Since it has come to our knowledge that in the region of Armenia they offer wine only on the Holy Table, those who celebrate the unbloody sacrifice not mixing water with it, adducing, as authority thereof, John Chrysostom, a doctor of the Church, who says in his interpretation of the Gospel according to St. Matthew:
“And wherefore did he not drink water after he was risen again, but wine? To pluck up by the roots another wicked heresy. For since there are certain who use water in the Mysteries to shew that both when he delivered the mysteries he had given wine and that when he had risen and was setting before them a mere meal without mysp. 380 teries, he used wine, of the fruit, saith he, of the vine. But a vine produces wine, not water.” 369 And from this they think the doctor overthrows the admixture of water in the holy sacrifice. Now, lest on the point from this time forward they be held in ignorance, we open out the orthodox opinion of the Father. For since there was an ancient and wicked heresy of the Hydroparastatæ (i.e., of those who offered water), who instead of wine used water in their sacrifice, this divine, confuting the detestable teaching of such a heresy, and showing that it is directly opposed to Apostolic tradition, asserted that which has just been quoted. For to his own church, where the pastoral administration had been given him, he ordered that water mixed with wine should be used at the unbloody sacrifice, so as to shew forth the mingling of the blood and water which for the life of the whole world and for the redemption of its sins, was poured forth from the precious side of Christ our Redeemer; and moreover in every church where spiritual light has shined this divinely given order is observed.
For also James, the brother, according to the flesh, of Christ our God, to whom the throne of the church of Jerusalem first was entrusted, and Basil, the Archbishop of the Church of Cæsarea, whose glory has spread through all the world, when they delivered to us directions for the mystical sacrifice in writing, declared that the holy chalice is consecrated in the Divine Liturgy with water and wine. And the holy Fathers who assembled at Carthage provided in these express terms: “That in the holy Mysteries nothing besides the body and blood of the Lord be offered, as the Lord himself laid down, that is bread and wine mixed with water.” Therefore if any bishop or presbyter shall not perform the holy action according to what has been handed down by the Apostles, and shall not offer the sacrifice with wine mixed with water, let him be deposed, as imperfectly shewing forth the mystery and innovating on the things which have been handed down.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XXXII.
Chrysostom, when overthrowing the heresy of the Hydroparastatæ, says: “When the Lord suffered and rose again he used wine.” The Armenians, laying hold on this, offer wine alone, not understanding that Chrysostom himself, and Basil, and James used wine mixed with water; and left the tradition that we should so make the offering. If, therefore, any one shall offer wine alone, or water alone, and not the mixed [chalice] let him be deposed.
Justin Martyr in his Second Apology, Ambrose, or whoever was the author of the books on the Sacraments (Lib. v., cap. i.), Augustine and many others make mention of this rite, and above all St. Cyprian, who wrote a long epistle on the subject to Cecilius, and seeking the reason of the ceremony as a setting forth of the union of the people, represented by the water, with Christ, figured by the wine.
Another signification of this rite St. Augustine indicates in his sermon to Neophytes, saying: “Take this in bread, which hung upon the Cross: Take this in the cup which poured forth from the side,” that is to say blood and water.
Cardinal Bona (De Rebus Liturgicis, Lib. II., cap. ix., n. 3 and 4) refers to many ancient rituals in which a similar prayer is used to that found in the Ambrosian rite, which says as the water is poured in: “Out of the side of Christ there flowed forth blood and water together. In the name of the Father, etc.” Bona further notes that “The Greeks twice mingle water with the wine, once cold water, when in the prothesis they are preparing the Holy Gifts, and the Priest pierces the bread with the holy spear, and says, “One of the soldiers with a lance opened his side, and immediately there flowed forth blood and water,” and the deacon pours in wine and water. From this it is evident that the Greeks agree with St. Augustines explanation.
For the second time the Greeks mix “hot water after consecration and immediately before communion, the deacon begging from the priest a blessing upon the warm water; and he blesses it in these words: Blessed be the fervour of thy Saints, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen. Then the deacon pours the water into the chalice, saying: The fervour of faith, full of the Holy Spirit.” So Cardinal Bona as above.
The third reason of this rite is assumed by some from the fact that Christ is believed thus to have instituted this sacrament at the p. 381 last supper; and this the synod seems to intimate in the present canon when it says “as the Lord himself delivered.”
In this case the Greeks suppose that this rite was also handed down by the Apostles, and this is evident from their citing the Liturgy of St. James, which they believed to be a genuine work of his.
Chrysos. In Matt. XXVI. 29—I have taken the Oxford translation, “Library of the Fathers.”