Where Not to Buy 

Where to Buy

Hosts & Wine
for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

Instruction by Fr. Lucian Pulvermacher, O.F.M. Cap.
September 27, 1997

Valid and Lawful

In order to avoid confusion I shall define the meaning of the above words – Valid and Lawful.  The elements of bread and wine are valid when they are pure enough to give one a valid Mass.  Here are some examples.  If the flour in the hosts is made of 80% wheat flour and 20% cake-mix flour it would be valid for the Mass, but it would be unlawful, sinful to use.  I spoke with an old Sister who made hosts for Mass before bogus Council Vatican II.  She told me that they put some cake-mix into the wheat flour, for that made it easier to work with.  She produced valid hosts, but unlawful hosts.  She was supposed to use only wheat flour.  In Catholic Oriental rites where leavened bread is used, yeast is part of the process, so that is perfectly lawful. 

The wine must be made of ripe grapes only.  Hence, if one used 80% grape juice and 20% peach juice that would be valid for Mass, but it would be unlawful.  Of course, as the peach juice percentage increases, the likelihood of having invalid wine for the Mass increases. And that makes for the Mass being invalid.  All that is monkey-shine is sinful. 

In order that the hosts and wine for Mass be valid and lawful there is another factor to consider.  Each priest, his cook or a trusted Catholic can make valid and lawful hosts and wine, provided the priest knows very well that the regulations are being observed.  That was the way many of the parishes operated when I was a boy.  You may still find in a dark corner of an old Novus Ordo church all the equipment for making hosts.  I even bought some of that equipment. 

As we became more sophisticated, we began to buy our hosts and wine from large centers - Convents of Sisters for example.  I mentioned above that a Sister made hosts for many parishes.  What was wrong about that is that she was not supervised by one in authority.  The local Bishop should supervise the making of the hosts and the wine.  Once he knows that things are done correctly he gives, we may call it, his imprimatur, so that the priests can buy their hosts and wine without fear of having illicit and, even worse, invalid hosts and wine (again, making the Mass invalid).  The priest may follow with a quiet conscience the imprimatur given by the Bishop.  This shows you that the Bishop must constantly have someone in his office checking on those who make the hosts and wine. 

The Hosts

The elements for the hosts for the Latin Rite are wheat flour and water, and what ever goes into the making of unleavened bread.  You need an oil or wax on the irons that bake the hosts.  I made hosts for a whole year in a large Monastery, so I know what I am talking about.  I learned that the best material for oiling the baker is 51% bee’s wax candles (the old stubs). 

The flour should be white flour.  Years ago flour mills used to produce for the Catholic Churches pure wheat flour, less the bran.  They have equipment for the removal of the bran before they grind the flour. They sold that flour, in about twenty pound bags, directly to the Churches and Monasteries. There you have something that was supervised by the Bishops and sold to the priests. 

Today we do not have a source like a commercial flour mill from which we can get the white flour. Hence, we just grind the wheat as is.  The bran is in the flour, and there is no way for the ordinary citizen to remove it.  That is how all my host flour is produced.  It is 100% valid, and it is 100% licit.  It is slightly less than perfect, in that the flour is not completely white. 

No matter what white flour you buy in the market, it cannot be trusted to be pure wheat flour.  Just read the half a dozen items they give on the flour bags that are sold in the open market. 


During the past twenty some years, since I left the Novus Ordo, I have all my wine made by Catholics that I can direct and trust.  The same is true of the production of my hosts. 

The wine must be made of the juice of ripe grapes.  Whatever is in involved in the making of wine is to be followed.  One may use either the fresh grapes or the dried grapes, called raisins.  One should use white or green-colored grapes, for that gives a yellow wine.  Blue grapes give a blue wine, which is perfectly all right.  However, when it gets on the altar cloths (say at the offertory when the priest puts the wine into the chalice) that stain looks bad, but a slightly yellow stain can hardly be seen, and it comes out at laundry time without added treatment.  Likewise, the purificator which dries the chalice at the end of Mass stays looking clean for a good number of days; not so when blue wine is used. 

