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also known as
"The Eucharist" or
"The Lord's Supper"


Words of Institution
Real Presence
Sacramental union

Theologies contrasted
Eucharist (Catholic Church)
Anglican Eucharistic theology

Important theologians
Paul ·Aquinas
Augustine · Calvin
Chrysostom · Luther

Related Articles
Christianity and alcohol
Catholic Historic Roots
Closed and Open Table
Divine Liturgy
Eucharistic adoration
Eucharistic discipline
First Communion
Infant Communion
Mass · Sacrament

The Eucharist, also called Holy Communion or The Lord's Supper and other names, is a Christian sacrament considered by many to be, by consecrating bread and wine, a commemoration of the Last Supper, the final meal that Jesus Christ shared with his disciples before his arrest, and eventual crucifixion, when he gave them bread saying, "This is my body", and wine saying, "This is my blood."[1][2]. In the traditional Catholic viewpoint, though, the Sacrifice of Calvary is said to be renewed on the altar as an unbloody sacrifice at the Holy Mass (of which the bread and wine are an integral part)[3]. Thus, it is considered a propitiatory sacrifice which is offered for the living and dead, for the remission of sins and punishment due to sin, as satisfaction for sin and for other necessities.[4]

There are different interpretations of the significance of the Eucharist, but "there is more of a consensus among Christians about the meaning of the Eucharist than would appear from the confessional debates over the sacramental presence, the effects of the Eucharist, and the proper auspices under which it may be celebrated."[5]

The phrase "the Eucharist" may refer not only to the rite but also to the bread and wine used in the rite,[6] and, in this sense, communicants may speak of "receiving the Eucharist", as well as "celebrating the Eucharist".

[edit] Etymology

The Greek noun eukharistia (εὐχαριστία) derives from eu- "well" + kharis "favor, grace". Eukharisteo (εὐχαριστῶ) is the usual verb for "to thank" in the Septuagint and New Testament.

[edit] History

[edit] Bible

The Last Supper in Milan (1498), by Leonardo da Vinci.

The Last Supper appears in all three Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke; and in the First Epistle to the Corinthians,[5][7][8] while the last-named of these also indicates something of how early Christians celebrated what Paul the Apostle called the Lord's Supper.

[edit] Paul the Apostle and the Lord's Supper

The epistles of Paul the Apostle (d. 64-67) are the earliest documents in the New Testament. He recalled for the Corinthians the Last Supper to indicate how they should celebrate the Lord's Supper.

In his First Epistle to the Corinthians (c 54-55), Paul the Apostle gives the earliest recorded description of Jesus' Last Supper: "The Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, 'This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me'." [9]

[edit] Gospels

The synoptic gospels, first Mark,[10] and then Matthew[11] and Luke,[12] depict Jesus as presiding over the Last Supper. References to Jesus' body and blood foreshadow his crucifixion, and he identifies them as a new covenant.[13] In the gospel of John, the account of the Last Supper has no mention of Jesus taking bread and wine and speaking of them as his body and blood; instead it recounts his humble act of washing the disciples' feet, the prophecy of the betrayal, which set in motion the events that would lead to the cross, and his long discourse in response to some questions posed by his followers, in which he went on to speak of the importance of the unity of the disciples with him and each other.[13][14]

[edit] Early Christian sources

The Didache (Greek: teaching) is an early Church order, including, among other features, instructions for Baptism and the Eucharist. Most scholars date it to the early 2nd century.[15] Two separate Eucharistic traditions appear in the Didache, the earlier tradition in chapter 10 and the later one preceding it in chapter 9.[16][17] The Eucharist is mentioned again in chapter 14.[18]

Ignatius of Antioch, one of the Apostolic Fathers and a direct disciple of the Apostle John, mentions the Eucharist as "the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ",[19] and Justin Martyr speaks of it as more than a meal: "the food over which the prayer of thanksgiving, the word received from Christ, has been said ... is the flesh and blood of this Jesus who became flesh ... and the deacons carry some to those who are absent."[20]

[edit] Christian theology

Many Christian denominations classify the Eucharist as a sacrament.[21] Some Protestants prefer to call it an ordinance, viewing it not as a specific channel of divine grace but as an expression of faith and of obedience to Christ.

