Transubstantiation
Consubstantiation
and The Lord's Supper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Transubstantiation

 

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition.  2001:

Eucharist

 

[Gr.,=thanksgiving], Christian sacrament that repeats the action of Jesus at his last supper with his disciples, when he gave them bread, saying, “This is my body,” and wine, saying, “This is my blood.” (Mat. 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; 1 Cor. 11.) Partaking is called communion. For Roman Catholics the sacrament is a bloodless reenactment of the crucifixion and therefore an act of sacrifice, but Protestant Christians reject the idea of the Eucharist as sacrifice. The performance is called the Eucharistic liturgy; the Roman and Anglo-Catholic liturgy is the Mass. The official Roman Catholic explanation of the change taking place in the sacrament, called transubstantiation, is that the substances of bread and wine are turned miraculously into the substance of Christ himself, the elements changed retaining only the appearance, taste, etc. (the accidents) of bread and wine. Catholic doctrine holds that the Godhead is indivisible so every particle or drop thus changed is wholly identical in substance with the divinity, body, and blood of the Crucified Savior. The views of the Orthodox Eastern Church are similar. The Anglican Church has not formally defined the sacrament. In receiving communion the Christian attains union with Jesus, and all who partake are mystically united. Traditionally in the Mass (but not in Eastern liturgies of the Roman Catholic Church) others than the celebrant received the Host only, a practice that arose from the difficulty of transport and storage of wine, and perhaps also because wine is more easily spilled and dropped than bread. In this communion in one kind the believer was held to receive the same divine whole as the celebrant, who receives both kinds at the altar. Communion in two kinds was restored in the Roman Catholic Church in the liturgical renewal proclaimed at the Second Vatican Council. The Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches set conditions for the reception of communion, which is a sign of membership; to be “in communion with” means mutual recognition of membership in the true church. Devotion to the Eucharist (the Blessed Sacrament) is important in the Roman Catholic Church. The object of the cult of the Blessed Sacrament is the Host reserved in churches (see benediction and Corpus Christi). Every leader of the Protestant Reformation attacked the traditional teaching of the Eucharist. For the communion services in many Protestant churches, see Lord’s Supper.

 

 

The Roman Catholic Church calls the ritual, or liturgy during which the unleavened bread and wine are supposedly transformed into the body and blood of Christ, the Eucharist. Here is what the official Catholic Encyclopedia (found on line at NewAdvent.org, says:

 

Eucharist

(Gr. eucharistia, thanksgiving).

The name given to the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar its twofold aspect of sacrament and Sacrifice of Mass, and in which Jesus Christ is truly present under the bread and wine.

 

The Roman Church believes (all unattributed quotes from the English translation of “The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” including corrections by John Paul II on September 8, 1997—Numbers indicate paragraph):

 

1. During the Mass and Eucharist service, the Lord Jesus Christ is physically present

 

1374 The mode of Christ's presence under the Eucharistic species is unique. It raises the Eucharist above all the sacraments as "the perfection of the spiritual life and the end to which all the sacraments tend."201 In the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist "the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ and, therefore, the whole Christ is truly, really, and substantially contained."202 "This presence is called 'real' - by which is not intended to exclude the other types of presence as if they could not be 'real' too, but because it is presence in the fullest sense: that is to say, it is a substantial presence by which Christ, God and man, makes himself wholly and entirely present."203

1413 By the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and his divinity (cf. Council of Trent: DS 1640; 1651).

2. The priest causes the transformation with his words, actually calling Christ down from heaven

When the priest announces the tremendous words of consecration, he reaches up into the heavens, brings Christ down from His throne, and places Him upon our altar to be offered up again as the Victim for the sins of man. It is a power greater than that of saints and angels, greater than that of Seraphim and Cherubim. The priest brings Christ down from heaven, and renders Him present on our altar as the eternal Victim for the sins of man—not once but a thousand times! The priest speaks and lo! Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows his head in humble obedience to the priest’s command.  (Source: The Faith of Millions—Father John O’brien)

3. The Eucharist is a form of sacrifice; Christ is repeatedly sacrificed for sins.

1382 The Mass is at the same time, and inseparably, the sacrificial memorial in which the sacrifice of the cross is perpetuated and the sacred banquet of communion with the Lord's body and blood.

