Talk:Eucharistic theologies summarised

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Clarifications[edit]

This page needs some work, clarification, and development. I've tried to get it started. KHM03 22:53, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Is this notice still necessary? If no response is posted, I'll remove it. Carolynparrishfan 13:39, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

ready for tag removal?[edit]

The attention tag was added by KHM03 on June 6, 2005. This person has done a lot of work to bring this page to where it needs to be. KHM03's superior knowledge of the subject has caused him/her to view this page in a lower respect than it deserves as compared with the standards of other pages on wikipedia. I agree with Carolynparrishfan; I feel it has reached the point where it no longer requires this tag.

The Methodist section needs to have a concise explanation under "Eucharistic theology:", rather than a long quote.

This article could also benefit from a section under each tradition that states whether that tradition supports open or closed communion and the frequency of observance.

--Victoria h 07:29, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

I'm nost sure I have viewed this page "...in a lower respect than it deserves as compared with the standards of other pages on wikipedia." But, at any rate, you can remove the tag if you wish. KHM03 13:45, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

I added some notes about frequency and open/closed communion that I think are at least mostly accurate. I also don't think it needs the attention tag any more, so I'm removing it. If anyone disagrees, that's fine, just let us know what exactly requires attention. Wesley 20:36, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Revision of the Lutheran section[edit]

There were a few inaccuracies here, which I took the liberty to modify. I am willing to discuss them. This is a helpful article. drboisclair 00:37, 28 February 2006 (UTC)


The Anglican section is biased and should be revised[edit]

This betrays an Anglo-Catholic (tractarian) bias and does not reflect the theology of the 39 Articles and the 1662 BCP (which are binding in most Anglican churches throughout the communion). Belief in the Real Presence is not "Anglican" theology but "Anglo-Catholic" ("Tractarian") theology. That is the theology of but one party of Anglicanism and does not reflect the historic doctrinal statements of Anglicanism embodied in the BCP 1662 and the 39 Articles. Instead of making such partisan comments as "insistence on belief in the Real Presence", to conform with neutrality the article should at the very least reflect the divergence of opinion within Anglicanism on this matter (noting the contrasting views of the major parties within the church: Evangelical, Anglo-Catholic and Liberal). Better yet there is a very good case for stating that official Anglican doctrinal statements clearly reject belief in the real presence, but despite this some (many?) Anglicans (typically those of the Anglo-Catholic party or other highchurchmen) still believe in the real presence. The majority of Anglicans throughout history have rejected belief in the Real Presence; Cranmer (the composer/compiler of the traditional Anglican liturgy) certainly didn't and was burned at the stake for his troubles. To make a blanket statement that Anglicanism "insists on" belief in the Real Presence is not only misleading but highly offensive to the millions of Anglicans throughout the world and down through the ages who -- like Cranmer, Ridley and Latimer before them and who were burned alive for their beliefs -- hold to the historic Reformed faith expressed in the BCP 1662 and the 39 Articles.

Despite Anglo-Catholic protestations, the 1662 BCP and the 39 Articles strongly deny the Real Presence. Article XXVIII oppposes transubstantiation on the grounds that it "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." This article not only rejects transubstantiation, but also all other views of the "real presence". The same article insists that "the Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner". You couldn't get a clearer denial of belief in the Real Presence than the words "ONLY after an HEAVENLY and SPIRITUAL manner". There is no room for dissemblance here. Christ is not present in the elements; he is risen and sitteth in heaven at the right hand of the Father Almighty. The Anglican order for Holy Communion also refers to receiving the sacrament as "SPIRITUALLY eat[ing] his flesh of Christ, and drink[ing] his blood". Moreover, the words of administration which the minister says to communicants before receiving the bread ("The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life. Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and FEED ON HIM IN THY HEART BY FAITH with thanksgiving") deny the Real Presence and affirm an essentially Calvinistic doctrine of the Lord's Supper which denies the Real Presence but affirms a spiritual presence of Christ during the Lord's Supper. It is in their "hearts by faith" and not phyisically in the elements that Anglicans feed on Christ's body. The rubrics also deny the Real Presence. First, according to the rubrics Holy Communion can only be celebrated with a quorum of people in the parish; except in exceptional circumstances, Private Communion is unknown to Anglicanism. This marks a move away from a belief in the real presence to a memorial meal celebrated by the congregation. Secondly, "to take away all occasion of dissension, and superstition" regular bread (note, NOT the special wafers wherein Jesus is said to inhabit by proponents of the Real Presence) "shall suffice". Finally, and this is the real clincher, "it is hereby declared, That ... no adoration is intended, or ought to be done, either unto the Sacramental Bread or Wine there bodily received, OR UNTO ANY CORPORAL 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." [emphasis added].

