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St. Paul, in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, X. 16, thus speaks : “ The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ ?"
In the Catechism, similarly, I read that “the Body and Blood of Christ . . . are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper." And again, in reply to the question, “What are the benefits whereof we are partakers thereby ?” this answer is supplied : “The strengthening and refreshing of our souls by the Body and Blood of Christ, as our bodies are by the Bread and Wine."
I find similar teaching in the formal statements of the Church's great confession of faith. In the Article on the Lord's Supper (Art. xxviii.) we read :
“The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another ; but rather is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ's death ; in
somuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith, receive the same, the Bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of Christ ; and likewise the Cup of Blessing is a partaking of the Blood of Christ."
Moreover, in this Article the Church teaches that “the Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the means whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is faith.”
Similarly, in the Homily on the Sacrament, we read that “without faith" communicants do not "really enjoy the eating and drinking thereof." Here, as in the Liturgy, in the Articles, and in the Catechism, the Church's doctrine is a spiritual presence of Christ in the Sacrament to every faithful communicant; i.e., as says the judicious Hooker, a presence “ in the worthy receiver.” Such as be void of a lively faith (Art. xxix.) “are in no wise partakers of Christ.”
We keep the sacred feast, Where every humble contrite heart
Is made a welcome guest.
By faith we take the Bread of Life,
With which our souls are fed ; And Cup, in token of His Blood
That was for sinners shed.
Under His banner thus we sing
The wonders of His love, And thus anticipate by faith
The heavenly feast above.