What would happen if someone (a priest, parishioner, deacon or anyone) spills the wine during a Eucharist service at a Catholic church?


1 Answer 1


An accidental spill of the Precious Blood can be cleaned up by soaking it up by placing a "purificator" which is a linen specially reserved to come into contact with the consecrated wine (one can use multiple of this linens depending the quantity of liquid) and then soaking them back in water do dissolve or dilute the Precious Blood. Then it can be poured into the ground where no people or animals would regularly step on. Like a flower bed or similar appropriate area. In Catholic churches there is a sink (called sacrarium) in the sacristy that the drain does not connect to the regular sewage line but rather directly to the ground and is specially design to wash the sacred vessels that would contain minimal traces of the Precious Blood or Body of our Lord.

  • Would the process be same if spilled on tapestry or clothing?
    – Alex
    Jun 21, 2014 at 2:12
  • 5
    Can you add some references to Catholic writings which give these instructions?
    – curiousdannii
    Jun 21, 2014 at 2:54
  • 2
    Yeah if you can add some references that'd be great. Seems like I cannot find anything on this in my copies of the Catechism and The Modern Catholic Encyclopedia.
    – Alex
    Jun 21, 2014 at 7:41
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    Reference: GIRM 1969: see paragraph 239. Jun 21, 2014 at 14:22
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    The current General Instruction, no. 280, says, "If a host or any particle should fall, it is to be picked up reverently. If any of the Precious Blood is spilled, the area where the spill occurred should be washed with water, and this water should then be poured into the sacrarium in the sacristy." Evidently, if there is no sacrarium available, the water may be poured into the ground. Jun 21, 2014 at 17:00

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