The Editor Reflects on the Eucharist

The Rev'd Chris Evetts celebrates the Eucharist during Anglican Memorial Camp's Junior Camp in July 2022.
The Rev'd Chris Evetts celebrates the Eucharist during Anglican Memorial Camp's Junior Camp in July 2022.
By on January 1, 2023

Editor’s Note: I was asked to contribute an article to the Saskatchewan Anglican on the Eucharist for their December edition. I was asked to answer the question: “why is the presence of Christ in the Eucharist a mystery?” I hope that you, the reader, can be spiritually edified by this article.

The simple answer is this: we do not (and can not) fully understand the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Add to that the fact that as Christians, we don’t all agree on the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Some (like Roman Catholics, and some Anglo-Catholics) believe in transubstantiation, the theological concept that the substances of the bread and wine offered at the Eucharist change into the Body and Blood of Christ, while the accidents (or what it looks like) remain as they had previously been. There are others that believe in sacramental union (like Lutherans), where Christ is “truly and substantially present in, with and under the forms of the consecrated bread and wine, so that communicants eat and drink the holy body and blood of Christ Himself as well as the bread and the wine.” Ask an Anglican, and the common thought is something changes in the Eucharist, but how that change occurs is a mystery.

While I believe that the exact mechanics of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist remains a mystery to us mere mortals, I believe that the presence of Christ in the Eucharist is real and very present. The Eucharist is more than a mere memorial to me (although when we do partake in the Eucharist we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes). I believe that that presence of Christ as found in the Eucharist has strengthened me throughout my life. Let me tell you a story about the Eucharist in my own life.

I remember back to my seminary days at Huron College at Western. As any seminary-trained priest can tell you (and will, if you let them), seminary is a time filled with highs and lows. I remember on more than one occasion where I was feeling those lows that come with the seminary experience. As I was going through those lows that happen from time to time, my thoughts turned to the Eucharist, and how I could always count on that to help strengthen me spiritually to be in seminary.

How did it strengthen me as I worked through all the changes that come with being in seminary, though? Well, to be frank, I didn’t really know how the Eucharist strengthened me as I did this work. I just knew that after attending the Eucharist, I felt better and strengthened to do my work in the world. If you had asked me how it all worked, I probably would have said, “it’s a mystery to me”. I knew that Christ is present in the Eucharist, but if you were to press me for more details, I wouldn’t have been able to give them to you.

The presence of Christ in the Eucharist is very much a mystery, and theologians have been spilling ink on it since the early days of the Church. I imagine that they will continue to do so until that day that Christ appears on earth once again. However, until that day where we will meet Jesus Christ face to face, we can and will meet him in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. This presence is a mystery, but in this case, a little mystery isn’t a bad thing. When we lean into the mystery of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist, whenever we receive Him in the Bread and the Wine, our relationship with the Holy and Undivided Trinity is strengthened, and we are strengthened to go forth into the world to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love our neighbour as we have first been loved by God.

The next time you approach the altar to receive the Body and Blood of Christ, may you be renewed by Christ’s presence in the Eucharist, and may your soul be fed so that you can live a life that reveals the Father’s love to the broken world around us.


  • Fr. Matt Koovisk

    Fr. Matt Koovisk is the Editor of the Mustard Seed. He served the Diocese from 2017-2024 as the Rector of St. Mary's, Virden; St. Mark's, Elkhorn; St. John's, Reston; and Christ Church, Melita. He also served as the Secretary of Synod during that time.

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