we ought to imitate Christ's
institution. But Christ appears to have instituted this sacrament in
fermented bread, because, as we have read in Ex. 12, the Jews, according
to the Law, began to use unleavened bread on the day of the Passover
which is celebrated on the fourteenth day of the moon; and Christ
instituted this sacrament at the supper which He celebrated "before the
festival day of the Pasch" (Jn. 13:1,4). Therefore we ought likewise to
celebrate this sacrament with fermented bread.
Objection 2: Further, legal observances ought not to be continued in the time
of grace. But the use of unleavened bread was a ceremony of the Law, as
is clear from Ex. 12. Therefore we ought not to use unfermented bread in
this sacrament of grace.
Objection 3: Further, as stated above (Question , Article ; Question , Article ), the
Eucharist is the sacrament of charity just as Baptism is the sacrament of
faith. But the fervor of charity is signified by fermented bread, as is
declared by the gloss on Mt. 13:33: "The kingdom of heaven is like unto
leaven," etc. Therefore this sacrament ought to be made of leavened bread.
Objection 4: Further, leavened or unleavened are mere accidents of bread,
which do not vary the species. But in the matter for the sacrament of
Baptism no difference is observed regarding the variation of the
accidents, as to whether it be salt or fresh, warm or cold water.
Therefore neither ought any distinction to be observed, as to whether the
bread be unleavened or leavened.
On the contrary, According to the Decretals (Extra, De Celebr. Miss.), a
priest is punished "for presuming to celebrate, using fermented bread and
a wooden cup."
I answer that, Two things may be considered touching the matter of this
sacrament namely, what is necessary, and what is suitable. It is
necessary that the bread be wheaten, without which the sacrament is not
valid, as stated above (Article ). It is not, however, necessary for the
sacrament that the bread be unleavened or leavened, since it can be
celebrated in either.
But it is suitable that every priest observe the rite of his Church in
the celebration of the sacrament. Now in this matter there are various
customs of the Churches: for, Gregory says: "The Roman Church offers
unleavened bread, because our Lord took flesh without union of sexes: but
the Greek Churches offer leavened bread, because the Word of the Father
was clothed with flesh; as leaven is mixed with the flour." Hence, as a
priest sins by celebrating with fermented bread in the Latin Church, so a
Greek priest celebrating with unfermented bread in a church of the Greeks
would also sin, as perverting the rite of his Church. Nevertheless the
custom of celebrating with unleavened bread is more reasonable. First, on
account of Christ's institution: for He instituted this sacrament "on the
first day of the Azymes" (Mt. 26:17; Mk. 14:12; Lk. 22:7), on which day
there ought to be nothing fermented in the houses of the Jews, as is
stated in Ex. 12:15,19. Secondly, because bread is properly the sacrament
of Christ's body, which was conceived without corruption, rather than of
His Godhead, as will be seen later (Question , Article , ad 1). Thirdly, because
this is more in keeping with the sincerity of the faithful, which is
required in the use of this sacrament, according to 1 Cor. 5:7: "Christ
our Pasch is sacrificed: therefore let us feast . . . with the unleavened
bread of sincerity and truth."
However, this custom of the Greeks is not unreasonable both on account
of its signification, to which Gregory refers, and in detestation of the
heresy of the Nazarenes, who mixed up legal observances with the Gospel.
Reply to Objection 1: As we read in Ex. 12, the paschal solemnity began on the
evening of the fourteenth day of the moon. So, then, after immolating the
Paschal Lamb, Christ instituted this sacrament: hence this day is said by
John to precede the day of the Pasch, while the other three Evangelists
call it "the first day of the Azymes," when fermented bread was not found
in the houses of the Jews, as stated above. Fuller mention was made of
this in the treatise on our Lord's Passion (Question , Article , ad 1).
Reply to Objection 2: Those who celebrate the sacrament with unleavened bread do
not intend to follow the ceremonial of the Law, but to conform to
Christ's institution; so they are not Judaizing; otherwise those
celebrating in fermented bread would be Judaizing, because the Jews
offered up fermented bread for the first-fruits.
Reply to Objection 3: Leaven denotes charity on account of one single effect,
because it makes the bread more savory and larger; but it also signifies
corruption from its very nature.