Apodeictic 01:02, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

What would you suggest? KHM03 (talk) 01:14, 22 March 2006 (UTC)


What would I suggest? This is tricky because there is a divergence of belief within Anglicanism and I do have strong opinions myself (coming from the Low Church/ Evangelical Reformed wing of the Church) which I happen to think correct :-) I can't speak for liberals and anglo-ccatholics as well as I can for evangelicals. I can do my best, but it would be nice of some liberals and anglo-catholics could explain and defend their views. But I think a reference to the divergence of opinion within Anglicanism is essential. The pages http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Real_Presence#Anglicans_-_broad_range_of_opinions and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucharist#Anglicans.2FEpiscopalians:_Real_Presence_with_Opinion (while not without their problems) are a good start. But I think the differences of opinion could be done more systematically and in depth. The question is where they belong on Wikipedia. Does an outline of the differences in Anglican eucharistic theology belong here (Eucharistic Theologies Contrasted) or does it belong elsewhere?

In any event, I would suggest something along the following lines:

Within Anglicanism there is a wide divergence of opinion on eucharistic theology. Arguably this reflects the wider divergence of theological opinion present in the Anglican Communion (eg the differences of theology and practice between Evangelicals, Liberals and Anglo-Catholics who coexist "under one roof"). Any statement of "Anglican" eucharistic theology, therefore, is fraught with danger and is likely to betray the churchmanship of the one making of the statement. Indeed the very use of terminolgy to name this sacrament is not without controversy within Anglicanism. The only terms used in the 39 Articles and the Book of Common Prayer 1662 are "the Lord's Supper" (or its variant "the Supper of the Lord") and the "Holy Communion" which, in the eyes of the Low Church or Evangelical wing of the Church mark a distinct move towards a Reformed understanding of the sacrament. Despite (or perhaps because of) being found nowhere in the 1662 Prayer Book or the Anglican Articles of Religion, those with Higher Churchmanship, on the other hand, often prefer the term "Eucharist". Some Anglo-Catholics even prefer the term "Mass" despite (or perhaps again because of) Article XXXI's description of "the sacrifice of Masses" as "blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits". In line with the terminology employed elsewhere in this article, the terms "eucharistic" and "Eucharist" will therefore be employed, without implying any position as to the propriety of the use of this term within Anglican theology.

The divide of opinion on eucharistic theology within the Western Church poses a number of questions. First can be considered the question "Where is Christ during the Eucharist?". There are (with some minor variations) essentially four basic positions on eucharistic theology:

  • 1. Transubstantiation (a change in the elements into the actual body and blood of Christ so that Christ is physically "in" the elements)
  • 2. Real (physical) Presence short of transubstantiation (typically a joining of Christ's actual body and blood with the elements so that Christ is physically "in and with" the elements; sometimes referred to as "consubstantiation")
  • 3. Spiritual Presence (a belief that Christ is specially present spiritually either in the elements or with his people as they partake of the Sacrament)
  • 4. "Mere" memorialism (where Christ is said to be no more present -- either physically or spiritually -- during the Sacrament than at any other time and the sacrament is a memorial meal for Christ's followers on earth).

The use of the terminolgy "Real Presence" is therefore ambiguous. In most cases it probably refers to position number 2 where Christ is physically present "in and with" the elements, but in some senses positions 1 and 3 can also be referred to as a "real" presence.

Each of thes four eucharistic theologies is held by various Anglicans. Which position is the most authentically "Anglican" is a matter for debate. A second question concerns who may preside over the Eucharist. Must it be a bishop (episcopas) or priest (presbyteros)? Or can a deacon (diakonas) or even a lay person preside over the Eucharist? Undoubtedly the attitude of both the nature of the Eucharist (eg whether it a re-presentation of Christ's sacrifice as in the Roman Catholic understanding of the Mass or a memorial meal as Calvinists and Zwinglians insist) and Christian ordination will have a bearing on the question of who may officiate at the Eucharist. The second question is currently on the agenda within Anglicanism as some (but by no means all) Evangelicals in the Diocese of Sydney and elsewhere are pressing for "lay and diaconal presidency of the Lord's Supper".

