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The host and the wine literally became the flesh and blood of Christ.

Transubstantiation for Beginners | Catholic Answers

First Known Use of transubstantiation 14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2. Learn More about transubstantiation. Resources for transubstantiation Time Traveler! Explore the year a word first appeared. Statistics for transubstantiation Look-up Popularity. Time Traveler for transubstantiation The first known use of transubstantiation was in the 14th century See more words from the same century.

More Definitions for transubstantiation. English Language Learners Definition of transubstantiation. More from Merriam-Webster on transubstantiation See words that rhyme with transubstantiation Britannica. Comments on transubstantiation What made you want to look up transubstantiation?


Get Word of the Day daily email! Need even more definitions? Ask the Editors Ghost Word The story of an imaginary word that managed to sneak past our editors and enter the dictionary. Behind the Scenes How we chose 'feminism' Literally How to use a word that literally drives some people nuts. Is Singular 'They' a Better Choice? Take the quiz Back to School Quiz Pop quiz! Take the quiz True or False? In the Protestant Reformation , the doctrine of transubstantiation became a matter of much controversy. Martin Luther held that "It is not the doctrine of transubstantiation which is to be believed, but simply that Christ really is present at the Eucharist".

In his Confession Concerning Christ's Supper he wrote:. What Luther thus called a " sacramental union " is often erroneously called consubstantiation by non-Lutherans. Huldrych Zwingli taught that the sacrament is purely symbolic and memorial in character, arguing that this was the meaning of Jesus' instruction: This was enshrined in the Six Articles of , and the death penalty specifically prescribed for any who denied Transubstantiation.

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This was changed under Elizabeth I. In the 39 articles of , the Church of England declared: For a century and half - to - Transubstantiation had an important role, in a negative way, in British political and social life. Under the Test Act , the holding of any public office was made conditional upon explicitly adjuring Transubstantiation. Any aspirant to public office had to repeat the formula set out by the law: I, N , do declare that I do believe that there is not any transubstantiation in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, or in the elements of the bread and wine , at or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever.

In , the Council of Trent confirmed the doctrine of transubstantiation as Catholic dogma, stating that "by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood.


This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation. While the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation in relation to the Eucharist can be viewed in terms of the Aristotelian distinction between substance and accident , Catholic theologians generally hold that, "in referring to the Eucharist, the Church does not use the terms substance and accident in their philosophical contexts but in the common and ordinary sense in which they were first used many centuries ago.

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  • The dogma of transubstantiation does not embrace any philosophical theory in particular. Such evidence lends credence to the argument that the doctrine of transubstantiation, as codified by the decrees of the Fourth Lateran and Tridentine councils, did not canonize Aristotelian philosophy as indispensable to Christian doctrine. But whether it did so or not in principle, it has certainly done so in effect". The view that the distinction is independent of any philosophical theory has been expressed as follows: In the case of the person, the distinction between the person and his or her accidental features is after all real.

    Therefore, even though the notion of substance and accidents originated from Aristotelian philosophy, the distinction between substance and accidents is also independent of philosophical and scientific development. A hat's shape is not the hat itself, nor is its colour, size, softness to the touch, nor anything else about it perceptible to the senses.

    The hat itself the "substance" has the shape, the color, the size, the softness and the other appearances, but is distinct from them. While the appearances are perceptible to the senses, the substance is not. The philosophical term "accidents" does not appear in the teaching of the Council of Trent on transubstantiation, which is repeated in the Vatican-approved Catechism of the Catholic Church at the only point in which the latter uses the word "transubstantiation". For what the Council distinguishes from the "substance" of the bread and wine it uses the term species:.

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church cites the Council of Trent also in regard to the mode of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist:.

    The Catholic Church holds that the same change of the substance of the bread and of the wine at the Last Supper continues to occur at the consecration of the Eucharist [42]: Teaching that Christ is risen from the dead and is alive, the Catholic Church holds, in addition to the doctrine of transubstantiation, that when the bread is changed into his body, not only his body is present, but Christ as a whole is present "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity" The same holds when the wine is transubstantiated into the blood of Christ.

    In accordance with the dogmatic teaching that Christ is really, truly and substantially present under the remaining appearances of bread and wine, and continues to be present as long as those appearances remain, the Catholic Church preserves the consecrated elements, generally in a church tabernacle , for administering Holy Communion to the sick and dying, and also for the secondary, but still highly prized, purpose of adoring Christ present in the Eucharist.

    In the arguments which characterised the relationship between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism in the 16th century, the Council of Trent declared subject to the ecclesiastical penalty of anathema anyone who:. The Catholic Church asserts that the consecrated bread and wine are not merely " symbols " of the body and blood of Christ: They are still the appearances of bread and wine, not of Christ, and do not inhere in the substance of Christ.

    They can be felt and tasted as before, and are subject to change and can be destroyed. If the appearance of bread is lost by turning to dust or the appearance of wine is lost by turning to vinegar, Christ is no longer present. By definition sacraments are "efficacious signs of grace , instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Catholic Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. This is the cup of my blood According to Catholic teaching, the whole of Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity, is in the sacrament, under each of the appearances of bread and wine and in each part of the appearances of bread and wine since the substance of bread or wine is in each part of ordinary bread or wine, and the substance of Christ is in each part of the consecrated and transubstantiated elements of the host and the cup of the sacrament , but he is not in the sacrament as in a place and is not moved when the sacrament is moved.

