Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Ultimate Transubstantiation


It has gone unnoticed by the internet's most prolific critics of Anglicanism, those who want to direct us all into the Tiber, that modern Anglicans have not had much to say against "transubstantiation" in modern times. This, among the traditional orthodox Anglicans, is not due to a change of theology on our part, but due to better understanding as expressed by writers from the Church of Rome's side. We have noted here several times, that chief among the best modern thinkers in their communion has been Pope Benedict XVI, writing years ago as Archbishop Ratzinger:

"Reality" is not just what we can measure. It is not only "quantums", but quantifiable entities, that are real; on the contrary, these are always only manifestations of the hidden mystery of true being. But here, where Christ meets us, we have to do with this true being. This is what was being expressed with the word "substance". This does not refer to the quantums, but to the profound and fundamental basis of being. Jesus is not there like a piece of meat, not in the realm of what can be measured and quantified...How should we relate to reality? What is "real"?...Concerning the Eucharist it is said to us: The substance is transformed, that is to say, the fundamental basis of its being...The Lord takes possession of the bread and the wine; he lifts them up, as it were, out of the setting of their normal existence into a new order; even if, from a purely physical point of view, they remain the same, they have become profoundly different.

Whereas, at one time, only the most carnal and materialist interpretation of the word "transubstantiation" was known to Anglicans (which idea they rejected in no small way) in modern times, with more developed thought, better dialogue and a history of serious communication across denominational boundaries, it is not uncommon to find Anglicans who will use the word themselves.

Considering the Anglican emphasis on receiving the sacrament, which emphasis is now shared also by the Church of Rome, it is fitting to let even the Articles, which some use only to a divisive end, take a place of ecumenical significance. With the enlightenment that only clear theological discussion affords, Article XXV can be seen as providing common ground in its attention to the purpose of the sacrament. In the context of the Articles as a whole, it can serve to show why we believe that Christ gave us the sacrament of his Body and Blood, and that receiving the sacrament, and with it the grace of the sacrament, deserves an emphasis that ought not be seen as necessarily competing with a Eucharistic devotion that aims all worship to God, even if it does so through adoration of the Mystery. In past centuries this may have been impossible, since errors of each age require special attention from the Church. But, we are not stuck in the past, bound out of loyalty to old but resolved conflicts as if our sad divisions in the Body of Christ should be preserved and defended against charity, unity and better understanding.

We may, therefore, speak of transubstantiation both in terms of what our fathers knew as the Real Presence of Christ in the Mystery, and also in terms of the grace of the sacrament. For this, we are indebted again to the words of then Archbishop Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.

Wherever Christ is present, afterward it cannot be just as if nothing had happened. There, where he laid his hand, something new has come to be. This points us back again to the fact that being a Christian as such is to be transformed, that it must involve repentance and not just some embellishment added onto the rest of one's life. It reaches down into our depths and renews us from those very depths. The more we ourselves as Christians are renewed from the root up, the better we understand the mystery of transformation. Finally, this capacity things have for being transformed makes us more aware that the world itself can be transformed, that it will one day as a whole be the New Jerusalem, the Temple, vessel of the presence of God.

This transformation is the very purpose of the grace of this sacrament. Allow me to quote myself:

The Lord Jesus said: "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever (John 6: 54-58)."

By eating this bread and drinking this cup our sinful bodies are made clean by his body, and our souls are washed through his most precious blood of the New Covenant. Springing from his Incarnation, from the Word made flesh, is this sacrament by which we receive Christ, the Bread of Life, the food and drink of eternal life. The words: “…that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his Body, and our souls washed through his most precious Blood…” offends the modern mind, which is why TEC cut these words out of the Prayer of Humble Access. They fail to understand that the body is unclean by reason of death, to which it is subject, and the soul is stained with both original sin and our own added culpability by thought, word and deed.

The hope of the resurrection of the dead on the Last Day, receiving immortality by feeding on Christ, not only who died, but who rose again and everlives to make intercession for us, is the great benefit of eating and drinking salvation by this sacrament (not the memorial of the dead, but the reminder of the living).


The words of St. John teach us that the grace of the sacrament is nothing less than our own transubstantiation.