On the First Question:

  • Article XXVIII of the 39 Articles explicitly rejects belief in transubstantiation and states that reservation, carrying about, lifting up or the worship of the Sacrament is not by Christ's ordinance. The rubric to the Order of Holy Communion, moreover, forbids private communion (a minimum of three communicants together with the priest is required).
  • A minority of Anglo-Catholics, however, nevertheless adhere to belief in transubstantiation, reservation etc of the Sacrament and even perdorm "private masses", presumably on the basis that the Book of Common Prayer and the 39 Articles represent a departure from authentic "catholic" doctrine and are therefore not binding.
  • Some other Anglicans take the Articles and the Book of Common Prayer only to reject transubstantiation as such (that is a change in substance of the elements from bread and wine into the actual body and blood of Christ when correctly presided over by a priest) and believe in the Real (physical) Presence while being content to let the mystery of the metousiosis remain a mystery. Moreover on this view, while the Article states that reservation etc are not of Christ's ordinance, the article does not explicitly prohibit these practices. This would reflect the opinion of the majority of Anglo-Catholics and other High Churchmen within the Anglican Communion.
  • Many other Anglicans take the Prayer Book and Articles to explicitly rule out any belief in the bodily Presence of Christ in the Eucharist as well as reservation, adoration etc of the sacrament. This essentially reflects position of the Evangelical or Low Church wing of the church. They point not only to the change at the Reformation to a more Protestant name for the sacrament, but also the Articles, the Order for Holy Communion and the rubrics in justifying this view. There are many strands to this argument, but the strongest is arguably from the rubric which states that "it is hereby declared, That ... no adoration is intended, or ought to be done, either unto the Sacramental Bread or Wine there bodily received, or unto any corporal 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."
  • Opinion among Low Church Anglicans is typically divided between a Calvinistic and a more Zwinglian understanding of the Lord's Supper. Both emphasise the aspect of this sacrament being a "memorial meal" whereby the notion of the sacrifice of the mass is rejected, instead the Lord's supper being a re-institution in the New Covenant of the Old Covenant passover meal whereby Christians are to remember Christ's death on the cross and all it has achieved for them. However, the Calvinistic interpretation stresses that Christ is spiritually present during the Lord's Supper when the sacrament is received by faith (and in the eyes of the Calvinists the words of administration "Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith with thanksgiving" indicate that Anglican Eucharistic theology is at heart Calvinist), whereas the Zwinglian understanding suggests that Christ is no more present with his people at this time than at any other.

As mentioned above, all four positions are present within modern Anglicanism. Which is the more "authentically" Anglican position is difficult to answer without being partisan. Anglo-Catholics tend to stress the "catholicity" of the Anglican Church and its continuity with ancient church doctrines and practices. The Church of England was (and arguably still is despite the presence of Roman Catholic churches in that country) considered to be *the* historic Catholic Church in England. Anglo-Catholics tend not to place much emphasis on the the doctrinal statements arising out of the Reformation. More moderate Anglo-Catholics see the Reformation as but one of many events shaping Anglican belief and practice where some good things (eg the liturgy in English) took place and some bad things (eg the adoption of distinctly "un-Catholic" [i.e. Protestant] doctrines and practices) took place. More extreme Anglo-Catholics would see the Reformation as an essentially wholly pernicious influence needing to be undone. On this view (whether more moderate or more extreme) the Reformation marked a departure from catholic Christianity. Anglo-Catholics, therefore, will tend to argue therefore that belief in the real presence is "historical" and "catholic", despite any ambiguity or disapproval in the Anglican Reformation Formularies.

Evangelicals on the other hand, while also in principle accepting the catholicity and continuity of the Anglican Church, see the Reformation and the Reformation formularies (the Book of Common Prayer and the 39 Articles) as foundational to Anglican belief and practice. They see truly "catholic" Christianity as having been lost in a mass of unscriptural Roman superstition prior to the Reformation. On this view the Reformation marked not a departure from but a *return to* catholic Christianity. The Reformation "solas" (sola gratia, sola fide, solo Christo, sola scriptura, sola gloria Deo) are not only "catholic" doctrines on this view but Evangelicals firmly believe that the Anglican Reformation Formularies which embody these principles commit the Anglican Church to historic Biblical Reformation Christianity. Evangelicals, therefore, will tend to argue that belief in the Real (physical) Presence is contrary to both Scripture and the Anglican Reformation Formularies which are still binding on the Church today.

Before the Oxford Movement, the Low Church understanding, that is a rejection of belief in the Real (physical) Presence in favour of either Calvinistic or Zwinglian Memorialism was arguably the position held by the majority of Anglicans, including Thomas Cranmer. However, over time Anglo-Catholicism has gained ground to the extent that many within Anglicanism today, perhaps even a majority within some dioceses and provinces, believe not only in the Real (physical) Presence of Christ during the Eucharist, but that this is *the* Anglican position on eucharistic theology.

