Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by bill karweik, Aug 10, 2013.
I was wondering if Anglicans have an official theology on the eucharist?
Well, one could start with the Articles:
XXVIII. OF THE LORD'S SUPPER
THE Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another; but rather is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ's death: insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith, receive the same, the Bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of Christ; and likewise the Cup of Blessing is a partaking of the Blood of Christ.
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.
The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.
XXIX. OF THE WICKED WHICH EAT NOT THE BODY OF CHRIST IN THE USE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER
THE Wicked, and such as be void of a lively faith, although they do carnally and visibly press with their teeth (as Saint Augustine saith) the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, yet in no wise are they partakers of Christ: but rather, to their condemnation, do eat and drink the sign or Sacrament of so great a thing.
XXX. OF BOTH KINDS
THE Cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the Lay-people: for both the parts of the Lord's Sacrament, by Christ's ordinance and commandment, ought to be ministered to all Christian men alike.
I think that it is exactly what is found in the Eucharistic prayers (which can be a little murky, actually). Christ is truly present in the elements. We receive his Body and Blood (but we don't really use transubstantiation language per se). In receiving him, we receive grace, forgiveness, and strength. The BCP catechism also talks about it on p. 859.
Actually, our theology (as expressed above) and in the Prayer Book and Homilies explicitly teaches that Christ is not present in the elements but in the hearts of the faithful recipient.
Is the Body of Christ given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper?
Of course, as the Article says, he is eaten by faith.
How can Christ can be "given" and "taken" in the Lord's Supper if he is present only in the heart of the believer?
You only quoted a portion of the Article in your attempt to pose the question:
The body (and blood) of Christ are "given, taken, and eaten" only in a spiritual, i.e. not carnal and heavenly, i.e. not local manner. The Article in this sentence has limited the presence of Christ to a spiritual presence and has limited it to a heavenly presence. this is the purpose of the Sursum corda in the liturgy, to lift our hearts to the heavenly courts to feed on Christ. The second half of this statement further qualifies the manner in which we receive Christ. The second sentence is a condemnation of the Lutheran (and Roman) teaching of oral manducation, that we receive Christ in our mouths. It tells us plainly, that the mean by which we receive Christ is faith. You will also note that Article XXIX clarifies the matter further by teaching that unbelievers do not receive Christ's body and blood but the sign only.
Oh I agree wholeheartedly. The Body is not present carnally. But you said it is not present in any way whatsoever. You had seemed to imply that it is neither transferred nor transferrable. We believe the Body is transferrable. It is taken and given at the Supper. Therefore it is present, although not in a carnal matter. Does this make sense?
I never said it was not present, I said it is not present in the elements. Christ is present in the hearts of faithful believers.
I was told that the bread and wine remain the same. Christ is presence some how in the elements
In my Church (CEC) we officially believe in the Real Presence in the elements. My Bishop says "do we believe in Transubstantiation, yes we do."
As an Anglican (Anglo-Catholic) parish (of the Anglican Church of Canada), we take the Blessed Sacrament spiritually, and firmly do believe in the Real Presence of Christ. We also practice reservation, the devotion of Holy Hour on Maundy Thursday until Good Friday, do Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament once a month, and thus worship Christ in His Body and His Blood. It has been the practice of the ancient Christian Church to find Christ's Presence in the Holy Eucharist, and thus we believe.
We do not adhere to any theories like Transubstantiation, or Consubstantiation, or ever reduce it to a mere symbol; rather we keep this unification of us and Christ, and this memorial of His atonement for us between God and humankind, a mystery of faith. Christ is truly present when the Host and Wine are consecrated by the priest.
The articles are only a historical document that expressed some of the Anglican beliefs, but not the whole spectrum of Anglicanism.
I guess I still don't understand. If they're not present in any way in the elements, then how can they be "present in the elements in a spiritual and heavenly manner?"
If they are only present in the the believer, then how can the be "taken" and "given" in the outside world?
Can the Body be given from the minister to the layman, according to you?
That doesn't sound related to the orthodox Episcopal position that I learned. Sorry.
Don't be sorry
That's just it they are not present "in the elements in a spiritual and heavenly manner" the Article doesn't say or teach that. The body and blood of Christ are present "in the Supper" i.e. the whole administration of the Sacrament.
They "Taken" and "given" to believers through the Holy Spirit.
I don't quite understand the last question.
My last question was simply this: can the Body ever be outside of the believer? Can someone else (such as the minister) "give" the body, and can the recipient "take" it.
The way you're portraying it, the minister utters the Words of Institution over there, and the Body of Christ appears within my heart over here. The Body does not objectively exist outside of me in how I seem to understand you. The language of the Articles seems to suggest that the Body does objectively exist outside of the recipient. The minister can give it to the recipient.