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Out of the question: Supplementary consecration

20 September 2010

Write, if you have any answers to the questions listed at the end of this section, or would like to add to the answers below.

Your answers

When more consecrated wine is required at the administration of communion, is it sufficient simply for the priest to add more wine to the chalice, without first consecrat­ing it? If so, has this always been the case?

There was a time when mixing un­consecrated with consecrated wine was considered sufficient to effect consecration. This is apparently re­flected in the earliest Roman Ordines, which describe in detail the ceremonies of papal masses.

It was practised until overtaken by the later medieval theology of consecration in the Western Church, which was concerned to pinpoint the moment of consecration by recita­tion of the dominical words of insti­tution.

When Cranmer restored the cup to the laity in the 1548 Order of the Communion, set within the Latin mass, a note was provided that “if it doth so chance that the Wine hallowed and consecrate doth not suffice or be enough . . . , the Priest, after the first Cup or Chalice be emptied, may go again to the Altar, and reverently and devoutly prepare and consecrate another, and so the third, or more likewise, beginning at these words, Simili modo postquam conatum est. . .”

Despite omission of a similar rubric in the 1549, 1552, and 1559 Prayer Books, the necessity of words of consecration over additional wine was made clear in 1573, at the trial and condemnation of the Puritan Robert Johnson for attempting to supplement the sacrament without recitation of any words.

Canon XXI of 1603 required the institution narrative over any bread and wine “newly brought”, and from this the rubric in the 1662 Prayer Book was derived.

Modern liturgical thinking has moved away from a moment of consecration, and provided a sense of extended consecration by the Eucharistic Prayer. “Supplementary consecration”, as it is described in Common Worship, identifies any additional supply of wine with the original eucharistic action.

The addition of wine, before the chalice is completely exhausted, is accompanied by words that refer retrospectively to the Eucharistic Prayer and the work of the Holy Spirit: “Having given thanks . . . according to the institution of your Son Jesus Christ who said ‘This is my blood’, we pray that by the power of your Holy Spirit this wine also may be to us his blood to be received in remembrance of him.”

(Canon) Terry Palmer
Magor, Monmouthshire

Your questions

A relative has begun to attend her parish church after a break of some years. She has been surprised to find that the new priest refuses to wear liturgical vesture to lead worship. I understood that Canon B8 required priests to gain the PCC’s consent if they wished to change the vesture, and that a cassock or alb must be worn for communion, morning prayer on a Sunday, and occasional offices. Am I wrong? How might this issue be raised appropriately? A. F.

(Canon) Terry Palmer
Magor, Monmouthshire

Your questions

Address: Out of the Question, Church Times, 13-17 Long Lane, London EC1A 9PN.


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