On the Second Question: Many evangelicals argue that there is no biblical warrant for restricting administration (or presidency) of the Lord's Supper to ordained priests (and bishops). They argue (among other things) that in a Reformed denomination the administration of the sacrament is no more important than the proclaiming of the word. In fact, the Calvinistic understanding of the two sacraments is that they are the word of God enacted for us: the written Word *tells* us what Christ has done for us and the Sacraments (as the enacted or visible Word) *show* us what Christ has done for us. In appropriate circumstance we already allow deacons and lay people to preach; therefore we should allow such people (in appropriate circumstances) to preside over the Lord's Supper (and arguably baptism as well). To restrict adminsistration of the sacrament to priests (and by extension bishops) sends out the wrong message about (a) the nature of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper (which is not above but on a par with proclaiming the written Word of God) and (b) the nature of Christian ordination (which in the New Testament is not sacerdotal but one of a teaching-elder). Anglo-Catholics primarily respond that a move to lay and diaconal presidency would mark a move from historic ("catholic") Christianity (since it hasn't been done in the past it isn't "catholic") and would break Communion within the Anglican Communion and the wider Christian world. Additionally most Anglo-Catholics probably have a radically different understanding of both the nature of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper and Christian priesthood but tend not to make these explicit in debates with Evangelicals on lay presidency of the Lord's Supper.

Apodeictic 10:17, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Keep in mind that this article is a brief overview, comparing one view to others. How would you state your position concisely, as the others are stated? KHM03 (talk) 11:32, 22 March 2006 (UTC)


How about the following?

  • There is a divergence of opinion within Anglicanism. Transubstantiation, Real (Bodily) Presence, (Calvinistic) Spiritual Presence and (Zwinglian) Dynamic Memorialism are all represented within Anglicanism. Which of these four views represents "authentic" Anglican eucharistic theology depends on wider theological and ecclessiological understandings of Anglicanism, in particular the role of pre-Reformation "catholic" doctrine and practices vis-à-vis Reformational theology in interpresting the the Book of Common Prayer and the 39 Articles (the Reformation formularies).
  • In theory the Reformation formularies are authoritative statements of Anglican doctrine. In practice, however, interpretations of these vary between different groupings within Anglicanism. Anglo-Catholics tend to give them less emphasis, interpreting them more in line with pre-Reformation "catholic" theology and practice, while Evangelicals tend to give them more emphasis, interpreting them more in line with Reformation theology.
  • Article 28 of the 39 Articles rejects transubstantiation and states that the body of the Lord is taken "only after an heavenly and spiritual manner".
  • Article 28 also states that reservation, carrying about, lifting up or the worship of the Sacrament is "not by Christ's ordinance".
  • Article 29 says that the wicked and those that lack a "lively faith" although physically consuming the elements are "in no wise" "partakers of Christ".
  • Article 30 says that the laity are to receive both the bread and the wine (and not the bread only as is commonly the case within Roman Catholicism).
  • Article 31 describes "the sacrifice of Masses" as "blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits".
  • The rubrics to the Order of Holy Communion forbid private communion. (There is a minimum of three communicants and a priest).
  • The rubrics also say that Anglicans are to communicate at least three times a year, one of those being Easter.
  • Furthermore, the rubrics lay down that Communion is to be received kneeling and that no adoration of the elements or of "any Corporal presence of Christ's natural Flesh and Blood" is "thereby" intended or ought to be done and that the elements "remain in their very natural substances" and that "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."
  • High Church Anglicans tend to believe in the Real (Bodily) Presence. A minority of Anglo-Catholics believe in transubstantiation and the sacrifice of the mass (despite Articles 28 and 31); the majority of High Church Anglicans do not believe in transubstantiation as taught by the Church of Rome and are content simply to let the mystery of the metousiosis remain a mystery. In practice, High Church parishes tend to celebrate the Eucharist weekly (or more frequently) and prefer the term "Eucharist" or even "Mass" (incidentally, both terms not used by the Anglican Reformation formularies). Reservation and adoration of the sacrament, while perhaps not being "by Christ's ordinance", are not (on this view) explicitly forbidden and are common practice among many High Anglicans.
  • Low Church Anglicans tend to reject belief in the Real (Bodily) Presence as well as reservation and adoration of the sacrament and adopt a Calvinistic (Memorialism with Spiritual Presence) or Zwinglian (Dynamic Memorialism) view of the Eucharist, viewing not only the 39 Articles and the rubrics but also the wording and structure of the actual Order for Holy Communion in line with Reformational theology. Low Church parishes tend to celebrate the Eucharist less frequently (eg monthly) and prefer the terms "Holy Communion" or "Lord's Supper" (incidentally the only two terms used by the Reformation Formularies).
  • Between the High Church and the Low Church views lies the position that Anglicanism (as a Broad Church) allows for a range of theological views each of which (with the possible exception of the Roman Catholic understanding of transubtantiation) is an equally welcome expression of eucharistic theology within the Anglican context.