Most Christians, even those who deny that there is any real change in the bread or wafer and wine or juice used, recognize a special presence of Christ in this rite, though they differ about exactly how, where, and when Christ is present.[22]

The Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry document of the World Council of Churches, attempting to present the common understanding of the Eucharist on the part of the generality of Christians, describes it as "essentially the sacrament of the gift which God makes to us in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit", "Thanksgiving to the Father", "Anamnesis or Memorial of Christ", "the sacrament of the unique sacrifice of Christ, who ever lives to make intercession for us", "the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, the sacrament of his real presence", "Invocation of the Spirit", "Communion of the Faithful", and "Meal of the Kingdom".

[edit] Catholic Church

Pope Benedict XVI celebrates the Eucharist at the canonization of Frei Galvão in São Paulo, Brazil on 11 May 2007

In the teaching of the Catholic Church, the Eucharist is one of the seven sacraments. The Eucharist is believed to not only commemorates the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ, but to also make them truly present. The priest and victim of the sacrifice are considered the one and the same (Christ) and the only difference is that the Eucharist is offered in an unbloody manner.[23] The institution of the Eucharist is one of the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary.

The only ministers authorized to celebrate the Eucharist and consecrate the sacrament are ordained priests (either bishops or presbyter)s acting in the person of Christ (in persona Christi). In other words the priest celebrant represents Christ, who is the Head of the Church, and acts before God the Father in the name of the Church. The matter used must be wheaten bread and grape wine; this is considered essential for validity.[24]

At a celebration of the Eucharist at Lourdes, the chalice is shown to the people immediately after the consecration of the wine.

According to the Catholic Church, when the bread and wine are consecrated in the Eucharist, they cease to be bread and wine and become the body and blood of Christ: although the empirical appearances are not changed, the reality is changed by the power of the Holy Spirit who has been called down upon the bread and wine. The consecration of the bread (known as the host) and wine represents the separation of Jesus' body from his blood at Calvary. However, since he has risen, the Church teaches that his body and blood can no longer be truly separated. Where one is, the other must be. Therefore, although the priest (or other minister) says "The body of Christ" when administering the host, and "The blood of Christ" when presenting the chalice, the communicant who receives either one receives Christ, whole and entire.[25]

The mysterious[26] change of the reality of the bread and wine began to be called "transubstantiation" in the eleventh century. It seems that the first text in which the term appears is of Gilbert of Savardin, Archbishop of Tours, in a sermon from 1079 (Patrologia Latina CLXXI 776). The term first appeared in a papal document in the letter Cum Marthae circa to a certain John, Archbishop of Lyon, 29 November 1202,[27] then in the Fourth Lateran Council (1215)[28] and afterward in the book "Iam dudum" sent to the Armenians in the year 1341.[29] An explanation utilizing Aristotle's hylomorphic theory of reality did not appear until the thirteenth century, with Alexander of Hales (died 1245).

Catholics may receive Holy Communion outside of Mass, but then it is normally given only as the host. The consecrated hosts are kept in a tabernacle after the celebration of the Mass and brought to the sick or dying during the week. Occasionally, the Eucharist is exposed in a monstrance, so that it may be the focus of prayer and adoration.[30]

[edit] Eastern Orthodoxy

The Eucharist is at the center of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Orthodox Christians affirm the Real Presence in the Sacred Mysteries (consecrated bread and wine) which they believe to be the actual Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The Eucharist is normally received in the context of the Divine Liturgy. The bread and wine are believed to become the genuine Body and Blood of the Christ Jesus through the operation of the Holy Spirit. The Eastern Orthodox Church has never described exactly how this occurs, or gone into the detail that the Roman Catholic Church has with the doctrine of transubstantiation. This doctrine was formulated after the Great Schism took place, and the Eastern Orthodox churches have never formally affirmed or denied it, preferring to state simply that it is a "Mystery",[31] while at the same time using, as in the 1672 Synod of Jerusalem, language that might look similar as to one that is used by the Roman Catholic Church.[32]

Communion is given only to baptized, chrismated Orthodox Christians who have prepared by fasting, prayer, and confession (different rules apply for children, elderly, sick, pregnant, etc. and are determined on case-by-case basis by parish priests). The priest administers the Gifts with a spoon directly into the recipient's mouth from the chalice.[33] From baptism young infants and children are carried to the chalice to receive Holy Communion.[34]

The holy gifts reserved for the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts or communion of the sick are specially consecrated as needed, especially on Holy Thursday. They are kept in an elaborately decorated tabernacle, a container on the altar often in the shape of a church. Generally, Eastern Christians do not adore the consecrated bread outside the Liturgy itself. After the Eucharist has been given to the congregation, the priest or the deacon has to eat and drink everything that is left.

