“Wine turns to blood when the Father lifts it up high.”
I heard this on a Catholic radio station recently. I don’t remember the first time it occurred to me the Christian communion ritual is a bit bizarre.
A book about ancient beliefs I’m reading tells of the human fascination with blood. Before humans understood the relationship between sex and pregnancy, the female menstruation blood was thought to be the source of her fertility. It was believed to have magical qualities.
Because of the belief that women created babies by themselves, the pairing off of couples (marriage between one man and one woman) was not a normal practice. There were many casual relationships. Names of offspring were based on the mother’s name because there was no known connection to men.
Missionaries during the last century found tribes that based linage on women instead of men. They taught the “correct way”, linage based on men.
In time, the concept of life from blood was transferred to men. Leaders would wound themselves to let life-giving blood pass over their followers. A few years ago visiting pyramids in Central America I heard the pyramid’s shape was to make flowing blood visible to the crowd below. Now, we have “the blood of Christ”.
I don’t want to imply there is anything wrong with metaphoical blood rituals. I recall a pastor saying communion services are so powerful they can make lucid for brief moments people in nursing homes who otherwise are not able to communicate.
People like their blood.