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (I John 3:1-3)

That hope is that your whole being, and mine, will be changed from the substance of one who is dead in trespasses and sins to one who is forever alive in Christ (already prefigured and given to us in baptism, as taught in Romans chapter 6). To be made like him, when we see him as he is, is the hope that the whole substance of the believer will be transubstantiated from bondage to sin and death to the liberty of Christ's Passover from death to life, transubstantiated from a dead sinner into a living saint, alive forever and glorified in Christ. It is the resurrection on the Last Day for those who have fed on the bread of Life. This is the grace of the sacrament for all who receive it with hearty repentance and true faith, the ultimate transubsantiation into partakers of the Divine Nature (II Pet. 1:4).

30 comments:

poetreader said...

Wow!

This, Father Hart, is a masterpiece. There's nothing at all new in it, and yet ...

The old, old story is here presented in a fresh and comprehensible way, and you've said what I've struggled to say through my whole Christian life, as A Lutheran, as an Episcopalian, even as a Pentecostal preacher, and as a Continuing Anglican. I never wavered in my belief that Jesus meant exactly what he said,that the Elements I have received have truly been His Body and Blood, even if I could never understand how that could be. For years I preached it, even though many around me tried to make it into a bare symbol. I never could use that word transubstantiation, and would still be uncomfortable with it, as it originated with and seems linked to an Aristotelian view of reality that I cannot accept, and an effort to explain the unexplainable.

However your careful comparison of Benedict's theology with that of classical Anglicanism has managed to lessen that discomfort considerably.

I've long pointed to the adage, "You are what you eat", stressing that the food we eat both becomes part of every cell of our bodies and becomes the substance of which those cells are made. If we partake of a bread that IS His Body, He becomes the substance of our whole being, both body and spirit, and the grace of the Sacrament is precisely what you say in your wonderful conclusion:

"the ultimate transubsantiation into partakers of the Divine"

Thank you
ed

welshmann said...

Fr. Hart:

The Real Presence is usually understood in terms of the Incarnation, but I wonder if maybe we could also discuss it in terms of the Crucifixion, and not just for the obvious reasons of sacrifice and commemoration. I'm thinking about the principles of substitution and identity, as in Galations 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."

No one insists that we are carnally crucified with Christ, and yet we certainly must be crucified with Him in a very real sense.

The principle of substitution and/or identity is found elsewhere in Scripture. Look at I Corinthians 6:15, in which Paul warns against Christians being involved in sexual immorality, "Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid."

Paul is not saying that Christ Himself is carnally joined to a prostitute when a Christian engages in sexual immorality, and yet because we are members of His Body, our actions do in fact affect the Mystical Body as a whole.

One more, and I'm done. See Matthew 25:31-46, very briefly excerpted as follows, "Inasmuch as you did (or did not) do it to the least of these, you did it (or did it not) unto Me."

I'm not saying these examples of substitution and identity are the "same" thing as the Real Presence, but maybe they are at least patterns in Scripture that establish a precedent, which in turn might relieve some believers of the mistaken idea that to believe in the Real Presence they must believe in a carnal presence, or else that the Real Presence is just a creature of philosophical speculation, as opposed to a very sound Biblical doctrine.

welshmann

john sullivan said...

Father.
Thank you for this post.
Transubstantiation is a word and concept I think I might understand and embrace. your post makes it even more so. However in talking to friends who question my position on the Eucharist ask me always about the "scarifice" of the "mass". I am no theologian... my response is, "it is a sacrifice of thanksgiving for the presence of Christ in bread and wine in the context the event" I wonder if you could comment on the "sacrificaial" element of the event of the Holy eucharist. I fear I am lacking in my understanding of the "Anglican" and "Roman" thought on this.
Thank you.

Rkbrookescyp said...

Just a very small thought and I no longer remember where I got it from, but for the concept of Christ being truly mysteriously (in the true sense of that word) present in bread and wine I have oftimes used the made up word 'transignification'.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

John Sullivan:

The subject needs more attention, but here is what we have already posted for starters.

http://anglicancontinuum.blogspot.com/2008/07/full-perfect-and-sufficient-sacrifice.html

Welshmann wrote:

The Real Presence is usually understood in terms of the Incarnation...