[edit] Anglicans/Episcopalians

The historical position of the Anglican Communion is found in the Thirty-Nine Articles of 1571, which state "the Bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of Christ"; and likewise that "the Cup of Blessing is a partaking of the Blood of Christ" (Articles of Religion, Article XXVIII: Of the Lord's Supper) and that "Transubstantiation is repugnant to Holy Writ". The fact that the terms "Bread" and "Wine" and the corresponding words "Body" and "Blood" are all capitalized may reflect the wide range of theological beliefs regarding the Eucharist among Anglicans. However, the Articles also state that adoration, or worship per se, of the consecrated elements was not commanded by Christ. It also stated that those who receive unworthily do not actually receive Christ but rather their own condemnation.

Anglicans generally and officially believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, but the specifics of that belief range from transubstantiation, sometimes with Eucharistic adoration (mainly Anglo-Catholics), to something akin to a belief in a "pneumatic" presence, which may or may not be tied to the Eucharistic elements themselves (almost always "Low Church" or Evangelical Anglicans). The normal range of Anglican belief ranges from Objective Reality to Pious Silence, depending on the individual Anglican's theology. There are also small minorities on the one hand who affirm transubstantiation, or on the other hand, reject the doctrine of the Real Presence altogether. The classic Anglican aphorism with regard to this debate is found in a poem by John Donne (sometimes attributed to Elizabeth I):

He was the Word that spake it;
He took the bread and brake it;
and what that Word did make it;
I do believe and take it.[35]

Anglican belief in the Eucharistic Sacrifice ("Sacrifice of the Mass") is set forth in the response Saepius officio of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to Pope Leo XIII's Papal Encyclical Apostolicae curae. Anglicans and Roman Catholics declared that they had "substantial agreement on the doctrine of the Eucharist" in the Windsor Statement on Eucharistic Doctrine from the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Consultation and the Elucidation of the ARCIC Windsor Statement.

Luther's Seal
 Lutheranism portal


[edit] Manner of the Real Presence

Lutherans believe that the Body and Blood of Christ are "truly and substantially present in, with and under the forms" of the consecrated bread and wine (the elements), so that communicants eat and drink both the elements and the true Body and Blood of Christ Himself (cf. Augsburg Confession, Article 10) in the Sacrament of Holy Communion whether they are believers or unbelievers ("manducatio indignorum": "eating of the unworthy"). The Lutheran doctrine of the Real Presence is formally known as "the sacramental union." This theology was first formally and publicly confessed in the Wittenberg Concord. It has been called "consubstantiation" by some, but this term is rejected by some Lutheran Churches and theologians as it creates confusion with an earlier doctrine of the same name. Lutherans sometimes use the terms "in, with and under the forms of [consecrated] bread and wine" and "sacramental union" to distinguish their understanding of the Lord's Supper from those of the Reformed and other traditions.

[edit] Use of the sacrament

For Lutherans, there is no sacrament unless the elements are used according to Christ's mandate and institution (consecration, distribution, and reception). This was first formulated in the Wittenberg Concord of 1536 in the formula: Nihil habet rationem sacramenti extra usum a Christo institutum ("Nothing has the character of a sacrament apart from the use instituted by Christ"). As a consequence of their belief in this principle, some Lutherans have opposed in the Christian Church the reservation of the consecrated elements, private masses, the practice of Corpus Christi, and the belief that the presence of Christ's body and blood continue in the "reliquæ" (what remains of the consecrated elements after all have communed in the worship service). This interpretation is not universal among Lutherans. The consecrated elements are treated with respect, and in some areas are reserved as in Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Anglican practice, but Eucharistic adoration is not typically practiced. To remove any scruple of doubt or superstition the reliquæ traditionally are either consumed or poured into the earth. In some Lutheran congregations a small amount or the reliquæ may be kept for delivery to those too ill or infirm to attend the service (private communion). In this case, the consecrated elements are to be delivered quickly, preserving the connection between the communion experienced by the ill person, and the communion of the rest of the congregation. In other Lutheran congregations the administration of private communion of the sick and "shut-in" (those too feeble to attend service) involves a completely separate service of Holy Communion for which sacramental elements are consecrated by the administrant.

