Catholic Pocket Dictionary – ablution


A name given, in the rubrics of the Mass, to the water and wine with which the priest who celebrates Mass washes his thumbs and index finger after communion. When he has consumed the Precious Blood, the priest purifies the chalice; he then, saying in a low voice a short prayer prescribed by the Church, holds his thumbs and index fingers, which have touched the Blessed Sacrament and may have some particle of it adhering to them, over the chalice, while the server pours wine and water upon them. He then drinks the ablution and dries his lips and the chalice with the mundatory. This ceremony witnesses to the reverence with which the Church regards the Body and Blood of Christ, and to her anxiety that none of that heavenly food should be lost.

MLA Citation

  • Father James J McGovern. “ablution”. Catholic Pocket Dictionary, 1906. CatholicSaints.Info. 14 November 2015. Web. 21 April 2019. <>