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Part of the series on

also known as
"The Eucharist" or
"The Lord's Supper"


Words of Institution
Real Presence
Sacramental union

Theologies contrasted
Eucharist (Catholic Church)
Anglican Eucharistic theology

Important theologians
Paul ·Aquinas
Augustine · Calvin
Chrysostom · Cranmer
Luther · Zwingli

Related Articles
Christianity and alcohol
Catholic Historic Roots
Closed and Open Table
Divine Liturgy
Eucharistic adoration
Eucharistic discipline
First Communion
Infant Communion
Mass · Sacrament

Transignification is an idea originating from the attempts of modernist Roman Catholic theologians, especially Edward Schillebeeckx, to better understand the mystery of the Real Presence of Christ at Mass in light of a new philosophy of the nature of reality that is more in line with contemporary physics. The concept of transignification was ultimately rejected by the Catholic hierarchy, and is now more prominent in some Anglican and Protestant circles. Transignification suggests that although Christ's body and blood are not physically present in the Eucharist, they are really and objectively so, as the elements take on, at the consecration, the real significance of Christ's body and blood which thus become sacramentally present.

It is thus contrasted not only to belief in a physical or chemical change in the elements, but also to the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church that there is a change only of the underlying reality, but not of anything that concerns physics or chemistry (see Transubstantiation).

The concept of transignification is based on the thought that there are two kinds of presence, local and personal. Jesus is personally, but not locally, present at the Mass. One can be locally present, as when riding on a bus, but one's thoughts can be far away, making one personally not present.

The theory has been rejected by the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church, in particular in Pope Paul VI's 1965 encyclical Mysterium Fidei [1]. However, it is considered to be similar to the Anglican position set forth by Thomas Cranmer in the Book of Common Prayer.

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Transignification. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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