[edit] Close(d) or Open Communion

More liberal Lutheran Churches tend to practice open communion, inviting all who are baptized to participate. Conservative Lutheran Churches such as the Confessional Lutherans are more likely to practice closed communion (or "close communion"), restricting participation to those, who are more or less in doctrinal agreement with them. This might involve the formal declaration of "altar and pulpit fellowship," another term for Eucharistic sharing coupled with the acceptance of the ministrations of one another's clergy.

[edit] The term "Eucharist"

While the word "Eucharist" does appear in early Lutheran teachings, some Lutherans object to it because it emphasizes human response (thanksgiving) rather than the traditional Lutheran theological emphasis on God's grace and activity in the sacrament.[36] They note that this point -- the distinction between the human act of thanksgiving and God's activity in the sacrament -- is clearly presented in Article XXIV.66 of the Apology of the Augsburg Confession which reads in part, "But they openly testify that they are speaking of thanksgiving. Accordingly they call it a eucharist."

On the other hand, the term "Eucharist", which comes from the Greek word "εὐχαριστήσας" in the Words of Institution (cf. 1 Cor. 11:24; Mt. 26:27; Mk. 14:23; Lk. 22:19), appears in catechisms of conservative Lutheran Churches.[37] In the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, which distinguishes "eucharistic sacrifice" from "propitiatory sacrifice" (Article XXIV.19)[38], Lutherans declare that speaking of the Lord's Supper as Eucharist denies that it is a propitiatory sacrifice that the church offers to God to earn the forgiveness of sins:

... piety looks at what is given and at what is forgiven; it compares the greatness of God's blessings and the greatness of our ills, our sin and our death; and it give thanks. From this the term "eucharist" arose in the church. The ceremony is not a thanksgiving that can be transferred to others ex opere operato [by the deed done] to merit the forgiveness of sins for them or to free the souls of the dead. The theory that a ceremony can benefit either the worshiper or anyone else without faith conflicts with the righteousness of faith.[39]

[edit] Methodism

Methodists understand the eucharist to be an experience of God's grace. God's unconditional love makes the table of God's grace accessible to all.

According to the Articles of Religion in the Book of Discipline of the Methodist Church,

A United Methodist Elder presides at the Eucharist, assisted by a Deacon.
The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death; in so much that, to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break is a partaking of the body of Christ; and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ.

Transubstantiation, or the change of the substance of bread and wine in the Supper of our Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ, but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.

The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper, only after a heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is faith.

The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshiped.[40]

There are various acceptable modes of receiving the Eucharist for Methodists. Some Methodists kneel at the altar, sometimes referred to as the communion table. In other churches, communicants stand or are served in the pew. Most Methodist Churches use unfermented grape juice instead of alcoholic wine (though there is no official restriction for United Methodists), and either leavened yeast bread or unleavened bread. The wine may be distributed in small cups, but the use of a common cup and the practice of communion by intinction (where the bread is dipped into the common cup and both elements are consumed together) is becoming more common among many Methodists.[41]

The United Methodist Church believes in the real presence of Jesus Christ in Holy Communion:[41]

Jesus Christ, who "is the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being" (Hebrews 1:3), is truly present in Holy Communion. Through Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit, God meets us at the Table. God, who has given the sacraments to the church, acts in and through Holy Communion. Christ is present through the community gathered in Jesus' name (Matthew 18:20), through the Word proclaimed and enacted, and through the elements of bread and wine shared (1 Corinthians 11:23–26). The divine presence is a living reality and can be experienced by participants; it is not a remembrance of the Last Supper and the Crucifixion only.[41]

The followers of John Wesley, himself an Anglican clergyman, have typically affirmed that the sacrament of Holy Communion is an instrumental Means of Grace through which the real presence of Christ is communicated to the believer,[42] but have otherwise allowed the details to remain a mystery.[41] In particular, Methodists reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation (see "Article XVIII" of the Articles of Religion, Means of Grace). In 2004, the United Methodist Church reaffirmed its view of the sacrament and its belief in the Real Presence in an official document entitled This Holy Mystery. Of particular note here is the Church's unequivocal recognition of the anamnesis as more than just a memorial but, rather, a re-presentation of Christ Jesus:

Holy Communion is remembrance, commemoration, and memorial, but this remembrance is much more than simply intellectual recalling. "Do this in remembrance of me" (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24-25) is anamnesis (the biblical Greek word). This dynamic action becomes re-presentation of past gracious acts of God in the present, so powerfully as to make them truly present now. Christ is risen and is alive here and now, not just remembered for what was done in the past.