Apodeictic 22:05, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Can you cut it by about 2/3rds? KHM03 (talk) 22:16, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Cutting it would I think require removing the outline of what the BCP and 39 Articles say and simply stating what views people with low/high church sympathies hold in practice. Perhaps a link could be made to this information elsewhere for those who are interested in what the Anglican church officially teaches, rather than what individual Anglicans actually believe.

  • There is a divergence of opinion within Anglicanism. Transubstantiation, Real (Bodily) Presence, (Calvinistic) Spiritual Presence and (Zwinglian) Dynamic Memorialism are all represented. Which of these four views represents "authentic" Anglican eucharistic theology depends on wider theological and ecclessiological understandings of Anglicanism, in particular the role of pre-Reformation "catholic" doctrine and practices vis-à-vis Reformational theology in interpresting the the Book of Common Prayer and the 39 Articles (the Reformation formularies).
  • In theory the Reformation formularies are authoritative statements of Anglican doctrine. In practice, however, interpretations of these vary between different groupings within Anglicanism. Anglo-Catholics tend to give them less emphasis, interpreting them more in line with pre-Reformation "catholic" theology and practice, while Evangelicals tend to give them more emphasis, interpreting them more in line with Reformation theology.
  • High Church Anglicans, therefore, tend to believe in the Real (Bodily) Presence. A minority of Anglo-Catholics adhere to transubstantiation (despite Article 28); the majority of High Church Anglicans do not and are content simply to let the mystery of the metousiosis remain a mystery. In practice, High Church parishes tend to celebrate the Eucharist weekly (or more frequently) and prefer the term "Eucharist" or even "Mass". Reservation and adoration of the sacrament are common practice among many High Anglicans.
  • Low Church Anglicans, on the other hand tend, to reject belief in the Real (Bodily) Presence as well as reservation and adoration of the sacrament and adopt a Calvinistic (Spiritual Presence) or Zwinglian (Dynamic Memorialism) view. Low Church parishes tend to celebrate the Eucharist less frequently (eg monthly, but this varies from place to place) and prefer the terms "Holy Communion" or "Lord's Supper". A current issue under consideration by some (but by no means all) Evangelical Anglicans is lay and diaconal presidency (administration) of the Lord's Supper. This is particularly the case in the Diocese of Sydney and for like-minded Anglicans elsewhere who look to Sydney.
  • Between these High and Low Church views lies the position that Anglicanism (as a Broad Church) permits a range of theological views each of which (with the possible exception of the Roman Catholic notion of transubtantiation) is an equally welcome expression of eucharistic theology within the Anglican context.

Apodeictic 00:02, 23 March 2006 (UTC)


I've updated it now. So hopefully it's no longer POV. I think it fairly summarises the contending views without taking a side on any one of them as the previous entry did. Sorry if I've taken up too much space on "talk" incoming to this result. This was was my first attempt at a Wiki edit and I was a bit reluctant to go ahead and do it without seeing what others thought first. Apodeictic
I notice the sections on the debate over lay presidency and the communal theology of the Eucharist have been snipped. I'm happy to defer to wiser heads on the necessity for mentioning this here. I put it in since it was actually mentioned on the previous version of the page.
But one thing that arguably should go in is something on open versus closed communion -- since most of the summaries of other denominations have mention of this. As far as I know all Anglican churches practise OPEN Communion. But I'm not 100% sure though. I know that all the Anglican churches I have attended practise Open Communion. But I don't know what the theology of the Anglo-Catholics and Liberals would say on this point, so I'm a bit reluctant to speak for "Anglicanism" here. Are there any Anglo-Catholics or Liberal Anglicans that could give an answer to this? Apodeictic 10:05, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
Planned closed communion in Anglican churches (even the most extreme Anglo-Catholic churches) must be extraordinarily rare, if it occurs at all. My only doubt would be whether an advertised/scheduled Eucharist (Mass etc) would go ahead if no congregation turned up (e.g. for a mid-week celebration): my suspicion is that it might in some cases. CW 5 August 2007

Presentation[edit]