Real Presence properly understood, is a term in Eucharistic Theology. This sacrament does, indeed, come from the Incarnation as, if I may so put it, an extension. The Church itself, the Body of Christ, is also an extension of the Incarnation.

poetreader said...

Rkbrookescyp:

Can you unpack that for us? I'm afraid I'm not quite sure what you intend to 'signify' by 'transignification'

ed

Sandra McColl said...

I am still scarred by the memory of an HC in a Unitarian chapel at which the words were 'This signifies my body', etc. I wondered what part of 'is' these people didn't understand.

Mark said...

Dear Father Hart:

From a Roman Catholic perspective, I would like to know if in the quote:

"By eating this bread and drinking this cup our sinful bodies are made clean by his body, and our souls are washed through his most precious blood of the New Covenant"

there is room to make a distinction between the sacrament the Holy Eucharist and the sacrament of Penance. From the Roman Catholic perspective, our souls are washed via the sacrament of Penance, after which we are worthy to receive Christ in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, as long as we remain in the state of grace.

I guess the basic question is: where does the sacrament of Penance fit in?

Fr. Robert Hart said...

First, we need to have the correct quotation: “Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his Body, and our souls washed through his most precious Blood…”

Like most things in the BCP, this came from an older Latin source. In fact, the whole Prayer of Humble Access comes from at least two sources, and the prayer was constructed by combining them.

What is called the sacrament of Penance has been called by the Church of Rome, more recently, the sacrament of Reconciliation. I prefer to call it the sacrament of Confession and Absolution, as it has two ministers: 1. The penitent who uses a simple Form, above all confessing his sins, and 2. the priest who Absolves with a Form, and who is himself not only a right minister of the sacrament, but as a man ordained to the priesthood he is the necessary Matter. The Intention is obvious.

The reason I have insisted on an accurate quotation is mostly because of these words, "so to eat...and to drink...that..." The entire act of receiving the sacrament necessarily involves Confession and Absolution, and the washing of our souls in his blood is not isolated to only one part of the whole sacramental life. So, the priest (or deacon) who administers the chalice to the people, says, "The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Drink this in remembrance that Christ’s Blood was shed for thee, and be thankful."

No one is invited to the receive the sacrament without making a sincere confession: "Ye who do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways; Draw near with faith, and take this holy Sacrament to your comfort; and make your humble confession to Almighty God, devoutly kneeling." The Absolution that follows is dependent on "hearty repentance and true faith."

Anglicans have always practiced private confession, but also allowed General Confession, obviously with sacramental Intention since the priest alone can say the Absolution. The Penance in the General Confession is hearing the "Comfortable Words." In private, of course, it is what the priest assigns.

The 1549 Book of Common Prayer contains these words, spoken by the priest: "And yf there bee any of you, whose conscience is troubled and greved in any thing, lackyng comforte or counsaill, let him come to me, or to some other dyscrete and learned priest, taught in the law of God, and confesse and open his synne and griefe secretly, that he may receive suche ghostly counsaill, advyse, and comfort, that his conscience maye be releved, and that of us (as of the ministers of GOD and of the churche) he may receive comfort and absolucion, to the satisfaccion of his mynde, and avoyding of all scruple and doubtfulnes: requiryng suche as shalbe satisfied with a generall confession, not to be offended with them that doe use, to their further satisfiyng, the auriculer and secret confession to the Priest: nor those also whiche thinke nedefull or convenient, for the quietnes of their awne consciences, particuliarly to open their sinnes to the Priest: to bee offended with them that are satisfied, with their humble confession to GOD, and the generall confession to the churche. But in all thinges to folowe and kepe the rule of charitie, and every man to be satisfied with his owne conscience, not judgyng other mennes myndes or consciences; where as he hath no warrant of Goddes word to the same."