This affirmation of Real Presence can be seen clearly illustrated in the language of the United Methodist Eucharistic Liturgy (for example: Word and Table 1) where, in the epiclesis of the Great Thanksgiving, the celebrating minister prays over the elements:

A United Methodist Elder consecrates the elements
Pour out your Holy Spirit on us gathered here, and on these gifts of bread and wine. Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood.

For most United Methodists — and, indeed, for much of Methodism as a whole — this reflects the furthest extent to which they are willing to go in defining Real Presence. They will assert that Jesus is really present, and that the means of this presence is a "Holy Mystery"; the celebrating minister will pray for the Holy Spirit to make the elements "be the body and blood of Christ", and the congregation will even sing, as in the third stanza of Charles Wesley's hymn Come Sinners to the Gospel Feast:

Come and partake the gospel feast,
Be saved from sin, in Jesus rest;
O taste the goodness of our God,
and eat his flesh and drink his blood.[43]

Methodists believe that Holy Communion should not only be available to the clergy in both forms (the Bread and the Cup), but to the layman as well. According to Article XIX of the Articles of Religion in the Book of Discipline of the Methodist Church,

The cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the lay people; for both the parts of the Lord's Supper, by Christ's ordinance and commandment, ought to be administered to all Christians alike.[44]

[edit] Calvinist/Reformed

Communion service in the Three-kings Church, Frankfurt am Main.

Many Reformed Christians hold that Christ's body and blood are not actually present in the Eucharist. The elements are only symbols of the reality, which is spiritual nourishment in Christ. According to John Calvin,

The sum is, that the flesh and blood of Christ feed our souls just as bread and wine maintain and support our corporeal life. For there would be no aptitude in the sign, did not our souls find their nourishment in Christ. [...] I hold...that the sacred mystery of the Supper consists of two things—the corporeal signs, which, presented to the eye, represent invisible things in a manner adapted to our weak capacity, and the spiritual truth, which is at once figured and exhibited by the signs.[45]

Following a phrase of Augustine, the Calvinist view is that "no one bears away from this Sacrament more than is gathered with the vessel of faith." "The flesh and blood of Christ are no less truly given to the unworthy than to God's elect believers", Calvin said. Faith, not a mere mental apprehension, and the work of the Holy Spirit, are necessary for the partaker to behold God incarnate, and in the same sense touch Christ with their hands; so that by eating and drinking of bread and wine Christ's actual presence penetrates to the heart of the believer more nearly than food swallowed with the mouth can enter in.[45] The 'experience' of Eucharist, or the Lord's Supper, has traditionally been spoken of in the following way: the faithful believers are 'lifted up' by the power of the Holy Spirit to feast with Christ in heaven. The Lord's Supper in this way is truly a 'Spiritual' experience as the Holy Spirit is directly involved in the action of 'eucharist'.

The Calvinist/Reformed view also places great emphasis on the action of the community as the Body of Christ. As the faith community participates in the action of celebrating the Lord's Supper they are 'transformed' into the Body of Christ, or 'reformed' into the Body of Christ each time they participate in this sacrament. In this sense it has been said that the term "transubstantiation" can be applied to the Faith Community (the Church) itself being transformed into the real Body and Blood of Christ truly present in the world.

Although Calvin rejected adoration of the Eucharistic bread and wine as "idolatry" later Reformed Christians have argued otherwise. Leftover elements may be disposed of without ceremony (or reused in later services); they are unchanged, and as such the meal directs attention toward Christ's bodily resurrection and return.[45]

Christians in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and some Christians in the United Church of Christ would reverently endorse this view.

[edit] Latter Day Saint movement

Among Latter Day Saints (or Mormons), the Eucharist (in LDS theology it is "The Sacrament") is partaken in remembrance of the blood and body of Jesus Christ. It is viewed as a renewal of the covenant made at baptism, which is to take upon oneself the name of Jesus. As such, it is considered efficacious only for baptized members in good standing. However, the unbaptized are not forbidden from communion, and it is traditional for children not yet baptized (baptism occurs only after the age of eight) to participate in communion in anticipation of baptism. Those who partake of the Sacrament promise always to remember Jesus and keep his commandments. The prayer also asks God the Father that each individual will be blest with the Spirit of Christ.[46]

The Sacrament is offered weekly and all active members are taught to prepare to partake of each opportunity. It is considered to be a weekly renewal of a member's commitment to follow Jesus Christ, and a plea for forgiveness of sins.