Is there a reason behind the bullet point style and presentation? It seems to me that although an encyclopedia should adopt the most appropriate style for the content in question, there needs to be a clear need and a consensus to vary from the typical style of a Wikipedia article. However, I ask the question idly, as I am not volunteering to rework it - I would just like to know! --Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 14:13, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Orthodox Christianity[edit]

To my amusement, although my edit summary was that I had "expanded the section", a glance at my watchlist showed that I had removed nearly 900 bytes. However, that is mostly due to the giant quoted paragraph which was a little redundant and could easily be broken down into basic terminology, as the Real Presence (I added the paragraph's source as a reference here. I improved the grammar, removed the half-hearted attempt of equipping each bullet with a specific theme, i.e. "Frequency:" or "Eucharistic Theology:". Maybe that should be re-added later, in bold, but as for now the other sections don't seem to follow this system well... besides, it may be better to keep the bullets general... the reader can easily discern the theme within the first few words. I also understand that more citations are needed, and hopefully I'll find some soon enough. Hopefully, the section is clearer, more to the point, and all-around better than before.--C.Logan 09:57, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

I await the promised explanation of the grounds on which C.Logan bases his suggestion that the Catholic Church goes into details of how "the bread and wine are believed to become the genuine Body and Blood of the Christ Jesus". Until he does, I must revert to avoid a contradiction with the first statement given under the heading "Roman Catholic Church": Transubstantiation as a statement of what is changed when the bread and wine are consecrated, not an explanation of the means or mode by which the Real Presence is effected, since "[t]he signs of bread and wine become, in a way surpassing understanding, the Body and Blood of Christ. Lima 13:05, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Okay... Lets clarify things a bit, because you seem to be rather aggressive in your editing. The first issue I would like to point out is that the passage in question is actually a slightly modified copy which was basically copied and pasted directly from the Communion section of the Eastern Orthodox Church page (Note: I changed the language a bit so as to not post a direct copy)... I didn't think this would cause any conflict, as the statement is relatively benign. Basically, I feel that the problem may be that you don't exactly understand what it says; to your credit, the wording is ambiguous.

Here is your edit summary: (I'll be more explicit: to suggest that the Catholic Church says *anything* about *how* the change is brought about is false: see CCC1333 quoted here)

Alright. I thought to myself immediately upon reading this that I had not placed a claim like that into the article. Of course, no denominations (mainline, anyway) believe they actually know how this occurs.

So, lets look at the offending statement: The Eastern Orthodox Church has never described exactly how this occurs, nor has it gone into the detail that the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches have in the West; rather, it is satisfied in accepting that the change is a mystery beyond human understanding.

Okay, so the Church has never described how this occurs. Simple statement. The second statement is referring to the fact that, while Catholicism, Lutheranism and other Denominations have further elaborated on certain beliefs regarding the Eucharist (as well as other theological ideas), the Orthodox Church remains primitive in this aspect; that is, they merely term it a mystery of God, and seek not to explain the specifics of it. I have added a source for this, Kallistos (Timothy) Ware's book "The Orthodox Church", which is a book I own, just so you know that I'm not someone who would just look on Google for a source so that I might argue with you about something. The sourced pages also reference the Synod in Jerusalem, and about the Orthodox view of the real presence. Although I am far less skilled with words, I think this is an accurate representation, stating the simple ideas of the Eucharistic theology without bogging them down with too much history. So... I don't understand why we are contending about this particular point. I'm not saying Catholicism knows how it happens, nor Lutheranism, but I am saying that the Orthodox Church is far more loyal to the idea of mystery than the Western Churches are to it, as they have sought to define certain specifics within the liturgy itself in regards to the Eucharist, while the Orthodox Church is more general about it all. I hope you don't think I'm implying who is correct and who is incorrect.

On another note, please, stop changing the Bible Verse link... It seems, first of all, that the link you are changing it to is not a valid one. Additionally, I'm using the same exact Bible verse link format found on the Transubstantiation page, amongst many other pages, so whats the problem?

Finally, I'm curious about your frequent change of "in accepting" to "to accept". Both are grammatically correct... is this merely a preference thing?

Once again, I never stated that Catholics and Protestants new how the change occurs, I stated that the Orthodox Church is less eager to define specifics about the idea/process/what have you.

