January 18, 2021

Instructed Anglican Eucharist

From our friends at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Tallahassee, FL, here is another of their excellent teaching videos. In this one, Father Michael Petty leads a class on the meaning of the Eucharist in the Anglican liturgy.

St. Peter’s also makes notes available to use while watching. Download notes here. (MOD: With regard to downloading the notes, clicking the link on St. Peter’s page will take you to another link at the bottom of the page. Right click (or Ctrl-click for Mac) to download the PDF file.)

Instructed Eucharist from St. Peter’s Anglican Church on Vimeo.


  1. When I click on the Download Notes Here link, it brings me to the page where there are a lot of places to click to get the notes and they all seem to work EXCEPT for the one about the Eucharist that I wanted. When I click on that, it just moves down the page and doesn’t open the notes. I wanted to read it because I likely won’t get around to listening for the 1.5 hours. I did check around that page to see if there was a webmaster to contact, but I didn’t see one.

    I did look around that St. Peter’s Anglican Church website and that looks like a wonderful, involved church.

  2. I am sorry but this teaching is not biblical.

    The Lord’s supper is a symbol.

  3. Direct link to notes.

  4. Thanks, John, to the direct link to the Notes because when I clicked on the video this time, I didn’t see the place where I had seen the notes the last time. Anyway, I have now read the notes and found them well-written. I liked the listing of the things that Eucharist is: thanksgiving, memorial, communion, covenant sacrifice, anticipation of Christ’s return. Those are all so true.

  5. This is a good video. I saw him do another (shorter) video a while back that was also very good. I’ve been drawn toward Anglicanism lately and these videos have been very helpful. Does St. Peter’s use the 1979 BCP or the 1928 BCP? Here locally all the non-TEC Anglicans use the 1928. I definitely prefer the 1979 (though I can understand some folks’ reservation against it). I’ve ordered the 1928 so that I can become more familiar with it.

    • We currently use the 1979 BCP, although our Rector is on the prayer book committee for the ACNA. So, someday we’ll be using our own prayer book!

      • Oh, that’s very neat! I figured ACNA would eventually be publishing their own BCP, but I didn’t know it was already in the works. I hope it ends up having the versatility of the ’79 without some of the stuff that made the ’79 so controversial. That said, I was reading parts of a book that TEC published at the same time as the ’28 BCP as a way to introduce it and explain some of the changes from the 1892(?) BCP, as well as explain the differences between that one and the 1795 (or whatever) and between that one and the one they had been using from England before America was born. It seems each edition of the BCP is met with controversy of some sort. All that to say I wish ACNA all the best as they develop their own! I look forward to getting and using one myself 🙂

  6. John wrote that Anglicans don’t believe in transubstantiation which I have read before and believe, but don’t fully understand because in reading the notes that come along with the video I read:

    “Justin [Martyr] tells us that this is called the Eucharist and that only the baptized are
    allowed to receive it. The reason is this: ‘For not as common bread; but in like
    manner as Jesus Christ our Savior, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had
    both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise we have been taught that the food
    which is blessed by the prayer of His word…is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who
    was made flesh.’


    “The Eucharist was essential to early Christian experience. In his Lectures on the Christian
    Sacraments (ca. 348) St. Cyril of Jerusalem told a group of catechumens ‘for in the figure of Bread
    is given to you His Body, and in the figure of Wine His Blood; that you by partaking of the Body and
    the Blood of Christ might be made of the same body and the same blood with Him. For thus we
    come to bear Christ in us, because His Body and Blood are diffused through our members.’ ”

    Those writings certainly SOUND the way we Catholics believe. I guess there is some subtle difference. I know Anglicans believe in the “real presence” of Jesus in the Eucharist, but don’t believe the bread and wine are actually Jesus’ body and blood, correct? So how they treat the bread and wine after the Eucharist is celebrated may be different too, right?

    • Replying based on what I’ve heard expressed before at my church. So this is off memory:

      Remaining wafers and unpoured wine is put back in the tabernacle. (A box directly underneath the crucifix behind the altar. You can see it on the video). A santuary lamp is lit to show that the Lord is dwelling among us. Remaining wine in a chalice is either consumed or poured into a pacina (a sink that drains directly into the blessed ground).

      So the elements are still treated very reverently.

      You can go back to Fr. Dudley’s Nuts and Bolts video (http://vimeo.com/7072049) for confirmation.

      • Boy, John, it surely sounds like Catholics and Anglicans are viewing the Eucharist in the same way but calling it something else. I need a little breakdown on how Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans and Eastern Orthodox view this in slightly varying ways. Not that it matters a lot, but it’s interesting.

    • I thought some Anglicans (those of the Anglo-Catholic persuasion, for example) do believe in transubstantiation, but others don’t. I was under the impression that Anglicanism in general allows for variety on the issue. However I just looked up in my BCP the 39 Articles of Religion, in which the following is said:

      Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the
      Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture,
      overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.

      The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and
      spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the
      Supper, is Faith.

      That said, from what I understand, there are many Anglicans who see the 39 Articles as merely a “historic document” rather than required Anglican doctrine. I know several Anglican presbyters/priests who take issue with parts of it.