The Latter Day Saints do not believe in any kind of literal presence. They view the bread and water as symbolic of the body and blood of Christ. Currently The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints uses water instead of wine. Early in their history the Sacrament wine was often purchased from enemies of the church. To remove any opportunity for poisoned or unfit wine for use in the Sacrament, it is believed a revelation from the Lord was given that stated "it mattereth not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink when ye partake of the sacrament, if it so be that ye do it with an eye single to my glory — remembering unto the Father my body which was laid down for you, and my blood which was shed for the remission of your sins."[47] After this time water became the liquid of choice for all Sacrament uses, although in situations where clean water and/or fresh bread is unavailable the closest equivalent may be used.

[edit] Zwinglian Reformed

Some Protestant groups regard the Eucharist (also called the Lord's Supper or the Lord's Table) as a symbolic meal, a memorial of the Last Supper and the Passion in which nothing miraculous occurs. This view is known as the Zwinglian view, after Huldrych Zwingli, a Church leader in Zurich, Switzerland during the Reformation. It is commonly associated with the United Church of Christ, Baptists, the Disciples of Christ and the Mennonites. As with the Reformed view, elements left over from the service may be discarded without any formal ceremony, or if feasible may be retained for use in future services.

Some of the Reformed hold that Calvin actually held this view, and not the "spiritual feeding" idea more commonly attributed to him; or that the two views are really the same.

The successor of Zwingli in Zurich, Heinrich Bullinger, came to an agreement theologically with John Calvin. The Consensus Tigurinus lays out an explanation of the doctrine of the Sacraments in general, and specifically, that of Holy Communion, as the view embraced by John Calvin and leaders of the Church of Zurich who followed Zwingli. It demonstrates that at least the successors of Zwingli held to the real spiritual presence view most commonly attributed to Calvin and Reformed Protestantism.

Some Christian denominations that hold this view include the United Church of Christ, the Baptist Church, the Disciples of Christ, and the Mennonites. The Plymouth Brethren hold the Lord's Supper, or the Breaking of Bread, instituted in the upper room on Christ's betrayal night, to be the weekly remembrance feast enjoyed on all true Christians. They celebrate the supper in utmost simplicity. Among "closed" Brethren assemblies usually any one of the brothers gives thanks for the loaf and the cup. In conservative "open" Brethren assemblies usually two different brothers give thanks, one for the loaf and the other for the cup. In liberal "open" Brethren assemblies (or churches/community chapels, etc.) sisters also participate with audible prayer.

[edit] Branch Davidian Seventh Day Adventists

Among the various churches who consider themselves "Protestants," the Branch Davidian Seventh day Adventists (a.k.a., "The Branch") (not David Koresh's aberrant faction) are distinct from most all other Christian churches in their understanding of what has come to be called the "Eucharist," Communion," and/or the "Lord's Supper," basing their belief on the Bible only, and rejecting all later traditions that deviate from that[48]. They point out that

1) only the verb form, eucharisteo ("gave thanks") is in the Bible, and never a noun form, "eucharist." Thus they see in it an action and not a thing;

2) that it is written that at the Last Supper when Jesus "gave thanks" while holding the bread or wine, He also blessed, (Greek - eulogeo– "to speak well of")[49], and that in doing so He was not only blessing (speaking well of) the Lord in accordance with the common Jewish tradition[50], and the commandment in Deuteronomy 8:10 "When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee," and was not blessing the articles of food, but was also expanding said common blessing to include a rememberancer that He was the provider of their sustance, and of His sufferings and return in glory[51];

3) that in the only place where the term "the Lord's Supper" occurs in most English Bibles (1 Corinthians 11:20), the Greek texts do not contain the article "the," and thus the text should read "a supper of the Lord." Therefore, they see that in that chapter the apostle Paul was commenting on the unChristian character some were bringing into their common Love Feast Agape (a supper of the Lord), their daily breaking of bread[52], by reminding them of the origin and purpose of their fellowship meal[53]. and was not speaking of any sort of priestly ritual, nor of any change in the nature of the bread or wine;

4) that when Paul was admonishing the Corinthians to examine themselves before partaking of their communal feast so they wouldn't be in danger of "not discerning" the Lord’s body"[54] he was referring to the "body," the brotherhood, of the church, which he elsewhere defined as being the Lord's "body" [55] and "bread"[56], and not at all to the memorial bread itself, as many have been given to believe; and,

5) that at no time did Jesus "bless" either the bread or the wine or any other articles of food, nor did He ever pray over such in order to consecrate them. In support of this, they point to the fact that in the places where Jesus is said to have taken the bread and "blessed it," the word "it" is not in the Greek texts, but is inserted in some places in italics at the whims of the translators in order to give validity to their customs. Thus they conclude that Jesus was not blessing any thing, but instead, was pronouncing a blessing (speaking well of), was giving "thanks" to the Lord in accordance with the common Jewish tradition; and

6) that the Bible uses the word "communion"[57] only in the sense of "fellowship," and not as a liturgical performance or a thing to take or receive.

