Metropolitan of Eastern America and New
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
March 9, 2010
To the Most Reverend
Archpastors, the Secretaries of the Dioceses, & the Rectors of
those Parishes of the Russian Church Abroad located within the
United States of America & Canada
According to the
rules of the Holy Church, the wine intended for use in the Holy
Eucharist has particular qualities. It must be natural grape wine,
pleasant to the taste, red in color (the color of blood; moreover,
one must take into consideration that the wine will change color
when the warm water [zeon;
teplota] is added to the chalice), and without additives of any
sort, such as sugar, alcohol, coloring, sulfites, stabilizers,
Several years ago,
the Synodal Candle Works contracted with the Brotherhood Winery, in
New York State, to produce an ecclesiastical wine that would
completely meet the criteria for church wine. Not long ago, Cesar
Baeza, a representative of the firm, confirmed that the wine the
produce for our Church, Rosario Altar Wine, meets these essential
We reiterate our
blessing for the use of the Brotherhood wine obtainable from the
Candle Works (since other wines bearing that label may not meet the
necessary standards) during the Divine Liturgy, for Communion.
It is forbidden to
use, in the Eucharist, wine of dubious composition, containing
impermissible additives, as well as the dilution of such wine with
good wine as an economizing measure. We ask that it not be forgotten
that the canons of the Church demand deposition from their clerical
rank for clergymen who use inappropriate wine, as ones who mock what
is holy and fail to carry out their duties with reverence.
We also take this
opportunity to inform the clergy and church officers that in the
near future the Synodal Candle Works will be offering a choice of
three types of church wine, two of which will be labeled "KAGOR,"
the third being the present "Brotherhood" wine.
We request that the
Most Reverend Archpastors and the secretaries of the dioceses inform
each of their clergymen of the above.
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York,