What Denominations Believe in the Real Presence and Who Actually Has It

Two part questions:

  1. What denominations believe in the real presence?

I need to point out that I am not interested in arguing the merits of the different arguments. I just want to know who claims to have the real presence. We can argue about who actually does in another thread.



Uh oh…I didn’t mean for this to be that kind of a thread. I really thought the answer was going to be more cut and dry. Here’s hoping the discussion can be civil.

I think it can be civil. But the answers will depend on the respondents. I suspect you want the Roman Catholic position on this, and you may get more than that.


I agree with this. Anglicans and Lutherans who believe in the Real Presence aren’t going to accept only the Catholics and Orthodox have it.

From a Catholic perspective.

Catholics, Orthodox, most Anglicans, and Lutherans typically claim a real presence.

Catholics and Orthodox have it.

Yep. But I certainly accept that that is what a RC should affirm.

OTOH, there are the OCs and PNCC who have valid/illicit orders.


  1. The Assyrian Church, Catholics, Old Catholics (including those no longer or never in communion with Utrecht), Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Lutherans and most Sedevacantist Schismatics are the only ones who immediately and without reservation declare the real presence.

Some Anglicans profess belief in the real presence, while others tend towards the “pneumatic presence” taught by Reformed traditions. Still others even veer into Zwinglian territory. Methodists are likewise all over the place, not surprisingly, given their Anglican origins.

Reformed, Baptists, Pentecostals, etc almost invariably believe in nothing stronger than the pneumatic presence, though aside from that upper limit their positions vary from congregation to congregation.

  1. In Rome’s view, only the Catholics, Old Catholics, Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox and the Sedevacantist Schismatics possess the real presence, as only these are believed to possess valid Holy Orders. There might be a conditional recognition of Anglican eucharists, especially if the Anglican priest in question is from a lineage originating with the Old Catholics or is a former Catholic priest.

From the viewpoint of the others, the Anglicans, Lutherans, and possibly Old Catholics are the most generous and would say all of them have it.

The Orthodox opinion can vary, some rigorist Orthodox believing that Latin orders have suffered a deficiency which renders sacraments invalid, while others recognize Roman orders and sacraments as valid even if illicit (basically the mirror of Rome’s view of them). Nevertheless whatever their view on Rome, Orthodox (without any exception I’ve ever met) consider Protestant sacraments invalid. Note though, Anglicanism presents a tricky subject here as everywhere.

The Oriental Orthodox are analogous to the Orthodox. Likewise for the Assyrian Church.

Good survey.

Anglicans…tricky and motley.


I posted this photo on another thread of a Lutheran altar and tabernacle. That explains it all.

With the Roman Big 6, eh? Has Trent come to Wittenberg? :wink:

Lutherans believe we never left the Holy Catholic Church and are a professing movement within the Church Catholic.

The issue of holy orders as it applies to Apostolic Succession confirms that Lutherans have a valid priesthood and sacraments.

I’m no liturgical scholar, but I’ve heard from some high churchmen friends that the use of six candles on the altar is a use of Roman origin that only spread throughout Europe and the world via the exportation of the Tridentine liturgy. So it was something to be rejected as a point of pride. I’m sure someone else out there knows for sure though.

Oh, now I see what you were referring to :o

BTW, appreciate your astute summaries.

I dunno. We use 6, sometimes 8, for Mass.


Indeed that was a though, though I don’t know how accurate. It might have been in our “if Rome does it, we must do the opposite” stage.

Arthur Carl Piepkorn - "The Conduct of the Service,”

It is proper to light the altar candles for all services. The Lutheran use is to have two single beeswax candles, set near the extremities of the altar, either on the gradine or as close as possible to the back of the mensa, if there be no gradine. Six candles is a Counter-Reformatory Roman use

That said, now days we sometimes have four or six for appropriate times.

While individuals within the church are allowed to hold their own opinion. Concepts such as “Valid but illicit” have no real meaning to us. It is a Latin turn of phrase.

The Churches stance on the matter is that we have the Real Presence and whatever God wishes to do in other communities is his business. The Church doesn’t deny it exists elsewhere, but it doesn’t confirm it either.

True and I do but I prefer not to go round saying non-Catholic Christian ecclesial communities lack apostolic succession, lack valid orders, have no valid Eucharist, ergo thay can’t possibly have the Real Presence. There you’ve made me say it.:smiley:

I knew it all the time.


That I don’t doubt.

You gave me the impression I ought to be saying it as a Catholic.:shrug:

It might be current, authentic teaching of the Church. I don’t feel comfortable reiterating it to my fellow Christians. I don’t see what I can achieve by doing it.

I did it in the end in irony.

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