¶1376 The Council of Trent summarizes the Catholic faith by declaring:
“Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he
was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the
conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares
again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place
a change of the whole substance of the 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. This change the holy Catholic Church has
fittingly and properly called transubstantiation.”
¶1333 At the heart of the Eucharistic celebration are the bread and
wine that, by the words of Christ and the invocation of the Holy
Spirit, become Christ’s Body and Blood. Faithful to the Lord’s command
the Church continues to do, in his memory and until his glorious
return, what he did on the eve of his Passion: “He took bread….” “He
took the cup filled with wine….” The signs of bread and wine become,
in a way surpassing understanding, the Body and Blood of Christ; they
continue also to signify the goodness of creation. Thus in the
Offertory we give thanks to the Creator for bread and wine, fruit of
the “work of human hands,” but above all as “fruit of the earth” and
“of the vine” – gifts of the Creator. The Church sees in the gesture of
the king-priest Melchizedek, who “brought out bread and wine,” a
prefiguring of her own offering.
¶1377 The Eucharistic presence of Christ begins at the moment of the
consecration and endures as long as the Eucharistic species subsist.
Christ is present whole and entire in each of the species and whole and
entire in each of their parts, in such a way that the breaking of the
bread does not divide Christ.
33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that
cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall
1 Corinthians 11:23-25
23 ¶ For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered
unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed
24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take,
eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance
25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had
supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye,
as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave
unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
- Coming to Jesus in faith is eating; believing in Him is drinking.
- Communion is a remembrance–not a re-enactment.