An example of Form for an Anglican priest to use in a private Confession comes from the BCP, 1662: "Our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left power to his Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in him, of his great mercy forgive thee thine offences: And by his authority committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

I give a long answer in case you were not aware of details about this sacrament in the Anglican tradition. The short answer is this: In the very words of our Holy Communion service (i.e., the Mass) only those who sincerely confess with "hearty (from the heart) repentance and true faith" are absolved, and they alone are invited to come and receive the Communion of Christ's Body and Blood. Everyone else should refrain from coming forward.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Why would a Unitarian bother with it at all? Don't they address their prayers "To whom it may concern?"

poetreader said...

You have a point, Father; I've often wondered that myself.

However not all Unitarians are as vague as that. There are Theists among them with a strong, rather Judaic, Father God, some of whom have a more or less exalted but non-divine view of Jesus. There are even classic Arians among them. These more conservative, but still not Christian Unitarians are, I understand, more numerous among Europeans than here.

On that distorted formula, well, if one wishes to ignore two millenia of Christian thinking and to minimize the words of St. Paul to the Corinthians and of John ch.6, there is grammatical justification for interpreting "is" in a metaphorical sense. Most languages, including Greek and English do it all the time. The problem here is that it was not understood in that way prior to Zwingli, and is still not understood in that manner by the overwhelming majority of Christians. There is just another example of the shortcomings of Sola Scriptura.

ed

Sandra McColl said...

The celebrant was a former Roman, who had openly brought with him the elements of his former tradition that had appealed to him. He liked praying for the dead. The occasion was a Requiem.

Mark said...

Thank you, Father Hart, for a thorough explanation of the Anglican tradition of the sacrament of Penance. I was not aware of how close our understanding is in this matter.

As you are undoubtedly aware, on our Roman side, both of these sacraments have recently acquired a political dimension that is only expected to sharpen. I would not be surprised if the somewhat esoteric discussions of this kind spilled out into the "mainstream media" in some form.

How does one explain to a young media personality someone's worthiness to receive a sacrament that rests on his or her proper understanding of transubstantiation and repentance, in a 30 second sound-bite? Without sounding like a medieval freak? To an audience that may never have heard of such things before? That's when trust in God's timely help comes in. But I rhetorically digress.

Rkbrookescyp said...

Thank you Sandra for your comment. For me this has simply been helpful to say that although the elements remain always simply bread and simply wine, beacause of the consecration of the elements their significance has changed because now in a way that cannot be humanly explained they are for us the body and blood of the Lord, whom we truly receive as we partake of them.

One thing I dislike about this blog, and here I am in danger of becoming a hypocrite, is the way that some people find it necessary to take swipes at other churches and belief systems. Here in Cyprus I am in a majority Moslem situation - at least nominally. For many it is only cultural, like in England many on a hospital admission form will put down Church of England even though they have attended fr years or since infant baptism or marriage etc. Ironically we find it is the sincere practicing Moslems who are the most for us, and I need to always remember that although they have not Christ they are sincerely seeking God and I need to love them as Christ loves them.

Rkbrookescyp said...

I see there is a magic 'not' missing. "Even though they have NOT attended for years" it should read :)

Fr. Robert Hart said...

One thing I dislike about this blog, and here I am in danger of becoming a hypocrite, is the way that some people find it necessary to take swipes at other churches and belief systems.

Well, that goes on all the time on the internet, and especially against Anglicanism. Frankly, we don't intend swipes; but we do intend to defend and explain classic Anglicanism- the real article that is worth Continuing.

Sandra McColl said...

It would appear that I have been thanked tongue-in-cheek for a comment that was offensive. In this blog I feel myself among largely like-minded friends, even though I get myself in a bit of trouble at times. If I were in my lounge room with a group of similarly like-minded friends (and I can think of a few bishops among them), I could make the same comment I made about my Unitarian experience without being taken to task for taking swipes. The rite was basically the modern English rite that prevailed in the C of E at the time, along with a very C of E hymnal, but purged of all Trinitarian references. Their 'tradition' rested very substantially on what they could 'borrow' from the C of E. Right now there are probably Unitarians having a swipe at the Trinitarian majority in Christendom.

As a Continuing Anglican, I'm in a minority where I live, and would probably be in a minority in the general, or even Christian, population anywhere (except, perhaps, the Torres Strait Islands, laus Deo).

Heresy is heresy, and concerning it I'll be as offensive as the gatekeepers allow me to be.

poetreader said...

