A Reformed account of Eucharistic sacrifice

Stephen R. Holmes*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Christian writers have always described the Eucharist as a ‘sacrifice’, but this was ill-defined before 1500. The Tridentine Fathers offered an account of the priest somehow offering the one sacrifice of Calvary anew at the altar, which depended on transubstantiation, but later theologians have found it difficult to narrate this. I propose a eucharistic theology that draws on Calvin’s account of the pneumatological ascent of the communicant, and on David Moffitt’s account of Jesus’ sacrifice in Hebrews, to suggest a way of understanding the Supper as sacrifice that is acceptable to Reformed sensibilities, and both more coherent, and more responsible to recent ecumenical convergence, than the various post-Trent theories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-211
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Systematic Theology
Issue number2
Early online date26 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • Eucharist
  • Sacrifice
  • Reformed
  • Ascension
  • Hebrews
  • David Moffitt


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