Back to: The Difference between Lutheran and Catholic teachings on the Eucharist

What the Baltimore Catechism says about Communion

348. Did anything of the bread and wine remain after their substance changed into Our Lord's Body and Blood?

After the substance of the bread and wine had been changed into Our Lord's Body and Blood, there remained only the appearances of bread and wine.

349. What do we mean by the appearances of bread and wine?

By the appearances of bread and wine, we mean their color, taste, weight, shape and whatever else appears to the senses. (note: these are the physical characteristics).

The substance of anything is what it is. The appearances are what it looks like, or feels like or tastes like. For example, an apple is a substance. It looks red and round, it feels smooth. It tastes sweet. Redness, roundness smoothness and juiciness are appearances.

There are different kinds of changes which take place in things.

  1. A change of appearances. For example, a green apple grows to be a full, ripe red apple.
  2. A partial change of substance. For example, oil burns and changes into smoke. The appearances change also.
  3. A complete change of substance. This is transubstantiation.

The only example of this kind is found in the Consecration of the Mass. The appearances of Bread would also change into those of Christ if God did not prevent this by a miracle.

When the priest says 'This is my Body' at Mass, you would immediately see Christ and not the appearances of Bread, if God did not prevent it by a miracle. He keeps the appearances of bread in existence to enable us to eat the Body of Christ without difficulty

351. Is Jesus Christ whole and entire under the appearances of bread and under the appearances of wine?

Yes. Christ is present whole and entire even under a tiny particle of the Host. Now that He has risen from the dead, He can die no more, nor can He be divided.

356. Why does Christ give us His own body and blood in the Holy Eucharist?

First, to be offered as a sacrifice commemorating and renewing for all time, the sacrifice of the cross.

Second, to be received by the faithful in Holy Communion.

Third, to remain ever on our altars as the proof of His Love for us and to be worshipped by us.


return to