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Corporal Feast

fronleichnam1 Those who don’t participate in this “Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ” a.k.a. Corpus Christi, the highest version of this quasi vampiric-cannibalic eucharist ritual (a feast which also costs lots of birch trees to decorate the streets for the carnival procession) can either enjoy the holiday today or be annoyed by living in the wrong state or country…

According to old (but of course still valid and confirmed) Roman-Catholic church doctrine, this thin piece of cracker and the wine really turn into the body and blood of the human third of their god (which they call transubstantiation) instead of referring to them only symbolically. More exactly, it’s the “substance” that changes – everything one can see, measure, feel, and taste remains the same; well, these apologists always have some excuses ready.

Jesus’ call for this strange ritual reads somewhat like this (Joh 6):

51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. […] 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

Leaving, of course, the question of how literally he may have meant that, how correct the tradition is, how much following centuries have read into it – since this, too, is a field in which church leaders have been showing much fantasy throughout history – and why this obvious absurdity of transubstantiation was invented in the first place.

And I’m wondering who actually believes it – that is, I’m asking the (Catholic) Christians among my readers: do you believe in this actual substantial change?