In their multi-part study, The Lord's Supper, from the Table to the Altar, and Back[58], they cite numerous church histories and commentaries, Protestant, Catholic, and others, that admit that what became known as the Eucharist, or "the Lord's Supper," was originally held with the Love Feast Agape, or was actually the feast itself[59][60]

They also cite church histories which show that the priestly/sacrificial character was interjected into the simple custom towards the end of the 1st century through the influence of some Gentile church leaders blending heathen "mysteries" with the teachings and practices of the church[61], and through some Jewish church leaders attempting to maintain a semblance of the hierarchy of the Jewish priesthood.Thus, they see that it was through those influences that the simple act of giving thanks (eucharista) at their daily breaking of bread[62] was considered to be a priestly/sacrificial act with the emphasis upon the person performing the act, and his purported authority to consecrate the bread and wine in earthly sanctuaries, rather than on Christ's own work in the heavenly sanctuary and the Holy Spirit's power to consecrate the believers.

[edit] Summary of views

Because Jesus Christ is a person, theologies regarding the Eucharist involve consideration of the way in which the communicant's personal relationship with God is fed through this mystical meal. However, debates over Eucharistic theology in the West have centered not on the personal aspects of Christ's presence but on the metaphysical. The opposing views are summarized below.

  • "Transubstantiation" — the substance (fundamental reality) of the bread and wine is transformed in a way beyond human comprehension into that of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ, but the accidents (physical traits, including chemical properties) of the bread and wine remain. This view is taught by the Roman Catholic Church, by the Eastern Orthodox Synod of Jerusalem, and is held by many Anglicans especially in Anglo-Catholic circles. The Assyrian Church of the East and the Oriental Orthodox Church also believe in Real Presence, but do not explicitly use the word "transubstantiation".
  • "Consubstantiation" or "Impanation"— "the bread retains its substance and ... Christ’s glorified body comes down into the bread through the consecration and is found there together with the natural substance of the bread, without quantity but whole and complete in every part of the sacramental bread." It was the position of the medieval scholastic doctor Duns Scotus[63] It is erroneously used to denote the position of the Lutheran Church, although some Lutherans, Anglicans and non-Lutherans identify with this position.
  • "Sacramental union" — in the "use" of the sacrament, according to the words of Jesus Christ and by the power of his speaking of them once for all, the consecrated bread is united with his body and the consecrated wine with his blood for all communicants, whether believing or unbelieving, to eat and drink. This is the position of the Lutheran Church that echoes the next view with its "pious silence about technicalities" in that it objects to philosophical terms like "consubstantiation."
  • "Objective reality, but pious silence about technicalities" — the view of all the ancient Churches of the East, including the Eastern Orthodox, the Oriental Orthodox, the Eastern Catholic Churches) and the Assyrian Church of the East as well as perhaps most Anglicans and Lutherans. These, while agreeing with the Roman Catholic belief that the sacrament is not merely bread and wine but truly the body and blood of Christ, and having historically employed the "substance" and "accidents" terminology to explain what is changed in the transformation,[64] usually avoid this terminology, lest they seem to scrutinize the technicalities of the manner in which the transformation occurs.
  • "Real Spiritual presence", also called "pneumatic presence", holds that not only the Spirit of Christ, but also the true body and blood of Jesus Christ (hence "real"), are received by the sovereign, mysterious, and miraculous power of the Holy Spirit (hence "spiritual"), but only by those partakers who have faith. This view approaches the "pious silence" view in its unwillingness to specify how the Holy Spirit makes Christ present, but positively excludes not just symbolism but also trans- and con-substantiation. It is also known as the "mystical presence" view, and is held by most Reformed Christians, such as Presbyterians, as well as some Methodists and some Anglicans, particularly Low Church Reformed Anglicans. See Westminster Confession of Faith, ch. 29. This understanding is often called "receptionism". Some argue that this view can be seen as being suggested — though not by any means clearly — by the "invocation" of the Anglican Rite as found in the American Book of Common Prayer, 1928 and earlier and in Rite I of the American BCP of 1979 as well as in other Anglican formularies:
And we most humbly beseech thee, O merciful Father, to hear us, and of thy almighty goodness, vouchsafe to bless and sanctify, with thy Word and Holy Spirit, these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine; that we, receiving them according to thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ's holy institution, in remembrance of his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed body and blood.
  • "Symbolism" — the bread and wine are symbolic of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, and in partaking of the elements the believer commemorates the sacrificial death of Christ. This view is also known as "memorialism" and "Zwinglianism" after Ulrich Zwingli and is held by several Protestant and Latter-day Saint denominations, including most Baptists, and, in its simplest form, by Branch Davidian Seventh Day Adventists.
  • "Suspension" — the partaking of the bread and wine was not intended to be a perpetual ordinance, or was not to be taken as a religious rite or ceremony (also known as adeipnonism, meaning "no supper" or "no meal"). This is the view of Quakers and the Salvation Army, as well as the hyperdispensationalist positions of E. W. Bullinger, Cornelius R. Stam, and others.

