Real Presence

The presence of Christ in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. The 1991 statement of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission notes, "The elements are not mere signs; Christ's body and blood become really present and are really given. But they are really present and given in order that, receiving them, believers may be united in communion with Christ the Lord." A classic Anglican statement attributed to John Donne (or to Queen Elizabeth I) and included in The Hymnal 1982 (Hymn 322) is "He was the Word that spake it, he took the bread and brake it, and what that Word did make it, I do believe and take it." In Eucharistic Prayer A of Rite 2, the celebrant prays that God the Father will sanctify the gifts of bread and wine "by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of your Son, the holy food and drink of new and unending life in him" (BCP, p. 363). The Catechism notes that the inward and spiritual grace in the eucharist is "the Body and Blood of Christ given to his people and received by faith" (BCP, p. 859). Belief in the real presence does not imply a claim to know how Christ is present in the eucharistic elements. Belief in the real presence does not imply belief that the consecrated eucharistic elements cease to be bread and wine. See Transubstantiation; see Receptionism.