Is Christ Spiritually Present in Protestant Communion?
Yes, we believe in the real presence of Christ’s body and blood in the Eucharist.
As do Anglicans.
I think that there are lots of different views. Most Lutherans I think believe in the Real Presence just like Catholics although they disagree with the Catholic Church over exactly how the body and blood are present. For some Protestants, especially Baptists, communion is purely memorial and is not a sacrament. As it says in Wikipedia, “Most Baptists do not consider the Communion or its elements to be sacramental; rather, it is considered to be an act of remembrance of Christ’s atonement, and a time of renewal of personal commitment.” So in this case, communion is purely memorial.
But even among Baptists, for example, there are some (including some Southern Baptists) who follow the Second London Baptist Confession of 1689 which is closer to Reformed churches such as Presbyterians in believing in some kind of spiritual presence. According to this confession:
Art. 3. The Lord Jesus hath, in this ordinance, appointed his ministers to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to set them apart from a common to a holy use, and to take and break the bread; to take the cup, and, they communicating also themselves, to give both to the communicants.
Art. 7. Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this ordinance, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed, yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually receive, and feed upon Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death; the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the elements themselves are to their outward senses.
Despite what the above posters may tell you and what they may falsely believe, Our Lord Jesus is NOT present in Protestant “communion” in any way whatsoever. This is because they reject the Truth of transubstantiation from bread and wine into the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ and do NOT have the valid apostolic succession necessary in order for the consecration to take place.
Only in the Holy Catholic Church can transubstantiation truly occur and only in the Holy Catholic Church is the Holy Eucharist truly Jesus.
May God bless you all abundantly and forever and guide you to the Light of His Holy Catholic Church!
I don’t think that anyone (Catholics included) can actually prove that Jesus is present in their Eucharist/Communion. It’s all a matter of faith. So we are all free to believe what we want even if none of us can’t prove it.
I don’t think that anyone (Catholics included) can actually prove that Jesus is present in their Eucharist/Communion. It’s all a matter of faith. So we are all free to believe what we want even if none of us can prove it.
It is proven through the very words of Christ. If you can’t believe Jesus then there is not much stopping you from being an atheist.
That sounds like my mother! She was a life-long Protestant and came to believe if one believed that Jesus was present in the bread and wine, He was, but if you believed it was symbolic only, then it was that.
And that is what good Anglicans and Lutherans and Baptists and Orthodox and all others join you in saying.
And Thorolfr, I got exactly what you meant. Thank you for saying it.
Obviously from the respectful and disrespectful answers already in the thread, your answers are going to be different depending on who you are asking.
Here’s Pope JPII on the issue in ECCLESIA DE EUCHARISTIA:
Nonetheless, the observations of the Council concerning the Ecclesial Communities which arose in the West from the sixteenth century onwards and are separated from the Catholic Church remain fully pertinent: “The Ecclesial Communities separated from us lack that fullness of unity with us which should flow from Baptism, and we believe that especially because of the lack of the sacrament of Orders **they have not preserved the genuine and total reality of the Eucharistic mystery. Nevertheless, when they commemorate the Lord’s death and resurrection in the Holy Supper, they profess that it signifies life in communion with Christ and they await his coming in glory”.
The Catholic faithful, therefore, while respecting the religious convictions of these separated brethren**, must refrain from receiving the communion distributed in their celebrations, so as not to condone an ambiguity about the nature of the Eucharist and, consequently, to fail in their duty to bear clear witness to the truth.
There is no Communion unless it is consecrated by a validly ordained priest.
That’s not even true according to Catholic teaching. Catholic teachings is that the EOs and OOs also have valid Eucharists.
Right, and the Assyrian Church of the East, the Ancient Church of the East, the Polish National Catholic Church, the SSPX, etc.
Even if we as Catholics must affirm that there is no Real Presence within the Protestant communities, we cannot go so far as to say that their Communion is devoid of grace.
Given that our Protestant brethren here have affirmed their belief in Christ’s presence in their Eucharistic celebration despite our disagreement tells us that they have accepted the word of Christ at face value, even though we differ in the philosophical technicalities, if you can call them that.
God can and does use their Eucharistic beliefs and services for much good, including Christian fellowship with each other, a desire to to good and to recall the Lord’s salvific deeds. And in many cases, that grace has led both individual Protestants and entire communities/parishes into the Catholic Church.
So even if we must affirm that the Protestant Eucharist is invalid for doctrinal reasons, it is not for us to declare it devoid of grace. We need to realize that this is important for them too and must address it respectfully.
Actually, it’s the same with the Christian Orthodox, although I think I read one time that they don’t use the terminology of transubstantiation–something about not liking to try and explain it–keeping the mystery. I find it mysterious any way it’s phrased personally as no terminology could truly explain how it works.
That’s what us Lutherans believe, too. Luther just accepted Jesus’ statement, “This is my body,” without trying to explain how this worked since Jesus never explained it either. The explanation using transubstantiation with “substance” and “accidents” is based upon Greek thought and was not used even in the Catholic Church until the 11th century.
We believe in the real presence , Jesus is with , in and under the elements (Sacramental Union ) and our pastors are validly ordained. Apostolic succession is not mandated by the Holy Scriptures but apostolic teaching is . Ordination without so called apostolic succession is perfectly valid.
Do you mean spiritually present or physically present?
In some Protestant sects; you will find that people believe there is no presence of any sort in their Communion, and that is the teaching.
In such a case, Communion only becomes a symbolic gesture, and I don’t really understand that (especially when a plate of crackers and grape juice is simply passed around like bread rolls on an airplane).
Catholics differ from the more mainstream Protestant streams in believing the Eucharist IS the Body and Blood of Jesus, and that Jesus is Really, Truly and Substantially present*, such that only the accidents of Bread and Wine remain. You could liken this in a way that God used these accidents to make Jesus more palatable for us, in the same way that mother’s milk for her child comes in a highly nutritious, palatable appearance for her child.
Now, to offer a “better grounded” discussion on what others believe, I have retrieved a book (in poor condition, but nonetheless). “The Prayer Book, As Proposed in 1928.” It is from the Anglican Church (strong Anglican family roots), and would appear to have been in the hands of a “Rev. R.J.F Molyneux.” It contains much of the prayers used in the Anglican service of the time. And also the “Articles of Religion,” which I will now quote from.
Please be aware that this is the Anglican position on Communion, not mine, nor the Catholic Church’s. I kindly request you keep this in mind.
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 like the Cup of Blessing is 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 the 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 Christian ordinance, reserved, carried about, lifted up or worshipped.
In the page before this is stated, the Anglican Church does claim authority to teach the truth. And there is also a claim that purgatory is “repugnant of the scripture,” which might happen when one excludes 7 books of the Bible…
Again, I hope no offense was caused by me posting that. But seeing as I had access to it, I wanted to share it so that we can have a sensible discussion here on CAF
*This sounds similar to what our Anglican and Lutheran brethren are describing.