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Adult Ed, Sessions on the Sacraments, part 3 – The Holy Eucharist
The Eucharist, As Sacrament:
Matter: Bread, wheat bread (leavened or unleavened depending on the Rite) and Wine (pure grape wine)
Form: The words of consecration
Minister: The priest
Recipient: Baptized Catholic in the state of grace
Instituted by Christ at the Last Supper. Taught at the Bread of Life Discourse. (For an article on why the bread of life discourse cannot be a mere metaphor, please click [here]).
Questions about the Real Presence:
What is transubstantiation? Not annihilation, not consubstantiation, but a real change of substance. “A change of the whole substance of bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood.” (CCC 1376)
When does transubstantiation occur? The words of consecration. Proof of this in the rites.
How long does it last? So long as the species remains.
What do we mean by “substance” and “accident”? Substance is the underlying reality, while accident is the sensible properties. The substance changes, while the accidents remain.
Is the whole Jesus under both species? Yes, by real concomitance; not be real conversion.
Is Jesus living in the Eucharist? Yes, because he is living in heaven.
Questions about receiving Communion:
Is it better to receive under both species? More grace is given on account of the greater sign.
Ought the Church to encourage people to regularly receive under both species? No, for practical reasons. The grace received is more determined by the disposition of the faithful.
Why must one be in the state of grace to receive Communion? Because you don’t feed a corpse.
Why can’t non-Catholics receive Communion? The Eucharist is a sign of communion, those who receive must be in real communion.
Why should Catholics not receive Protestant “communion”? Again, we are not in communion.
The Mass as a Sacrifice
The Host is the Sacrament of Christ’s Body, the Chalice the Sacrament of his Blood. As these were really and physically separated on the Cross, they are really and sacramentally separated on the altar at Mass.
The Mass is a sacrifice by the words of consecration, in which the species are consecrated separately.
The living Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist are a sacrament of the dead Body and Blood of Christ sacrificed on the Cross. And, as there are not two “Jesuses” by the Real Presence, so there are not two sacrifices by the Mass.