Reply to Objection 4: Since whatever is fermented partakes of corruption, this
sacrament may not be made from corrupt bread, as stated above (Article , ad 4); consequently, there is a wider difference between unleavened and
leavened bread than between warm and cold baptismal water: because there
might be such corruption of fermented bread that it could not be validly
used for the sacrament.
Article 5: Whether wine of the grape is the proper matter of this sacrament?
Objection 1: It seems that wine of the grape is not the proper matter of this
sacrament. Because, as water is the matter of Baptism, so is wine the
matter of this sacrament. But Baptism can be conferred with any kind of
water. Therefore this sacrament can be celebrated in any kind of wine,
such as of pomegranates, or of mulberries; since vines do not grow in
Objection 2: Further, vinegar is a kind of wine drawn from the grape, as
Isidore says (Etym. xx). But this sacrament cannot be celebrated with
vinegar. Therefore, it seems that wine from the grape is not the proper
matter of this sacrament.
Objection 3: Further, just as the clarified wine is drawn from grapes, so also
are the juice of unripe grapes and must. But it does not appear that this
sacrament may be made from such, according to what we read in the Sixth
Council (Trull., Can. 28): "We have learned that in some churches the
priests add grapes to the sacrifice of the oblation; and so they dispense
both together to the people. Consequently we give order that no priest
shall do this in future." And Pope Julius I rebukes some priests "who
offer wine pressed from the grape in the sacrament of the Lord's
chalice." Consequently, it seems that wine from the grape is not the
proper matter of this sacrament.
On the contrary, As our Lord compared Himself to the grain of wheat, so
also He compared Himself to the vine, saying (Jn. 15:1): "I am the true
vine." But only bread from wheat is the matter of this sacrament, as
stated above (Article ). Therefore, only wine from the grape is the proper
matter of this sacrament.
I answer that, This sacrament can only be performed with wine from the
grape. First of all on account of Christ's institution, since He
instituted this sacrament in wine from the grape, as is evident from His
own words, in instituting this sacrament (Mt. 26:29): "I will not drink
from henceforth of this fruit of the vine." Secondly, because, as stated
above (Article ), that is adopted as the matter of the sacraments which is
properly and universally considered as such. Now that is properly called
wine, which is drawn from the grape, whereas other liquors are called
wine from resemblance to the wine of the grape. Thirdly, because the wine
from the grape is more in keeping with the effect of this sacrament,
which is spiritual; because it is written (Ps. 103:15): "That wine may
cheer the heart of man."
Reply to Objection 1: Such liquors are called wine, not properly but only from their resemblance thereto. But genuine wine can be conveyed to such countries wherein the grape-vine does not flourish, in a quantity sufficient for this sacrament.
Reply to Objection 2: Wine becomes vinegar by corruption; hence there is no
returning from vinegar to wine, as is said in Metaph. viii. And
consequently, just as this sacrament may not be made from bread which is
utterly corrupt, so neither can it be made from vinegar. It can, however,
be made from wine which is turning sour, just as from bread turning
corrupt, although he who does so sins, as stated above (Article ).
Reply to Objection 3: The juice of unripe grapes is at the stage of incomplete
generation, and therefore it has not yet the species of wine: on which
account it may not be used for this sacrament. Must, however, has already
the species of wine, for its sweetness [*"Aut dulcis musti Vulcano
decoquit humorem"; Virgil, Georg. i, 295] indicates fermentation which is
"the result of its natural heat" (Meteor. iv); consequently this
sacrament can be made from must. Nevertheless entire grapes ought not to
be mixed with this sacrament, because then there would be something else
besides wine. It is furthermore forbidden to offer must in the chalice,
as soon as it has been squeezed from the grape, since this is unbecoming
owing to the impurity of the must. But in case of necessity it may be
done: for it is said by the same Pope Julius, in the passage quoted in
the argument: "If necessary, let the grape be pressed into the chalice."
Article 6: Whether water should be mixed with the wine?
Objection 1: It seems that water ought not to be mixed with the wine, since
Christ's sacrifice was foreshadowed by that of Melchisedech, who (Gn. 14:18) is related to have offered up bread and wine only. Consequently it
seems that water should not be added in this sacrament.
