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'Quick Help' Page: Substance/Accidents (Holy Eucharist)

 

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Holy Eucharist

Blessed Sacrament

Transubstantiation

Consecration

Substance

Accidents

Bread & Wine

Body & Blood of Christ

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Arrow Question / Issue:

After consecration, does the substance of the bread or wine continue to exist?

 

Arrow Answer / Resources:

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No. According to the Catechism of the Council of Trent...

"...the substance of the bread and wine does not continue to exist in the Sacrament after consecration... If, after consecration, the true body of Christ is present under the species of bread and wine, since it was not there before, it must have become present either by change of place, or by creation, or by the change of some other thing into it. It cannot be rendered present by change of place, because it would then cease to be in heaven; for whatever is moved must necessarily cease to occupy the place from which it is moved. Still less can we suppose the body of Christ to be rendered present by creation; nay, the very idea is inconceivable. In order that the body of our Lord be present in the Sacrament, it remains, therefore, that it be rendered present by the change of the bread into it. Wherefore it is necessary that none of the substance of the bread [or wine] remain."

While none of the substance of bread or wine still exist after Transubstantiation, the accidents still exist (e.g. appearance of bread and wine)...

"After the substance of the bread and the substance of the wine have been converted into the Body and Blood of Christ at the consecration at Mass the accidents of bread and wine remain and are discernible by the senses. The fundamental accident is that of quantity, and in it inhere the shape, colour, brittleness or liquidity, taste and smell of the original substances." (Catholic Dictionary)


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Other Resources:

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Holy Eucharist / Holy Communion (Topic Page)

Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (Topic Page)

 

  

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