    He is perceptible neither by the sense nor by the imagination, but only by the intellectual eye. Thomas Aquinas gave poetic expression to this perception in the devotional hymn Adoro te devote:. An official statement from the Anglican—Roman Catholic International Commission titled Eucharistic Doctrine , published in , states that 'the word transubstantiation is commonly used in the Roman Catholic Church to indicate that God acting in the Eucharist effects a change in the inner reality of the elements. The term should be seen as affirming the fact of Christ's presence and of the mysterious and radical change which takes places.

    In Roman Catholic theology it is not understood as explaining how the change takes place'. John Torquemada opposed the Orthodox position at the Council of Florence - despite this Orthodox position being a normative interpretation of the De sacramentis and De mysteriis of St.

    The end result was that, though Western theologians from Radbertus until St. Bonaventure of Bagnoregio had held for the consecratory potential of the epiclesis , Torquemada represented the Dominican position as if it was universal and non-controversial among the Latins. In these debates, Benedict had condemned an alleged Armenian theory never verified among any of the dozen or so Armenian commentaries from the period that denied all consecratory value to the words of institution and confined the consecration ONLY to the epiclesis which was not the Byzantine position.

    Lastly, the Armenians were alleged to hold that the eucharistic change was not substantial and only imperfect and typological, and therefore not transubstantiation. The arguments, that Benedict XII's letter to the missionaries c. However, the position which he attributed to the Orthodox was confused for the actual Byzantine position expressed from Kabasilas to the Council of Florence. This has led to a gross misunderstanding, still evident also among modern and contemporary scholars when attempting to speak of Theological differences between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.

    The debate on the nature of "transubstantiation" in Greek Orthodoxy begins in the 17th century, with Cyril Lucaris , whose The Eastern Confession of the Orthodox Faith was published in Latin in In Orthodox confessions, the change is said to start during the Liturgy of Preparation and be completed during the Epiklesis. It should be noted, that the way in which the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ has never been dogmatically defined by the Eastern Orthodox Churches. Thus, it can be argued that by being part of the dogmatic "horos" against the iconoclast heresy, the teaching on the "real presence" of Christ in the eucharist is indeed a dogma of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

    Official writings of the churches of the Anglican Communion have consistently affirmed Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, a term that includes a belief in the corporeal presence, the sacramental union , as well as several other eucharistic theologies. The Articles declared that "Transubstantiation or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.

    Indeed, for many years it was illegal in Britain to hold public office whilst believing in transubstantiation, as under the Test Act of Archbishop John Tillotson decried the "real barbarousness of this Sacrament and Rite of our Religion", considering it a great impiety to believe that people who attend Holy Communion "verily eat and drink the natural flesh and blood of Christ.

    And what can any man do more unworthily towards a Friend? How can he possibly use him more barbarously, than to feast upon his living flesh and blood? In the Church of England today, clergy are required to assent that the 39 Articles have borne witness to the Christian faith. Anglicans generally consider no teaching binding that, according to the Articles, "cannot be found in Holy Scripture or proved thereby", and are not unanimous in the interpretation of such passages as John, Chapter 6, and 1 Corinthians 11, although all Anglicans affirm a view of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist: As with all Anglicans, Anglo-Catholics and other High Church Anglicans historically held belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist but were "hostile to the doctrine of transubstantiation".

    However, in the first half of the twentieth century, the Catholic Propaganda Society upheld both Article XXVIII and the doctrine of transubstantiation, stating that the 39 Articles specifically condemn a pre-Council of Trent "interpretation which was included by some under the term Transubstantiation" in which "the bread and wine were only left as a delusion of the senses after consecration"; [63] it stated that "this Council propounded its definition after the Articles were written, and so cannot be referred to by them".

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    Theological dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church has produced common documents that speak of "substantial agreement" about the doctrine of the Eucharist: Lutherans explicitly reject transubstantiation [67] believing that the bread and wine remain fully bread and fully wine while also being truly the body and blood of Jesus Christ.

    Classical Presbyterianism held Calvin's view of "pneumatic presence" or "spiritual feeding", a real presence by the Spirit for those who have faith. John Calvin "can be regarded as occupying a position roughly midway between" the doctrines of Martin Luther on one hand and Huldrych Zwingli on the other. He taught that "the thing that is signified is effected by its sign", declaring: For why should the Lord put in your hand the symbol of his body, unless it was to assure you that you really participate in it? And if it is true that a visible sign is given to us to seal the gift of an invisible thing, when we have received the symbol of the body, let us rest assured that the body itself is also given to us.

    The Lord's supper is a sacrament, wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine according to Christ's appointment, his death is showed forth; and the worthy receivers are, not after a corporal and carnal manner, but by faith, made partakers of his body and blood, with all his benefits, to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace.

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    Methodists believe in the real presence of Christ in the bread and wine or grape juice while, like Anglicans and Lutherans, rejecting transubstantiation. While upholding the view that scripture is the primary source of Church practice , Methodists also look to church tradition and base their beliefs on the early Church teachings on the Eucharist, that Christ has a real presence in the Lord's Supper. The Catechism for the use of the people called Methodists thus states that, "[in Holy Communion] Jesus Christ is present with his worshipping people and gives himself to them as their Lord and Saviour".

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