- the changing of one substance into another.
- Theology. the changing of the elements of the bread and wine, when they are consecrated in the Eucharist, into the body and blood of Christ (a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church).
Origin of transubstantiation
- (esp in Roman Catholic theology)
- the doctrine that the whole substance of the bread and wine changes into the substance of the body and blood of Christ when consecrated in the Eucharist
- the mystical process by which this is believed to take place during consecrationCompare consubstantiation
- a substantial change; transmutation
Word Origin and History for transubstantiation
late 14c., "change of one substance to another," from Medieval Latin trans(s)ubstantiationem (nominative trans(s)ubstantio), noun of action from trans(s)ubstantiare "to change from one substance into another," from Latin trans- "across" (see trans-) + substantiare "to substantiate," from substania "substance" (see substance). Ecclesiastical sense in reference to the Eucharist first recorded 1530s.
According to the traditional teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, the presence of Jesus in the sacrament of Communion. Through transubstantiation, the bread and wine consumed by worshipers become the body and blood of Jesus when a priest, acting on Jesus' behalf, speaks the words “This is my body” and “This is my blood” over them.