RKB,
I'm not quite sure what you mean with what you say about belief systems. Are you implying that it is not proper to teach Muslims, for instance, that Jesus is THE way, THE truth, and The life? Does it become wrong to point out that their "prophet" did not have it right and that their doctrine does not lead to salvation? Is it perhaps some kind of sin to defend my beliefs when they have been attacked? Would you prefer that we run a quiet inoffensive blog that never says anything anyone could disagree with? I'm seriousl;y a bit puzzled as to what you mean by that statement.

Now, that's all a bit of a digression from the subject of this thread. Your definition of Transignification is more to the point, and I would have to take issue with it. Of I had to choose between the two terms, I would have to choose transubstantiation (though I'm on record here as not wishing to use that term).

You say, "the elements remain always simply bread and simply wine" -- but, though obviously bread and obviously wine, the elements have become something else entirely, the Boby and Blood of our Lord, and not merely "to us". I do, however, much appreciate your stress that this is "in a way that cannot be humanly explained" -- which is, of course, one of the problems of the RC approach.

ed

Rkbrookescyp said...

To Fr Hart and Poetreader -no I do not say that it is wrong to defend our Christian position - I do it all the time and constantly used the very same John 14 verse to which you refer - in fact it is my response to the Religion? question on Facebook. Carping criticisms go on all the time on the internet - accepted - but do we as Christians need to join in. The criticisms and frankly childish name calling in respect of the contributor whose response to the first transubstantiation was published separately in full I felt was unnecessary.
In respect if the nature of exactly what we believe in respect of the Eucharist is always a wrestling with the things of God and the limitations of human language. For me I could never use transubstantiation - my evangelical background wouldn't cope with the concrete nature of what it means. for me transignification is helpful. To me it sums what Queen Elizabeth I said, previously quoted by Fr. Hart.
So to all Christians reading this I wish a blessed Lord's Day.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Sandra McColl:

...I could make the same comment I made about my Unitarian experience without being taken to task for taking swipes.

I assumed the comment was aimed at me, since my defense of Anglicanism sometimes appears to be an attack on Rome. But, that is not really what I am doing at all. It is the self-appointed Tridentine champions, whose attacks on us for daring to be Anglicans are both unceasing and asinine, that need a good stout answer. That is not to fight them, but to rescue Anglicans from unwarranted blows to their consciences.

Rkbrookescyp:

The criticisms and frankly childish name calling in respect of the contributor whose response to the first transubstantiation was published separately in full I felt was unnecessary.

The closest anyone came to an insult was in a comment by one "Rev'd Up," and I quickly pointed out that our point is not to insult Fr. Longenecker. However, the criticism was necessary, especially inasmuch as that terribly flawed essay has been posted on his website for a decade. The very fact that someone thought it was so profound that it would stop us in our tracks, makes the need evident enough.

Mark said...

Dear Father Hart:

You wrote:

"It is the self-appointed Tridentine champions, whose attacks on us for daring to be Anglicans are both unceasing and asinine, that need a good stout answer"

As a Traditionalist Roman Catholic, thus by definition a Tridentine "champion", I would like to know which blogs and websites these are. I'm not implying they don't exist, I would just like to take a look at them and their MO.

The RC blogs I occasionally visit (a comprehensive list is on Father Zulhsdorf's blog "wdtprs") do sometimes mention the Anglican Church, but usually within the context of the liberal - conservative church politics.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Mark:

I am very happy for you to be a Tridentine Champion, so long as you are not self-appointed. By that I mean not simply that they take initiative (which is fine), but, as in the example of Fr. Longenecker's essay, are actually arguing against no less an authority than the pope. They are so "self-appointed" that they are out of step with Rome in many ways. The website that Fr. Longenecker's essay was copied from is a perfect example, as is just about everything by Michael Liccione, Mark Bonocore, and others who feel compelled to display ignorance about Anglicanism whenever they write about it, and to defend sad divisions against the dangers of unity and charity (to speak in Screwtape terms). I am afraid that even my friend, Fr. Alvin Kimel, writes things that make me wonder how much he ever really understood Anglicanism.

