Blog Post

Minister’s Letter -Anglicans, Catholics, and Holy Communion, Part 1.

10th April 2022

Minister’s Letter – Anglicans, Catholics, and Holy Communion, Part 1.

We celebrate Holy Communion on the first Sunday of each month (and also on the third Sunday at the 8:30am service). A question some people might have concerns the difference between our Anglican concept of Holy Communion (or Lord’s Supper) and the Roman Catholic Mass.

Many understand Anglicanism to have begun because Henry VIII wanted a divorce, but there’s more to the story. The Catholic Church taught that the bread and wine turned into the real body and blood of Jesus while retaining their original appearance.  The first Anglicans insisted that Jesus was not physically present in the bread and wine of communion. This distinction between our churches remains to this day.

Why don’t we believe in the “real presence”? First, it undermines the Bible’s teaching about Christ’s human nature. It’s important for our salvation that Jesus be a human like us (see Hebrews 2:17). Jesus was born, died and raised as a human being. Remaining human, he then ascended to his Father in Heaven. But how can a human like us be in two places (Heaven and the communion bread) at once? If the Catholic view is right, then it raises doubts over Christ’s human nature, and if he can be an adequate human sacrifice for sin.

There are other differences too, stay tuned for next week’s instalment!

Martin Kemp