Liturgical text using the word 'wine'

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mcb
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Liturgical text using the word 'wine'

Post by mcb » Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:57 pm

Three and a half years on from asking the question here:
I wrote:I'm trying to think of other liturgical texts or sacred songs that use the word 'wine' in connection with Our Lord's presence in the Eucharistic species. I can't think of any - any suggestions?

I came across an answer to my question, in the form of the tract from the Votive Mass of the Blessed Sacrament, which runs Venite comedite panem meum, et bibite vinum quod miscui vobis - Come and eat my bread, and drink the wine which I have mingled for you. The text is from Proverbs, but in this context it's unambiguously applicable to the Eucharistic species. There's a fairly straightforward setting by Byrd in the Gradualia, which will do nicely as a general-purpose Communion piece.

I think it means having to be more accepting of Bernadette Farrell's texts where she does the same:
    Hear our prayer, through this bread and wine we share
    Bread for the world: a world of hunger. Wine for all peoples: people who thirst.
    Lord Jesus Christ, you are the wine of peace, poured into hearts once broken and where dryness sleeps.
These are texts I've felt uncomfortable with, but if the usage is sanctioned in the Missal, perhaps I shouldn't be?

(Not sure I like the sleeping dryness, mind you. Are we suppose to feel that sleeping wetness is better, or that the dryness is OK once it wakes up? :-) But it's easy to poke fun, and BF has written some very fine songs.)

M.

alan29
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Post by alan29 » Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:02 am

Perhaps "Bread" and "Wine" are used in the Liturgy to avoid unfortunate cannibalistic imagery?
Or is that not the point you are making?
Alan

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Post by mcb » Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:21 am

alan29 wrote:Or is that not the point you are making?

No it isn't! We don't use 'bread' and 'wine' in preference to 'body' and 'blood' in the Liturgy, do we? And the charge of 'cannibalism' is an ancient pagan and modern anti-religious accusation, that comes from not understanding the nature of the Eucharistic sacrifice. The Church doesn't need to choose its words carefully here - the actions make clear the non-bloody character of the sacrament.

If you look back at the thread I've linked to above you'll see the context for this discussion. It's this: there's an asymmetry in the words we use to describe the sacred species - we talk about our Lord's body and of bread (e.g. I am the bread of life), but while we talk of our Lord's blood there are almost no references to wine in the same context, and none in the Gospels' reporting of our Lord's own words, e.g. chapter 6 of John.

The text I've quoted above from Proverbs seems to be the sole exception to this. So perhaps there are grounds for being uncomfortable with modern hymns and songs that make free with the term wine in the context of the Blessed Sacrament.

M.

alan29
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Post by alan29 » Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:52 pm

Sorry a senior moment.
I wonder if it is because in scripture bread is seen as an essential for life - representing all food, but wine is often seen as associated with drunkenness or celebration, the one undesirable, the other not essential for life.
The liturgy and the bible both refer to the bread of life, but the corollary is the water of life, not wine (water from the rock, the living water of Revelation and John.) That gives another layer of meaning to Cana. As most of the propers are verses of scripture, we will not have become familiar with "wine of life" or whatever as an image.
A bit curious about Patrick Kelly's objection though in the original thread. Presumably he would disallow Panis Angelicus as inappropriate, as I am not sure that the angelic host have ever needed a sacramental relationship with Christ.
Alan

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Re: Liturgical text using the word 'wine'

Post by docmattc » Sun Oct 14, 2007 1:14 am

mcb wrote:These are texts I've felt uncomfortable with, but if the usage is sanctioned in the Missal, perhaps I shouldn't be?


Thanks for finding this mcb, since the earlier thread its an issue I'd been a bit uncomfortable with for reasons discussed on the earlier thread, but, as you say, perhaps we shouldn't be. Substituting 'cup' for 'wine' is sometimes a workround to biblical language. but not always.

mcb wrote: (Not sure I like the sleeping dryness, mind you. Are we suppose to feel that sleeping wetness is better...


you can get cream for both conditions :lol:

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