- Real Presence
- The name given to the Church's doctrine concerning Christ's Presence in the Holy Eucharist. The term "Real Presence" is intended to signify that the Presence of our Lord in this Sacrament is a reality; that while His Presence is spiritual, it is none the less real, and not simply figurative. The sacrament is not a mere sign or token of an absent Christ. It is a great deal more. As it is Christ who invites, bids and calls us to this Feast and provides the spiritual food for it, it would be strange indeed if we were uncertain whether He is there to receive us and to feed us; and if He is present, His Presence must be very real. Under the outward form of Bread and Wine we have the Scriptural warrant to believe that the Body and the Blood of Christ are given, taken and received verily and indeed by the faithful in the Lord's Supper, to the strengthening and refreshing of their souls, -- as declared in the Church Catechism and the Twenty-eighth Article of Religion. Being assured of this fact, it is useless and only fruitful in doubt and perplexity, to speculate upon the manner of this Presence, which is a Mystery of the Gospel; as such the Church has received and taught it, but has never explained or defined. This being the attitude of the Church, it will be our wisdom to say of this Mystery:"Christ was the Word that spake it;He took the Bread and brake it,And what that Word did make it,That I believe and take it."
American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. — New York, Thomas Whittaker. William James Miller, M.A., B.D.. 1901.