The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Wine: Red or white?

The significance is in the mystery

Is it proper to use white wine for communion or must it be red since it is the blood of Christ?

Many churches prefer to use a white wine like angelica for the sacrament. According to the statement adopted for guidance and practice by the 1997 Churchwide Assembly (The Use of the Means of Grace, application 44A): "A loaf of bread and a chalice are encouraged since they signify the unity which the sacrament bestows. The bread may be leavened or unleavened. The wine may be white or red."

In some ways white wine reminds us that the significance of the wine isn't that it symbolizes the blood of Jesus by being red in color, but is the blood of Christ in the mystery of sacramental union. In fact, your altar guild may love you if you use white wine since it doesn't stain the eucharistic linens like red wine.

(Weissenbuehler also answers: "Last year the pastor at my previous congregation retired after 39 years. I've heard that he can attend that same church but can't participate in anything for two years (such as council and church events). What are the guidelines?")

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February issue


Embracing diversity