Eucharist, wine in the

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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The significance of wine in the Christian sacrament of Eucharist derives from the meanings of wine in the bible and from the purposes of a variety of religious rituals. God’s generous love of his people is symbolized by his gift of ‘the fermented blood of the grape for drink’ (Deut. 32. 14). The contrast of old wine and new wine is often used, new wine bursting its container, a proof of exuberance.

In Jewish sacrifices, wine to signify well-being and abundance, and animal blood to signify life itself, were both offered by being poured out as a libation, and so given back to God, in acts of thanksgiving, worship, and atonement for sin. Neither was consumed by the participants. In the celebration of the annual Passover supper, wine was drunk in joyful commemoration of the deliverance (redemption) by God of the whole people from enslavement to the Egyptians.