Maybe I'm losing my marbles. Is the statement that ambiguous?--C.Logan 13:34, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Additionally, I'd like to clarify that this is basically what I'm trying to say in that particular sentence, even though that sentence was copied directly from the Eastern Orthodox Church, so here is a similar statement from the Transubstantiation page, which also speaks of Eastern rite Catholics:
The Eastern Catholic, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox Churches, along with the Assyrian Church of the East, agree that the bread and wine truly and actually become the body and blood of Christ. They have in general refrained from philosophical speculation, and usually rely on the status of the doctrine as a "mystery," something known by divine revelation that could not have been arrived at by reason without revelation. Accordingly, they prefer to say too little about the details and remain firmly within Holy Tradition, than to say too much and possibly deviate from the truth. However, they do speak clearly of a "change" (in Greek μεταβολή) or "metousiosis" (μετουσίωσις) of the bread and wine.
Is this a harsh idea? I figured the sentence I used had explained the gist of it...--C.Logan 13:41, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Minor things first. First, an admission of guilt on my part: I should have enclosed "bibleverse" with {{...}}, not [[...]]. Please excuse me. John 6:55 lets you chose what version(s) of the Bible text you prefer (and even consult the Greek), instead of directing you, as what is now in the text does, to the King James Version in English only.

I thought "to accept" was, in the context, better English. If you prefer the other, I don't object (though I still think the one I prefer is the better!).

Now to the essential. (But first a minor observation: If the Eastern Orthodox Church page has the same statement, then it should be corrected. I ceased more than two years ago to follow that page; but I remember that on one occasion two editors commented there that it was a disgrace that, unlike the page on the Roman Catholic Church, some parts of that page presented Orthodox teaching not as what it is, but as what it is not, as if it existed only as a protesting negation of another teaching - and, I may add, mostly a misunderstanding of that teaching.)

My difficulty is your positing a contrast with the Catholic Church immediately after saying that the Eastern Orthodox Church has never described exactly how the change in the Eucharist occurs. You thus suggest that the Catholic Church has attempted to describe exactly how the change occurs. But it hasn't.

Here on the Talk page you perhaps say that the contrast with the Catholic Church is not about "exactly how the change occurs"; you speak instead of "certain beliefs regarding the Eucharist (as well as other theological ideas)". There is no such distinction in your version of the article, and even "certain beliefs" is too vague and may even be meant to include "exactly how the change occurs".

Furthermore, you know Wikipedia's NPOV rules. You may not present a disputed statement such as you made as what Wikipedia says, even if you give a reference to some Orthodox theologians in a footnote. You can only say something like: "Timothy Ward wrote that: '...'" If he did write what you say he did, no objection can be raised. But presenting an opinion as fact is not allowed.

On Wikipedia one would also expect references to made, by preference, not to printed books, but to good sources, if there are any, that can be easily checked on the Internet.

