MODERN ORTHODOX THEOLOGIANS ON TRANSUBSTANTIATION
From the popular work The Orthodox Church
by Bishop Kallistos (Timothy) Ware [emphasis added] --
"As the words of the Epiclesis make abundantly plain, the Orthodox Church believes that after the consecration the bread and wine become in very truth the Body and Blood of Christ: they are not mere symbols, but the reality. But while Orthodoxy has always insisted on the REALITY
of the change, it has never attempted to explain the MANNER
of the change: the Eucharistic Prayer in the Liturgy simply uses the nuetral term metaballo, to 'turn about', to 'change', to 'alter'."It is true that in the seventeenth century not only individual Orthodox writers, but Orthodox councils such as that of Jerusalem in 1672, made use of the Latin term 'transubstantiation' (in Greek, metousiosis), together with the Scholastic distinction between substance and accidents. But at the same time the Fathers of Jerusalem were careful to add that the use of these terms does not constitute an explanation of the manner of the change, since this is a mystery and must always remain incomprehensible.
"Yet despite this disclaimer, many Orthodox felt that Jerusalem had committed itself too unreservedly to the terminology of Latin Scholasticism, and it is significant that when in 1838 the Russian Church issued a translation of the Acts of Jerusalem, while retaining the word transubstantiation, it carefully paraphrased the rest of the passage in such a way that the technical terms substance and accidents were not employed.
"Today a few Orthodox writers still use the word transubstantiation, but they insist on two points: first, there are many other words which can with equal legitimacy be used to describe the consecration, and, among them all, the term transubstantiation enjoys no unique or decisive authority; secondly, its use does not commit theologians to the acceptance of Aristotelian philosophical concepts." (Timothy Ware, page 283-284)
From the book Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism
(1972) by the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of [London and] Aksum, Methodios Fouyas [emphasis added] --
"Roman and Orthodox teach that by the words spoken in the Holy Eucharist the species of bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ, so that although these species have the outward qualities of bread and wine, essentially they are the Body and Blood of Christ." (Fouyas, page 187, footnote refers to Cyril of Jerusalem, Cat 22; John of Damascus, De Fide Orth 4:13; John Chrysostom, Hom 82:4 in Matt as well as the Council of Trent, Session 13)
After quoting an Anglican writer who said "Orthodox theologians do not adhere to the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation..." Fouyas responds:"This is not quite accurate, because the Orthodox Church does not reject the word 'Transubstantiation,'
but it does not attach to it the materialistic meaning which is given by the Latins. The Orthodox Church uses the word 'Transubstantiation' not to define the MANNER
in which the bread and wine are changed into the Body and the Blood of the Lord, but only to insist on the FACT
that the Bread truly, really, and substantially
becomes the very Body of the Lord and the wine the very Blood of the Lord. In this sense it is interpreted by St. John of Damascus [Holy and Immaculate Mysteries, Cap 13:7]." (Fouyas, page 188-189, footnote refers also to the Orthodox Councils of Jerusalem  and of Constantinople  -- see above)
Fouyas continues and provides several words used by the Orthodox to describe the change in the elements:
"In the same manner the majority of the Orthodox theologians used, for the idea of Transubstantiation, a Greek term drawn from the teaching of the ancient Greek Fathers; the terms used include Metousiosis, Metabole, Trope, Metapoiesis
, etc, or the Slavonic Presushchestvlenie
, equivalent of the Greek Metousiosis. The Slavonic word Sushchestvo corresponds not to substantia, but to ousia (essentia)." (Fouyas, page 189)
Fouyas concludes on the word Transubstantiation:
"The difference between Orthodox and Romans is this: the latter used this word to mean the special theory according to which the change is made, but the Orthodox used it to mean the FACT of the change, according to the Patristic conception." (Fouyas, page 189)
Finally, in a slightly more wordy description, from Byzantine Theology
(1974) by the eminent Orthodox scholar and theologian, John Meyendorff --
"....in the Eucharist, man participates in the glorified humanity of Christ, which is not the 'essence of God,' but a humanity still consubstantial to man and available to him as food and drink....for later Byzantine theologians, the Eucharist is Christ's transfigured, life-giving, but still human, body, en-hypostasized in the Logos and penetrated with divine 'energies.' Characteristically, one never finds the category of 'essence' (ousia) used by Byzantine theologians in a Eucharistic context. They would consider a term like 'transubstantiation' (metousiosis) improper to designate the Eucharistic mystery
, and generally use the concept of metabole
, found in the canon of John Chrysostom, or such dynamic terms as 'trans-elementation' (metastoicheiosis) or 're-ordination' (metarrhythmisis). [Yes, many of these terms were used, including and along with Transubstantiation].
"Transubstantiation (metousiosis) appears only in the writings of the -Latinophrones- of the thirteenth century, and is nothing but a straight translation from the Latin. The first Orthodox author to use it is Gennadios Scholarios; but, in his case as well, direct Latin influence is obvious. The Eucharist is neither a symbol to be 'contemplated' from outside nor an 'essence' distinct from humanity, but Jesus Himself, the risen Lord, 'made known through the breaking of bread' (Lk 24:35); Byzantine theologians rarely speculated beyond this realistic and soteriological affirmation of the Eucharistic presence as the glorified humanity of Christ."
Meyendorff says concerning the concept of "change of substance" in the Eucharist:
"The Byzantines did not see the substance of the bread somehow changed in the Eucharistic mystery into another substance -- the Body of Christ -- but viewed this bread as the 'type' of humanity: our humanity changed into the transfigured humanity of Christ." (from Meyendorff, pages 203-205)