The alcoholic content of the wine should be between 12 and 17 percent.  There are testers on the market to test for the alcohol content of wine.  When the alcohol content is low the wine spoils very easily.  When the alcohol content is in the high range the wine keeps much longer.  Over the years I have carried by car and by air all the wine that I use in Mass, so these are words again of experience.  The ordinary parish uses the 12 percentage alcohol content wine.  The missionary on the trail uses the wine in the 17 percent rage. 

What determines the alcohol content of the wine?  It is the sugar content of the grape juice (obviously pressed from fresh grapes or raisins).  As you may know, some grapes are sour and others are sweet.  The sweeter the grapes the higher the sugar content of the juice, and the higher the alcohol content of the wine.  If you are buying grapes or raisins get the sweeter ones.  By the way it goes without saying, that as when using raisins one must water (distilled, if available) to the amount that “by guess and by garsh” was dried out of the grapes when they  were made into raisins. 

Any home-living man or house wife can make wine, and it would be good for every family to learn how to make both the hosts and the wine for Mass.  I shall say more about the equipment later in this treatise. In nearly every city there are hobby shops where one can buy the equipment for making wine.  They will also tell you the method of making wines.  Just leave out their additives such as sugar and alchohol.   While it ferments you need a bubbler on top of the large bottle or jug, or you can put a hole in the cork, insert a plastic hose which has its nose in a pail or jar of water to bubble out the gas.  Hence, no house bacteria can get into the wine itself. 

You could be pressed for time.  Say a missionary priest is coming to your home in a week, and you have no wine.  You have ripe grapes or raisins.  Make grape-must.  For your clear conscience I quote "Matters Liturgical", Wuest & Mullaney, 1959, Imprimatur April 14, 1959.  Page 328): 

    “The following substances are valid matter for consecration, but gravely illicit except in a case of real necessity: unfermented grape-must:....”
Just start the ripe grape juice fermenting for a day or so, strain it, and EUREKA, you have grape-must.  If you know that a priest may come to your home try to have real valid and licit wine on hand all the time.  My poor parents did not drink wine as a custom, but they nearly always had some homemade wine on hand for a treat when visitors came.  Today’s Catholics could do the same for the priest visitor.  Just try it. 

Where Not to Buy

People will tell you that there is Sacramental wine in the downtown store.  There are even outlets where the Novus Ordo priests are instructed by Novus Ordo Bishops to buy their "sacramental"  wine.  Do not let that word “Sacramental” cow you into subjection, even if it is made by the Christian Brothers.  I remember a Catholic chaplain told me that the military supplies all the chaplains with Sacramental wines.  If a Catholic Bishop has not approved of that brand used in the military you still may not use it.  There is a likelihood that it is illicit matter for Mass, and there is a possibility that it is invalid matter for Mass. 

Where to Buy

Once we get the Church jump-started by the election of the true Pope we will be getting more and more equipment for making wine and hosts.  I have in the home of a Catholic family all the equipment to grind the four, mix the dough, and bake the hosts, plus the cutting equipment for large and small hosts. 

For the record I shall give you the place where this equipment may be purchased.  This company has a price list available for all the equipment needed for large scale baking and cutting.  The cutting can be large scale or small scale by hand.  The company is: 

    John Wieland & Son Machine Shop, Inc. 
    6816 E Rosecrans Ave. 
    Parmount, CA 90723   
    (213) 636-7217
The above equipment is very expensive for a small group of people.  Your can easily buy a flour mill - even a hand grinder, as I have for a rainy day in my basement.  You can make a host baker with two flat irons (no steam holes in the base).  Have a carpenter make you a saddle for the bottom iron, so the base (bottom) of the bottom flat iron is upright and level.  The top iron you hold in your hand.  Heat the irons until, when you drop water on them, the water rolls and jumps like tiny pellets. You put the thin batter on the lower iron and press the top iron on the batter for about ten seconds.  When you remove it you have the unleavened bread ready to be cut into large or small hosts.  Of course, the bread must be moistened by putting it into an empty box or oven with moist towels.  We put an electric frying pan into the oven, and the electric pan makes just a little steam (moisture).  You can cut the hosts with shears if you have no cutters.  The above mentioned company can sell you the large and small cutters.  They used to be seventy-five dollars each. 

Things just do not happen.  We must make them happen. 

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