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The diligent John of Leaflet Missal, in the wake of the great Seminarian Biretta Project (ongoing) has sent me a mighty tool of the New Evangelization.

Behold a “scruple spoon”.


I lacked this weapon of demon-terrorizing in my liturgical arsenal. Thanks to John.

I am still getting notes from seminarians. EVERYONE! Call John and get a biretta for a seminarians! Click HERE


“But Father! But Father!”, some libs are puling, “That’s a huge ladle of a thing!  How big is your ‘precious chalice’?  Does hating Vatican II mean that you are scrupulous, too?  HA HA!”

Nope, it means none of those things.  It does mean, however, that I adhere to what Unreconstructed Ossified Manualists hold: pour too much water into the wine and you have invalid matter for consecration.  We learn from Tanquerey (that tonic for the soul), that “quinta pars aquae ad vinum corrumpendum non sufficiat … a fifth part of water isn’t enough to break [the substance of] the wine”, and thus render it invalid matter for consecration.

Fathers, if you don’t use much wine, which is my practice, you had better be careful with that water!

So, the careful priest, and I am careful, has the option of a little spoon, often called a “scruple spoon”.

As far as the size of the spoon is concerned, here are a couple objects to add perspective, namely, a .45 ACP snap cap and a packet of hot sauce from Chick-fil-A.


You “dunk” the spoon into the narrow neck of the cruet to fish up some water.


You never have to worry.  One less thing.

One of you readers and frequent donors here, MH, sent a bunch of cards she had made with the Apostolic Pardon/Blessing printed in Latin and English.  They are wallet-sized.  She said I should give them to priests…. and I will!



More about the Apostolic Benediction HERE.

Thanks MH!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. VeritasVereVincet says:

    Oh hey! My pastor has one of those! Though I don’t think his has a hook on the top.

    I always wondered what it was called.

  2. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    Some years ago Cardinal Francis Arinze, then Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, gave an address at Georgetown University. He staunchly upheld Catholic doctrine, particularly on abortion, whereupon a large part of the faculty walked out. Asked about it later, he said, “Perhaps they put too much water in their wine.”

    [Good one.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  3. Stephanus83 says:

    If MH has a copy of her Apostolic Pardon card available as a PDF file, that would be a wonderful thing to share. I would have some printed for Priests in my diocese if it were made available. I suppose I could be very motivated and make my own….but that one is VERY pretty Father!

  4. SaintJude6 says:

    I love that you have the Texas Pete’s on hand. Have you had it on the hash browns?

  5. Vincent says:

    Ah, but father, what is the minimum amount of water allowed?

  6. Animadversor says:

    Perhaps the simplest thing to do would be to put very little water in the cruet in the first place.

  7. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    Who came up with “scruple spoon”?

    It’s a “scrupe scoop.”

  8. JonPatrick says:

    Concerning that story about Georgetown and Cardinal Arinze, too bad those professors didn’t just keep walking. I pray for the day when Catholic universities are Catholic again in more than just name.

  9. APX says:

    Perhaps the simplest thing to do would be to put very little water in the cruet in the first place.
    That would work except the water is need for the ablution afterwards.

    Our priest also uses the scruple spoon.

  10. acardnal says:

    I’ve attended many Masses celebrated by priests of Opus Dei. They always used a scruple spoon. . . . and their ciboriums have veils.

  11. Fr. D. says:

    On a related issue. When Holy Communion is distributed under both Sacred Species, the wine is often placed in the chalices before Mass begins. Should not a small amount of water be placed in all the chalices at the Offertory? If water is not poured into some chalices, is there invalidity involved? I have many other questions revolving around the distribution under both species, but the list would be long. One at a time.

  12. glennbcnu says:

    Animadversor wrote: “Perhaps the simplest thing to do would be to put very little water in the cruet in the first place.”

    That wouldn’t work because you need water for purifying the vessels after Holy Communion.

  13. My pastor has used that little spoon for quite some time now. I never knew the name of it before now.

  14. tjmurphy says:

    It has been close to 30 years since I have seen a scruple spoon. The pastor Emeritus of my parish used one. I remember it being hooked onto the burse. Msgr. Furlong, the priest, was a true inspiration and a holy priest. Wore his biretta at every mass I can remember.

  15. APX says:

    Fr. D,

    It is my understanding that there is only one “chalice” and the rest are “communion cups” insofar as the chalice is distinct from the others. Also, somewhere (the GIRM, I believe) indicates that the water is only supposed to be poured into the chalice and not the other cups.

  16. Jim in VT says:

    I must say that I love the use of a .45 ACP as a standard of measure.

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