A friend of mine, Father Derrick Hassert, has written the following on the the doctrine mentioned in the title. Any thoughts, comments, questions, snide remarks?
As Anglicans I believe we must first go to the Scriptures, where we are told by St. Paul that the “. . .Lord Jesus, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner also He took the cup when He had supped, saying, ‘This cup is the new testament in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death until He come. Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and then let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body” (1 Cor 11: 23-29).
Similarly, St. Paul declares to us that “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? For we, being many, are one bread and one body, for we are all partakers of that one Bread” (1 Cor 10: 16-17). The writings of the Church Fathers, especially the Apostolic Fathers, declare likewise without any great philosophical speculation. The truth of Christ’s words, and the words of St. Paul, are accepted through faith.
When we turn to the formularies of classical Anglicanism (the 1549-1928 Prayer Books, the Articles, and the homilies) what are we told about the Eucharist? We are told that it is an “outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace” the outward part being bread and wine and the inward part being Christ’s Body and Blood. The Articles declare likewise that the “The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner.” In the homilies we read of “the due receiving of the blessed Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ under the form of bread and wine.”
Here, in the classical Anglican documents, we have a very Scriptural teaching which conforms as well to the teachings of the Church Fathers. Some wish to press beyond these points of agreement and engage in all manner of scholastic inquiry…. Some will ask the manner of Christ’s Presence in the Sacrament? Is it bodily, physical, carnal, corporal, localized?
Though some may hold to various viewpoints that are more specific than that outlined above by Father Hassert, many would argue that they are not to be pushed on the Church for belief because they cannot be proved by and from Scripture. Many would also argue that the basic Scriptural basis of Anglicanism is also one of its greatest strengths.