So thank you for pointing out my error with the "bibleverse" system, and please accept my apologies for not noticing it myself. I trust you will give thoughtful consideration to my observations on what I see as a POV problem and, hopefully, revise your text accordingly. Lima 14:50, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't really think that's the case. I do agree that the wording would make it seem as if it were, however. For instance, what would you think if this version:
The Eastern Orthodox Church has never described exactly how this occurs, nor has it attempted to assign specific terminology to the philosophical aspects of this process, as the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches have in the West; rather, it is satisfied in accepting that the change is a mystery beyond human understanding.
This is essentially what I meant for the original to say (or rather, that's how I read the original text which I copied and pasted).
Basically, the first half of the offending sentence refers to the simple and obvious fact that the Orthodox are in the dark as to how it happens. The second half, which is (apparently) ambiguously phrased so that it can either refer to the preceding sentence or, as "neither(and/or)nor" can allow for a connection to be like this, phrased in another way (which has a POV tone, for sake of example:
Not only does the Orthodox Church lack the understanding of the doctrine... they don't even make any attempt to define it as the Western Christians do!
I understand this is a flawed rephrasing, but look at it with the emphasis here. That's the underlying point contained in the statement... while it isn't supposed to make either side right or wrong (especially since you and I are apparently of the opposing faiths contrasted here), it is simply moving from a simple statement to a more extreme one. In the article, where the tone is kept neutral (well, hopefully), this is less apparent. Perhaps it could be that you are so actively looking for errors that you are essentially mentally seeking out small discrepancies so that statements which may -at a glance- be benign, you are ready to see them as much clearer errors than they are. I see the ambiguity of the text, now. But as I read it earlier, and I had read it in the article several times in the past couple of months, the meaning which I extracted from it is the same as the amplified version I have quoted above.
So... I hope that aspect is at least a bit clarified. I think the statement is a simple way to explain the Orthodox Church's primitive view on the matter, and it doesn't really violate the truth, does it? I mean, this is a page about contrast, so it would be important to mention the Orthodox Church's aversion to the designation of names, and descriptions of those names (take, for example, the Lutheran idea of his presence above, below, etc...).
Furthermore, regarding Ware, I have found the source online. It's a little lengthy, so... I'll post it on your talk page if you don't mind. There's no need to clog up this page with it. The book is mostly an explanation of history and doctrine, and is usually the one I've seen recommended to people inquiring about the faith. Indeed, while he does admit his own opinions from time to time, his view of history and doctrine seems fairly objective. So, in this sense, Ware expresses his personality, while remaining in the majority POV (as he should be, considering that he is a Bishop of the UK Patriarchate, and that he taught Eastern Orthodox studies at Oxford for 35 years). I understand his credentials are not really important in this discussion, but this is essentially one of the "101" things I had learned about Orthodoxy... that the Western Churches have clarified their doctrine with new terminology, as the term "transubstantiation", which came into use after the Schism... not that that is a bad thing, whereas the Orthodox have preferred not to use the terminology, and when they do, they clarify their stance on it's usage.
I suppose I'm being redundant, as you should just read the text, at your page.
Also, good note about the Bible link. I chose the specific one originally because it used the concrete terms of flesh and such, as opposed to someone who would read a version which was altered in form or amplified in such a way that the wording became more extract... and considering that this reading is one which is intended to lend support to the theology of it all, it would make more sense if the literal translation was used, as the Church takes that literal translation into account when formulating and defending these doctrines. The words are utterly important to the belief of this particular denomination (and others) in this specific theological doctrine.
Still, I'm sure the general meaning can be discerned, so I welcome the change (Even though at the site I used, you can also switch translations after the fact).
Anyway, forgive me if I've been making less sense as this progresses, as I'm reaching the breaking point in my mission to remain awake and persist in conscious thought all night... it feels like the engine has been running without the oil for too long.
I suppose I'll sleep. But mind that the excerpt is on your talk page, with a link to the actual page itself. Keep in mind that I'm just trying to clarify the relation of the O. Churches view to that of the Roman Catholic Church, and to that of early Protestants, which both assign more terminology and theology to it than is present in the Orthodox view. I just have to figure out we might agree it could be presented fairly.--C.Logan 16:32, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
I propose we both leave it until tomorrow. Then you can tell me what it is that you see in what Timothy Ware wrote that seems to you to posit divergences between Orthodox and Catholic teaching on the Eucharist. (As for terminology, don't forget that there are very authoritative Orthodox documents that use, in Greek and Russian, the same terms that the Latin Church uses.) Lima 16:48, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
Since it appears that Timothy Ware only speaks positively of Orthodox faith, without saying negative things about Catholic faith, I am now trimming the Orthodox section so that it only speaks of Orthodox teaching. Lima 11:23, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Looks good to me.--C.Logan 00:23, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Communion in the hand[edit]

I dislike simply removing the work of other editors, but I have found no other way to deal with the anonymous addition of "Traditionally, Communion should not be taken in hand, should be kneeled at, and veils are repectfully worn." This addition is, in any case, probably out of place in an article on Eucharistic theologies; but more important, it is simply inaccurate. Historical documents suggest that receiving the host directly into the mouth was not the earliest form of receiving communion under the form of bread, so calling it "traditional" is questionable. If veils are worn (by all communicants, male and female?), they should of course be worn respectfully. If the anonymous editor from Willingboro really wants the addition, and if it can be shown to be relevant to an article on Eucharistic theologies (rather than just Eucharistic practices), perhaps we can together work out an acceptable way of expressing it. See Who Can Receive Communion? and it better to receive Holy Communion on the hand or on the tongue. Lima 17:43, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Merge suggestion[edit]

I am concerned that this article is a content fork parallel to other articles such as Eucharist, Eucharistic theology and Real Presence. I suggest that the material here be merged into these other articles. Tonicthebrown (talk) 17:45, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

I was about to suggest the merge of the Different understandings section of the Real Presence article with this page. I think there's enough meat, so to speak (for current lack in my brain for a better metaphor), in the subjects of each article that separate articles are warranted, with the Eucharist & Eucharistic theology articles being a possible exception. Of course, we need to be careful about how we structure the related articles to minimize overlap down to just enough information to segue into the link.
As you may have run into before with me, due to the severity of my chronic illnesses I may not be able to do more than point this out, so I appreciate the hard work of anyone who can take this up. To encourage that, I've posted a link back to this discussion at the Real_Presence talk page.
Thanks, --Geekdiva (talk) 13:10, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm going to go ahead and tag this page and Eucharistic theology. If you would like to discuss this merge, please do so at talk:Eucharistic theology#Merge discussion -JFHutson (talk) 17:35, 15 November 2012 (UTC)