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Out of the question

04 December 2015

Write, if you have any questions you would like answered, or if you would like to add to the answer given below.


Your answers

Why cannot the wine remaining in the chalice after the holy communion service be poured down the drain . . . ? [Answers, 6 November]

Celebrants in 1662 were not faced with the necessity of driving home after the service perhaps as many as 15 or more miles. Frequently, I have been faced with this dilemma when I have helped out in rural parishes and overestimated the number of communicants. I was once told that, at Canterbury Cathedral, there was a place where the consecrated wine could be “returned to earth”.

This is a practice I have adopted when in this particular situation. While pouring consecrated wine down the drain would be abhorrent, for the reasons mentioned by your other contributors, I have on occasion taken the remaining consecrated wine to a quiet corner of the churchyard and reverently and prayerfully have poured it into the earth from where it originated. I am sure God understands.

(The Revd) Margaret Cooling
St Briavels, Gloucestershire


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