The Real Presence (part 3)

 In Living the Liturgy

The Real Presence (continued)
by the Committee on Doctrine of the USCCB 

 Are the consecrated bread and wine “merely symbols”? 

In everyday language, we call a “symbol” something that points beyond itself to something else, often to several other realities at once. The transformed bread and wine that are the Body and Blood of Christ are not merely symbols because they truly are the Body and Blood of Christ. As St. John Damascene wrote: “The bread and wine are not a foreshadowing of the body and blood of Christ—By no means!—but the actual deified body of the Lord, because the Lord Himself said: ‘This is my body’; not ‘a foreshadowing of my body’ but ‘my body,’ and not ‘a foreshadowing of my blood’ but ‘my blood'” ( The Orthodox Faith, IV [PG 94, 1148-49]). At the same time, however, it is important to recognize that the Body and Blood of Christ come to us in the Eucharist in a sacramental form. In other words, Christ is present under the appearances of bread and wine, not in his own proper form. We cannot presume to know all the reasons behind God’s actions. God uses, however, the symbolism inherent in the eating of bread and the drinking of wine at the natural level to illuminate the meaning of what is being accomplished in the Eucharist through Jesus Christ  


Sacraments of Baptism and Matrimony updates: 

 (05.10.2020) As of the present, while shelter-in-place still being upheld, the Rites of the Sacrament of Baptism and Matrimony are postponed until further notice. Nevertheless. we still are offering Baptismal Preparation Class and Marriage Preparation via Zoom. For more information and for any questions about the Sacraments, please contact Father Edgar at or through his office phone (408) 997-5107. 

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