Real Presence?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Theology' started by Tuxedo America, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. Tuxedo America

    Tuxedo America Member

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    Are Anglicans of all stripes united in the belief that Jesus is present in the Eucharist? Is there room for disagreement among individual churches without breaking their communion with the others? I'm pretty ignorant of anything not Latin-rite Catholic.
     
  2. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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  3. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The Anglican liturgy is pretty clear that the answer is yes, and the historical testimony is clear on this as well.

    However, we don't venerate the host, because according to the testimony of Scripture and the tradition of the Fathers the Presence wasn't considered to be physical, and science cannot detect any change in the host from before to after the consecration, meaning that the change whatever it is isn't physical...
     
  4. Tuxedo America

    Tuxedo America Member

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    Thanks! That's a lot of information, but I can't say I'm disappointed about it.

    Could you elaborate on this? In the Roman Catholic tradition, we believe that Jesus is substantially present.
     
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  5. Peteprint

    Peteprint Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I have been working on a paper regarding the Eucharistic beliefs of the Caroline Divines, and most seem to have adopted a position similar to the Lutheran "Sacramental Union." A few leaned towards Calvin's Virtual Receptionism, but all believed that Christ was truly present in a spiritual manner.
     
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  6. Thinkingaloud

    Thinkingaloud New Member

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    That's interesting. It seems to explain some of the changes I noticed the 1637 prayerbook made to the 1559 version.- church often replaced the word congregation, the communion table was prefixed with holy, and for the first time the book specified that if the consecrated bread and wine runs out then the minister must repeat the prayer of consecration over another batch. While the 1559 book specified that the minister could use for his own use any leftover bread and wine, the Scottish version specifies the minister must consume any consecrated leftovers in a reverent manner in the church
     
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  7. anawkwardaardvark

    anawkwardaardvark Member Typist Anglican

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    Real Presence? Yes.

    But the question is how real is the presence? Both the Articles of Religion and classical Books of Common Prayer agree that there is a presence in the Eucharist and it is at least spiritual and very much real. How Anglicans have interpreted this presence has varied over the centuries but transubstantiation is rejected by Article 28 and Zwingli's figurative view is rejected by Article 25.

    Article 28: "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.

    The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is Faith."

    Article 25: "Sacraments ordained of Christ be not only badges or tokens of Christian men's profession, but rather they be certain sure witnesses, and effectual signs of grace, and God's good will towards us, by the which he doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm our Faith in him."

    1662 BCP: "Wherefore it is our duty to render most humble and hearty thanks to Almighty God our heavenly Father, for that he hath given his Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, not only to die for us, but also to be our spiritual food and sustenance in that holy Sacrament."

    "Almighty and everliving God, we most heartily thank thee, for that thou dost vouchsafe to feed us, who have duly received these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ;"

    "Dearly beloved in the Lord, ye that mind to come to the holy Communion of the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ, must consider how Saint Paul exhorteth all persons diligently to try and examine themselves, before they presume to eat of that Bread, and drink of that Cup. For as the benefit is great, if with a true penitent heart and lively faith we receive that holy Sacrament; (for then we spiritually eat the flesh of Christ, and drink his blood; then we dwell in Christ, and Christ in us; we are one with Christ, and Christ with us;)"

    "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, and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us. Amen."
     
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  8. anawkwardaardvark

    anawkwardaardvark Member Typist Anglican

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    FYI not sure where that emoticon came from. Should be a semicolon!
     
  9. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    :signinquisition:

    The total list of smilies and how they appear can be found here. http://forums.anglican.net/help/smilies

    Enjoy
     
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  10. anawkwardaardvark

    anawkwardaardvark Member Typist Anglican

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    I should not have neglected, the already oft-neglected Homilies. Specifically pdf pages 6-7 here: http://footstoolpublications.com/Homilies/Bk2_SacramentRec15.pdf

    The "AN HOMILY OF THE WORTHY RECEIVING AND REVERENT ESTEEMING OF THE SACRAMENT OF THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST" reasserts the spiritual presence is an actual presence and warns those who fail to discern the body and blood of Christ with faith. The main presence that is ruled out is a "carnal" presence.

    This matches in theology with the "Black rubric" of the 1662 BCP: "It is hereby declared, That thereby no adoration is intended, or ought to be done, either unto the Sacramental Bread or Wine there bodily received, or unto any Corporal[n 1] Presence of Christ's natural Flesh and Blood. For the Sacramental Bread and Wine remain still in their very natural substances, and therefore may not be adored; (for that were Idolatry, to be abhorred of all faithful Christians;) and the natural Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ are in Heaven, and not here; it being against the truth of Christ's natural Body to be at one time in more places than one."

    Note that the word "Corporal" replaced the words "real and essential presence" from the 1552 BCP. Additionally, the 1552 BCP never received general use as it was finalized in the last six months of King Edward's reign. Instead, the 1559 BCP under the Elizabethan Settlement saw widespread usage and it never contained the Black rubric. The 1662 BCP Black rubric was only included, and in an importantly modified form, as an attempt to reach out to Dissenters/Non-Conformists during the failed 1661 Savoy Conference.
     