But, I really do not want to advertise their websites on our blog. I leave the Googling to you.

Mark said...

Dear Father Hart:

You wrote:

"I am very happy for you to be a Tridentine Champion"

Please notice that in my post I put "champion" in self deprecating quotes. I was merely echoing your turn of the phrase here.

I'm neither a syncretist nor a champion of apologetics in the style of Friday Night Smackdown. I am interested in understanding the similiarities and the differences among the various Christian faith traditions. Since this is a very broad area, I naturally gravitate to those that are closer to Rome.

My motivation is this: those who try to follow Christ today, need to acquire a large dose of pragmatism with respect to each other. We need to be able to present a more unified front to the increasingly powerful secularized world, which often exploits our differences. That, to me, is the more pressing issue now, rather than expanding all of our energies against each other.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Mark:

Would you not agree that such a worthy goal is assisted best by clear communication? I wish the self-appointed champions, of whom I spoke, would catch something of the spirit of their chief pastor, a man whose books and teaching I have long admired.

http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=15-04-037-b

Mark said...

Dear Father Hart:

A more unified front on the many cultural issues facing us today cannot be achieved without clear and respectful communication among all the interested parties. To me, that means not only learning about our similarities and differences, but also initiating the often painful process of introspection.

For us Romans, the late Pope John Paul II may be a model here, since he did apologize for the past sins of Roman Catholics, and took the heat for it from some quarters. However, for this unified front to emerge, the same is expected for all parties involved, not just for Roman Catholics. Otherwise, our past histories will remain exploitable.

At this time, I reserve my opinion about the particular parties you so graciously listed, since up till now I've never heard of them.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

I received an e-mail that says, "'Transignification' was, I believe, a term favored by Edward Schillebeeckx." This got me looking at a source that can be unreliable at times, but usually at least points in the right direction, namely Wikipedia, which says:

Transignification is an idea originating from the attempts of modernist Roman Catholic theologians, especially Edward Schillebeeckx, to better understand the mystery of the Real Presence of Christ at Mass in light of a new philosophy of the nature of reality that is more in line with contemporary physics. The concept of transignification was ultimately rejected by the Catholic hierarchy, and is now more prominent in some Anglican and Protestant circles. Transignification suggests that although Christ's body and blood are not physically present in the Eucharist, they are really and objectively so, as the elements take on, at the consecration, the real significance of Christ's body and blood which thus become sacramentally present.

It is thus contrasted not only to belief in a physical or chemical change in the elements, but also to the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church that there is a change only of the underlying reality, but not of anything that concerns physics or chemistry (see Transubstantiation).

The concept of transignification is based on the thought that there are two kinds of presence, local and personal. Jesus is personally, but not locally, present at the Mass. One can be locally present, as when riding on a bus, but one's thoughts can be far away, making one personally not present.

The theory has been rejected by the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church, in particular in Pope Paul VI's 1965 encyclical Mysterium Fidei [1]. However, it is considered to be similar to the Anglican position set forth by Thomas Cranmer in the Book of Common Prayer.


I find it interesting that whoever contributed this to Wikipedia gave such an Anglican/ B.XVI definition of "transubstantiation."

Rkbrookescyp said...

Thank you Fr Hart for this. I had never read this before. I am no academic and could not have expressed it so precisely. This suits my understanding perfectly.

poetreader said...

Mr. Brookes,

If that's what you mean by "transignification" I'm happy with that, though I'm even less likely to use that term than the one favored by our RC brethren.

ed

Rkbrookescyp said...

...and ed, what is important in all these things is that we remain polite and courteous and respectful of each other... for transubstantiation means a change in the substance... as Jesus was a Jew I really can't believe that's what he meant... but if you and others believe that - OK for me this is NOT something to fall out over. We Christians must come to realise that sniping at each other does no good.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

...for transubstantiation means a change in the substance... as Jesus was a Jew I really can't believe that's what he meant...

Also, I cannot believe the first western theologians to use this term meant it quite as literally-inthe material sense- as it was taken. They knew the scripture forbids drinking any blood at all, and they knew that cannibalism is also both forbidden and a curse. The original idea had to have been what we call Real Presence, and in line with Pope B.XVI