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The “Real Presence” is a term which means the true presence of the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ under the appearance of bread and wine.
Anglicans and Lutherans do not believe in the Real Presence in the same way Catholics do. They believe in Consubstantiation which is the belief that after the consecration, the Eucharist consists of both body and blood and bread and wine all together. That is, the body and blood of Christ remains “with the substance” of bread and wine still present. On the contrary, Catholics believe in Transubstantiation. Transubstantiation is the belief that the whole of the substance of bread and wine completely changes into the true body and blood of Christ with only the appearance of bread and wine. Transubstantiation means the bread and wine totally become the body and blood although in the appearance of the former as a sacramental symbol of earthly food. This teaching has its roots from several places in the Bible as well as traditions and the practice of the early Christian Church.
While they were eating, Jesus took a piece of bread, gave a prayer of thanks, broke it and gave it to his disciples “take and eat it” He said, “this is my body”. Then He took a cup, gave thanks to God and gave it to them, “drink it all of you” He said, “this is my blood which seals God’s covenant, my blood poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” Matthew 25 :26-28.
Other places where Christ emphasized that the bread and wine is His true body and blood can be found in Mark 14:22-28 Luke 22:19 -20, 1st Corinthians 10:16-17, John 6:30-71, 1st Corinthians 11:23-29.
The fourth ecumenical council of the Lateran in 1215 came to the conclusion that the term “transubstantiation” best describes the mystery of the Real Presence than other terms which are either uncertain or inaccurate. While consubstantiation states that the bread and wine is still bodily present. Transubstantiation affirms that there is a complete change which aligns with the Bible quotations and early traditions of the Church regarding the Eucharist.
In Cyril of Jerusalem’s book, Catechetical discourses of 350 A.D, he explained that communicants should be fully convinced that the apparent bread is not bread even though it is sensible to the taste but the body of Christ and that the apparent wine is not wine even though the taste would have it so.
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