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74. The Matter of the Holy Eucharist

1. The matter of the Holy Eucharist is bread andwine.

2. No determinate amount of bread and wine is requisitefor this sacrament. No tangible quantity of bread and wine iseither too small or too large for valid use in confecting the HolyEucharist. Reverence, and church law, determines the seemly amountof the matter to be employed.

3. The bread which is requisite as matter for the HolyEucharist is bread made of wheaten flour.

4. True wheaten bread, leavened or unleavened, is validmatter for the Holy Eucharist. The Church decides which type ofwheaten bread is to be used. In the Latin Church, unleavened breadis prescribed; in the Greek rite, leavened bread is used.

5. True wine of the grape is necessary as matter for theHoly Eucharist. At the institution of the sacrament, our Lord said(Matt. 26:29): "I will not drink henceforth of this fruit ofthe vine . . ."

6. At Holy Mass, a little water is mingled with the winethat is to be consecrated. This recalls the fact that water wasmingled with the last drops of redeeming blood that flowed from theside of Christ as he hung upon the cross. It also suggests, as PopeJulius says, the unity of Christ and the faithful: the winesignifies Christ, and the water the people.

7. This mingling of a few drops of water with the wine tobe consecrated at Mass is a requirement of strict church law, butit is not essential to the validity of the consecration.

8. Only a very small quantity of water is mingled with thewine which is used as matter for confecting the Holy Eucharist atMass. If much water were used, the mixture could no longer becalled true wine, and therefore would not be valid matter for thissacrament.

"Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God? Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to study the course of the stars."
Thomas á Kempis

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"What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you displease the Trinity? Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes him pleasing to God. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"As the flesh is nourished by food, so is man supported by prayers"
St Augustine

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