1366 The Eucharist is thus a sacrifice because it re-presents (makes present) the sacrifice of the cross, because it is its memorial and because it applies its fruit:

1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: "The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different." "And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory."190

4. The Lord Jesus is a victim in the Eucharistic sacrifice

1367 The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: "The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different." "And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory."190

5. Christ’s work of salvation was not finished at the cross, but is carried on through the Eucharist.

1405 There is no surer pledge or dearer sign of this great hope in the new heavens and new earth "in which righteousness dwells,"248 than the Eucharist. Every time this mystery is celebrated, "the work of our redemption is carried on" and we "break the one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ."249

6. The transformed bread is, in reality, God (See 1 above)

7. The bread and wine, as God, deserve worship

1378 Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. "The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession."208

 

8. The sacrifice of the Eucharist is offered for the living and the dead

1414 As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God.

1371 The Eucharistic sacrifice is also offered for the faithful departed who "have died in Christ but are not yet wholly purified,"193 so that they may be able to enter into the light and peace of Christ:

 

9. Only officially ordained priests (of the Roman Catholic Church) are able to perform the “miracle” of transubstantiation.

1411 Only validly ordained priests can preside at the Eucharist and consecrate the bread and the wine so that they become the Body and Blood of the Lord.

 

Consubstantiation

con·sub·stan·ti·a·tion    ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (knsb-stnsh-shn)
n.

The doctrine, proposed by Martin Luther, that the substance of the body and blood of Jesus coexists with the substance of the bread and wine in the Eucharist.
Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

General Information

Consubstantiation is a teaching used to explain the Christian experience and conviction that Christ is truly present with his people in their celebration of the Eucharist. Consubstantiation was developed in the Lutheran wing of the Protestant Reformation during the 16th century. The idea appears in Martin Luther's own writings; the word itself was first employed by his younger contemporary, Melanchthon.

Consubstantiation rests on the same philosophical assumptions as the medieval doctrine of transubstantiation, which it opposed. Both doctrines depend on Aristotle's teaching that matter consists of accidents, which can be perceived by the senses, and substance, which the mind grasps and which constitutes essential reality. Both agree that, in the Eucharist, the accidents of the bread and wine remain unchanged. Unlike the doctrine of transubstantiation, however, that of consubstantiation asserts that the substance of the bread and wine is also unchanged, the ubiquitous body of Christ coexisting "in, with, and under" the substance of the bread, and the blood of Christ in, with, and under the wine, by the power of the Word of God.

Luther illustrated consubstantiation by the analogy of iron put into fire: Iron and fire are united in red-hot iron; yet the two substances remain unchanged.

Charles P. Price

 

The Lord’s Supper

Matt 26:26-29

26 And while they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body."  27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you;  28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. 29 "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom." 

Mark 14:22-25

22 And while they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it; and gave it to them, and said, "Take it; this is My body."  23 And when He had taken a cup, and given thanks, He gave it to them; and they all drank from it. 24 And He said to them, "This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 "Truly I say to you, I shall never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."

Luke 22:14-23

14 And when the hour had come He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. 15 And He said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God. "  17 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, "Take this and share it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes. "  19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me."  20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. 21 "But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Me on the table. 22 "For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!"  23 And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing.

1 Cor 11:23-25

23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, "This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me."  25 In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." 

 

New Testament Examples of The Lord’s Supper

Acts 2:42

And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

Acts 2:46-47

46 And day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Acts 20:7-12

7 And on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to depart the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight. 8 And there were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered together. 9 And there was a certain young man named Eutychus sitting on the window sill, sinking into a deep sleep; and as Paul kept on talking, he was overcome by sleep and fell down from the third floor, and was picked up dead. 10 But Paul went down and fell upon him and after embracing him, he said, "Do not be troubled, for his life is in him." 11 And when he had gone back up, and had broken the bread and eaten, he talked with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. 12 And they took away the boy alive, and were greatly comforted.

Talking NT:1256 dialegomai;
1. to think different things with oneself, mingle thought with thought to ponder, revolve in mind
2. to converse, discourse with one, argue, discuss: absolutely, Acts (18:4); 19:8 f
(from Thayer's Greek Lexicon, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 2000 by Biblesoft)

2 Peter 2:1313 They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.  (from New International Version)

  

  

Jude 12-13

12 These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm-shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted-twice dead.

 

Questions and Answers

Does the Lord return to earth to be present in or with the Eucharist, as Catholic doctrine claims?

When He next comes, He will come for His own.

John 14:3-5

3 "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 "And you know the way where I am going." 

His return will be visible, physical, and as a human.

Acts 1:9-11

 9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them; 11 and they also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven."

The location of His return is fixed.

Zech 14:3-4

3 Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. 4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.

2. Is the Lord’s Supper (or the Eucharist) another sacrifice for sins?

1 Peter 3:17-18

 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;

Rom 6:9-11

 For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

Heb 7:26-27

26 For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

Heb 9:11-12

11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

Heb 10:10-15

10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for His feet. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.

John 19:28-30

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I am thirsty."  29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop, and brought it up to His mouth. 30 When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit.

 

 

3. What about prayers or rites for the dead, are they beneficial to those who have died?

Our eternal destiny is set at our death, and only judgment follows.

Heb 9:27-28


27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,

 

4. Who are the officially ordained priests?

1 Peter 2:9-10

9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.