Objection 2: Further, the various sacraments have their respective matters.
But water is the matter of Baptism. Therefore it should not be employed
as the matter of this sacrament.
Objection 3: Further, bread and wine are the matter of this sacrament. But
nothing is added to the bread. Therefore neither should anything be added
to the wine.
On the contrary, Pope Alexander I writes (Ep. 1 ad omnes orth.): "In the
sacramental oblations which in mass are offered to the Lord, only bread
and wine mixed with water are to be offered in sacrifice."
I answer that, Water ought to be mingled with the wine which is offered
in this sacrament. First of all on account of its institution: for it is
believed with probability that our Lord instituted this sacrament in wine
tempered with water according to the custom of that country: hence it is
written (Prov. 9:5): "Drink the wine which I have mixed for you."
Secondly, because it harmonizes with the representation of our Lord's
Passion: hence Pope Alexander I says (Ep. 1 ad omnes orth.): "In the
Lord's chalice neither wine only nor water only ought to be offered, but
both mixed because we read that both flowed from His side in the
Passion." Thirdly, because this is adapted for signifying the effect of
this sacrament, since as Pope Julius says (Concil. Bracarens iii, Can.
1): "We see that the people are signified by the water, but Christ's
blood by the wine. Therefore when water is mixed with the wine in the
chalice, the people is made one with Christ." Fourthly, because this is
appropriate to the fourth effect of this sacrament, which is the entering
into everlasting life: hence Ambrose says (De Sacram. v): "The water
flows into the chalice, and springs forth unto everlasting life."
Reply to Objection 1: As Ambrose says (De Sacram. v), just as Christ's sacrifice
is denoted by the offering of Melchisedech, so likewise it is signified
by the water which flowed from the rock in the desert, according to 1
Cor. 10:4: "But they drank of the spiritual rock which came after them."
Reply to Objection 2: In Baptism water is used for the purpose of ablution: but
in this sacrament it is used by way of refreshment, according to Ps.
22:3: "He hath brought me up on the water of refreshment."
Reply to Objection 3: Bread is made of water and flour; and therefore, since
water is mixed with the wine, neither is without water.
Article 7: Whether the mixing with water is essential to this sacrament?
Objection 1: It seems that the mixing with water is essential to this
sacrament. Because Cyprian says to Cecilius (Ep. lxiii): "Thus the Lord's
chalice is not water only and wine only, but both must be mixed together:
in the same way as neither the Lord's body be of flour only, except
both," i.e. the flour and the water "be united as one." But the admixture
of water with the flour is necessary for this sacrament. Consequently,
for the like reason, so is the mixing of water with the wine.
Objection 2: Further, at our Lord's Passion, of which this is the memorial,
water as well as blood flowed from His side. But wine, which is the
sacrament of the blood, is necessary for this sacrament. For the same
reason, therefore, so is water.
Objection 3: Further, if water were not essential to this sacrament, it would
not matter in the least what kind of water was used; and so water
distilled from roses, or any other kind might be employed; which is
contrary to the usage of the Church. Consequently water is essential to
On the contrary, Cyprian says (Ep. lxiii): "If any of our predecessors,
out of ignorance or simplicity, has not kept this usage," i.e. of mixing
water with the wine, "one may pardon his simplicity"; which would not be
the case if water were essential to the sacrament, as the wine or the
bread. Therefore the mingling of water with the wine is not essential to
I answer that, Judgment concerning a sign is to be drawn from the thing
signified. Now the adding of water to the wine is for the purpose of
signifying the sharing of this sacrament by the faithful, in this respect
that by the mixing of the water with the wine is signified the union of
the people with Christ, as stated (Article ). Moreover, the flowing of water
from the side of Christ hanging on the cross refers to the same, because
by the water is denoted the cleansing from sins, which was the effect of
Christ's Passion. Now it was observed above (Question , Article , ad 3), that
this sacrament is completed in the consecration of the matter: while the
usage of the faithful is not essential to the sacrament, but only a
consequence thereof. Consequently, then, the adding of water is not
essential to the sacrament.