    • Jonathan Hunnicutt says

      I’m still pretty new to Anglicanism, but I’ll take a stab at it.

      I think it’s actually up to the rector how the elements are treated after. I think that generally there is the balance of not offending the brethren, so that if a rector doesn’t have as high of a eucharistic theology as some of his anglo-catholic congregants, he still treats it reverently.

      I think the big different between Anglican and Catholic theology is that while both view the Eucharist as a sacrifice, Catholics view it as a propitiatory sacrifice (which can be said for souls in purgatory for instance), while Anglicans view it as a thanksgiving sacrifice, an offering of gratitude which we eat in the real presence of the Lord.

      In fact, while I was studying all of this, it occurred to me that the basic Anglican vision of worship is that of a thanksgiving sacrifice. Worship is what we offer to God, but mysteriously receive back ourselves. Every part of Anglican worship can be viewed with this lens.

      As for transubstantiation vs consubstantiation vs real presence vs symbolic memorial, etc. Most Anglican priests I know, when this question is asked throw up their hands and with a twinkle in their eye say: “It’s a mystery.” That is what I think the 39 articles are getting at, it’s not so much that transubstantiation is outright wrong. It’s that it is soo specific that it becomes misleading.

      Again, I’m new to Anglicanism, so take it all with a grain of salt.

  7. Sorry about the formatting in my message above. I copied and pasted from the notes and it made them have a blank line between printed lines and I thought I took out the blank lines, but what I got is what you see after it posted.

  8. I was studying Eastern Orthodoxy pretty seriously before stumbling upon the Anglican Church we now attend. The Orthodox consider it to be a mystery and in our liturgy on Sunday AM there’s a some wording about it being a mystery. If i had my service handout I would tell you exactly what it says.

    I prefer to leave it at that.

  9. I think if we “did away” with the words “transubstantiation” and “consubstantiation” and said that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist then many of the various forms of Christianity would be able to be more united, even though we do things and say things a bit different in our liturgies. HOW Jesus becomes truly present is the mystery.

  10. I’ve never understood how people see transubstantiation as an explanation that robs the Eucharist of all mystery. All the doctrine says,after all, is that we cannot believe our senses when it comes to the Eucharist: we see, we touch and we taste bread and wine . . . but it is truly the body and blood of Christ by the power and action of the Trinity. How does that kind of teaching eliminate mystery?

    What the senses fail to fathom, let us grasp by faith’s consent–Thomas Aquinas.

    • I don’t really know, Rick. I just know that people argue about these terms…“transubstantiation” and “consubstantiation”…and others when it comes to the Eucharist and somehow it seems to divide them. I think it is easier just to not use those words and say instead that Jesus is truly present in the bread and wine and that by receiving the Eucharist in faith, we can become more like Jesus and more united to God and to one another. But, I suppose, people will then argue about what “truly present” means. In the end, I guess I just don’t really feel like I need to explain to someone what I believe is happening during the Mass, during the receiving of the Eucharist. If the person insisted on getting more understanding of it, I will refer them to the early Church Fathers, I guess.

  11. This is a very helpful vid for those brothers and sisters in Christ who are from non-Anglican backgrounds.

    Thanks for posting it.

  12. Though the sacramental theology presented here is not indicative of all Anglicans. His thinking represents the Anglo-Catholic branch of the church, not Anglicans who are of the Reformed/Evangelical backgrounds. This vid is helpful in the sense for people to learn what Anglicans of AngloÇatholic churchmanship believe regarding the Eucharist.
    Some of the things Michael Petty says I think are very good such as:
    1. The Eucharist reminds us that Jesus is the culmination of all the mercies of God.
    2. The Eucharist is an aticipation of Christ return (1 Cor. 11:26)

    I did not agree with his remarks about what the Eucharist is pointing to; that the Eucharist brings us into the upper room. Yes…I agree with him that Chrst is contemporary and that he is with us. Nor do I believe that when Jesus says “Do this in remembrance of me”that Jesus is saying that we will be reliving the upper room experience.

    In his notes, Michael reminds us what the BCP teaches – that Christ is truly and really present in the Sacrament. But he is present only sacramentally, that is to say, only by a sign. We eat and drink the signs of Jesus atoning death. They remain nothing but signs. Jesus presence is in his risen power, is due to his promise to be among those who meet in his name and the manner of his presence is the Holy Spirit which he gives to all believers, which is through faith alone in Christ alone. (Articles XXVIIII – And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the supper is by faith.)

    I explain to our parishioners that the Eucharist is a physical parable. It is a tangible sign that completely closes the door on the notion that we can contribute to our salvation in any way; that we are saved by the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ alone. And that the Eucharist is a sign of God’s grace only as long as it is understood in the context of the Word of God. In other words, the Word unlocks the meaning of the Eucharist.

    Will stop now. Just thoughts from an Aussie Anglican minister.

  13. There is a voice in the blood of the martyrs. What does that voice say? It cries aloud from Oxford, Smithfield, and Gloucester,- “Resist to the death the Popish doctrine of the Real Presence, under the forms of the consecrated bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper!”
    – J. C. Ryle

Speak Your Mind