  11. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I would also note that American BCPs never contained any Rubrics.
     
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  12. anawkwardaardvark

    anawkwardaardvark Member Typist Anglican

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    Just a point of clarification, you mean the Black Rubric was not in the American BCPs and not that rubrics in general were not included.
     
  13. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Yes, by "any rubrics" I mean any version of the black rubric, either in its original or modified form.
     
  14. Cameron

    Cameron Active Member

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    The Continuing parish that I am the organist for regularly has Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, as well as Eucharist Processions. Being of the Anglo-Catholic sphere, I'm not surprised and the vicar takes a very "Orthodox" view of the real presence - that it is physically Christ, yet we know not how. The readings of the Church Fathers do support the real presence, as well as the 'how' of transubstantiation.
     
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  15. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Friend, the Church Fathers never had Adoration, or the Benediction, or the Processions, or the Elevation

    They even received in the hand. Have you thought that mybe they had a different understanding of the Eucharist than the Medieval inventions which the Anglo-Catholics are trying to copy?
     
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  16. Tom

    Tom New Member Anglican

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    I believe in the Real Presence, but unlike the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation I believe in the Orthodox view of the 'Great Mystery' of the Eucharist. To me, I know that God is present there in the Eucharist but I cannot comprehend how, I always genuflect and show reverence to the host. What is wrong with Adoration and Benediction. If Jesus' second coming was now would you not adore and show reverence to Him? Why is this difference with the Holy Eucharist.
     
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  17. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    My take on it, is that it's precisely not the Second Coming. If every time the priest consecrated the Bread and the Wine amounted to Jesus' Second/Third/Fourth/N-th coming, then there wouldn't be a "Second Coming". Our Lord is not present in the wafer in a way that he will be in the Second Coming. He isn't present in a physical material way, because the bread and the wine remain the same. Literally nothing changes about the bread and the wine in any material natural sense.

    Our Reformers had an additional piece of wisdom here: to imagine that a rat might eat a piece of Jesus, or to imagine that we might "shite out" a piece of Jesus because the wafer enters our mouth, passes through, and comes out to physically go down the toilet, is blasphemous. Because Jesus is just not present in this way, that is why the Church Fathers never heard of Adoration, etc.

    I genuflect as well, and always cross myself at every opportunity, although rightly I would say that is directed at the Cross on the Altar, not necessarily the Communion Host. Jesus is present in the Wafer sacramentally and spiritually, because although the matter does not change, yet it is different, it is now consecrated for a Holy Mystery, and therefore Christ is present in it to us. Christ's presence there is spiritual and sacramental, for the purpose of sanctifying us. Spiritual presence is no less real than physical presence.

    Christ isn't present in such a way that he can't escape if a rat were starting to eat the host. He is there to sanctify us. His point is not to be there, but to sanctify us. Sanctifying us is the largest reason why he's there. Mere presence is pointless. And it's not such a presence as amounts to another Coming.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
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  18. outlawState

    outlawState New Member

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    Christ is seated at the right hand of God. To infer that he is "present" in the elements in any way, shape or form, is preposterous, and contrary to Jesus' own instructions to "remember" him by them. "This do in remembrance of me." Luke & 1 Corinthians.

    "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come." 1 Cor 11:24.

    The blessing comes from the Holy Spirit in "shewing the Lord's death until he come" (worthily).
     
  19. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    This is not Anglican, or in conformity with the holy Scriptures.

    See "The Prayer of Humble Access"
    1662 Book of Common Prayer
    http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/1662/HC.pdf
     
  20. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    The greek word we are dealing with is anamnesis from Luke 22:19 and also 1 Corinthians 11:25.

    ἀνάμνησιν. ​

    This is mostly rendered in English as remembrance. What we don't always get is that this word has a sense of history to it. In the celebration of the Passover, which was eaten standing around the table with hats on, the youngest asks the oldest why have we eaten this meal this way, and the response the the recounting of the journey out of Egypt into Israel, the journey from bondage into freedom. This retelling ends with the words 'tonight we have come out of Egypt'. This is spoken of as anamnesis - which yes has a sense of remembering in the sense of thinking back, but also and perhaps more importantly of calling the history of salvation into present reality.

    I am not quite sure of the source here, however I am not disputing it, and the ancient liturgies of the East place a much greater prominence on the Epiclesis (the invocation of the Holy Spirit) than they do on the words of institution (which is where the Western Church laid the emphasis). Ultimately by 1662 the sense of the Epiclesis was somewhat softened, however you are correct in observing that the sense of it is not lost to the glory of Anglican liturgy, which clearly understand that whatever happens is not the result of word we say but of the instigation of God the Holy Spirit.

    The classic opening to Anglican Liturgy is the Collect for purity, from the ancient vesting prayers, from before the Norman conquest and quite possibly back into Sarum usage, and since 1549 properly a pray for all the people.

    Collect for Purity
    Almighty God, unto whom all hearts be open,
    all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid:
    cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy holy spirit,
    that we may perfectly love thee,
    and worthily magnify thy holy name: through Christ our Lord. Amen.​
     
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