Reply to Objection 1: Cyprian's expression is to be taken in the same sense in
which we say that a thing cannot be, which cannot be suitably. And so the
comparison refers to what ought to be done, not to what is essential to
be done; since water is of the essence of bread, but not of the essence
Reply to Objection 2: The shedding of the blood belonged directly to Christ's
Passion: for it is natural for blood to flow from a wounded human body.
But the flowing of the water was not necessary for the Passion; but
merely to show its effect, which is to wash away sins, and to refresh us
from the heat of concupiscence. And therefore the water is not offered
apart from the wine in this sacrament, as the wine is offered apart from
the bread; but the water is offered mixed with the wine to show that the
wine belongs of itself to this sacrament, as of its very essence; but the
water as something added to the wine.
Reply to Objection 3: Since the mixing of water with the wine is not necessary
for the sacrament, it does not matter, as to the essence of the
sacrament, what kind of water is added to the wine, whether natural
water, or artificial, as rose-water, although, as to the propriety of the
sacrament, he would sin who mixes any other than natural and true water,
because true water flowed from the side of Christ hanging on the cross,
and not phlegm, as some have said, in order to show that Christ's body
was truly composed of the four elements; as by the flowing blood, it was
shown to be composed of the four humors, as Pope Innocent III says in a
certain Decree. But because the mixing of water with flour is essential
to this sacrament, as making the composition of bread, if rose-water, or
any other liquor besides true water, be mixed with the flour, the
sacrament would not be valid, because it would not be true bread.
Article 8: Whether water should be added in great quantity?
Objection 1: It seems that water ought to be added in great quantity, because
as blood flowed sensibly from Christ's side, so did water: hence it is
written (Jn. 19:35): "He that saw it, hath given testimony." But water
could not be sensibly present in this sacrament except it were used in
great quantity. Consequently it seems that water ought to be added in
Objection 2: Further, a little water mixed with much wine is corrupted. But
what is corrupted no longer exists. Therefore, it is the same thing to
add a little water in this sacrament as to add none. But it is not lawful
to add none. Therefore, neither is it lawful to add a little.
Objection 3: Further, if it sufficed to add a little, then as a consequence it
would suffice to throw one drop of water into an entire cask. But this
seems ridiculous. Therefore it does not suffice for a small quantity to
On the contrary, It is said in the Decretals (Extra, De Celeb. Miss.):
"The pernicious abuse has prevailed in your country of adding water in
greater quantity than the wine, in the sacrifice, where according to the
reasonable custom of the entire Church more wine than water ought to be
I answer that, There is a threefold opinion regarding the water added to
the wine, as Pope Innocent III says in a certain Decretal. For some say
that the water remains by itself when the wine is changed into blood: but
such an opinion cannot stand, because in the sacrament of the altar after
the consecration there is nothing else save the body and the blood of
Christ. Because, as Ambrose says in De Officiis (De Mysteriis ix):
"Before the blessing it is another species that is named, after the
blessing the Body is signified; otherwise it would not be adored with
adoration of latria." And therefore others have said that as the wine is
changed into blood, so the water is changed into the water which flowed
from Christ's side. But this cannot be maintained reasonably, because
according to this the water would be consecrated apart from the wine, as
the wine is from the bread.
And therefore as he (Innocent III, Decretals, Extra, De Celeb. Miss.)
says, the more probable opinion is that which holds that the water is
changed into wine, and the wine into blood. Now, this could not be done
unless so little water was used that it would be changed into wine.
Consequently, it is always safer to add little water, especially if the
wine be weak, because the sacrament could not be celebrated if there were
such addition of water as to destroy the species of the wine. Hence Pope
Julius I reprehends some who "keep throughout the year a linen cloth
steeped in must, and at the time of sacrifice wash a part of it with
water, and so make the offering."
Reply to Objection 1: For the signification of this sacrament it suffices for the
water to be appreciable by sense when it is mixed with the wine: but it
is not necessary for it to be sensible after the mingling.
Reply to Objection 2: If no water were added, the signification would be utterly
excluded: but when the water is changed into wine, it is signified that
the people is incorporated with Christ.
Reply to Objection 3: If water were added to a cask, it would not suffice for the
signification of this sacrament, but the water must be added to the wine
at the actual celebration of the sacrament.