[edit] Ritual and liturgy

[edit] Anglican

In many of the provinces and national jurisdictions of the Anglican Church, the Eucharist is designated as the principal service of the Church. The service for Holy Eucharist is found in the Book of Common Prayer for each national Church in the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Church holds the Eucharist as the highest form of worship, the Church's main service. Daily celebrations are now the case in most cathedrals and many parish churches, and there are few churches with a priest where Holy Communion is not celebrated at least once every Sunday. The nature of the ritual with which it is celebrated, however, varies according to the orientation of the individual parish, diocese or national Church.

See Book of Common Prayer and Ritualism.

[edit] Baptist

The bread and "fruit of the vine" indicated in Matthew, Mark and Luke as the elements of the Lord's Supper[65] are interpreted by Baptists as unleavened bread and, in line with their historical stance (since the mid-19th century) against partaking of alcoholic beverages, grape juice, which they commonly refer to simply as "the Cup".[66]

[edit] Eastern Christianity

Among Eastern Christians, the Eucharistic service is called the Divine Liturgy. It comprises two main divisions: the first is the Liturgy of the Catechumens which consists of introductory litanies, antiphons and scripture readings, culminating in a reading from one of the Gospels and often, a sermon; the second is the Liturgy of the Faithful in which the Eucharist is offered, consecrated, and received as Holy Communion. Within the latter, the actual Eucharistic prayer is called the anaphora, literally: "offering" or "carrying up" (ἀνα- + φέρω). In the Byzantine Rite, two different anaphoras are currently used: one is attributed to St. John Chrysostom, and the other to St. Basil the Great. Among the Oriental Orthodox, a variety of anaphoras are used, but all are similar in structure to those of the Byzantine Rite. In the Byzantine Rite, the Anaphora of St. John Chrysostom is used most days of the year; St. Basil's is offered on the Sundays of Great Lent, the eves of Christmas and Theophany, Holy Thursday, Holy Saturday, and upon his feast day (January 1). At the conclusion of the Anaphora the bread and wine are held to be the Body and Blood of Christ.

Conventionally this change in the elements is understood to occur at the Epiklesis (Greek: "invocation") by which the Holy Spirit is invoked and the consecration of the bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Christ is specifically requested, but since the anaphora as a whole is considered a unitary (albeit lengthy) prayer, no one moment within it can be readily singled out.

[edit] Jehovah's Witnesses

Jehovah's Witnesses commemorate Christ's death as a ransom or propitiatory sacrifice by observing The Lord's Evening Meal, or Memorial, each year on the evening that corresponds to the Passover, Nisan 14, according to the ancient Jewish calendar. They believe that this is the only annual religious observance commanded for Christians in the Bible (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). Of those who attend the Memorial a small minority worldwide will partake of the eating of the unleavened bread and the drinking of the wine.

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that 144,000 (Revelation 7:4,9) people will receive heavenly salvation and thus spend eternity with God in heaven, as underpriests and co-rulers under Christ. Paralleling the anointing of kings and priests, they are referred to as the "anointed" class and are the only ones who should partake of the bread and wine.

The celebration of the Memorial of Christ's Death proceeds as follows: In advance of the Memorial, Jehovah's Witnesses, in addition to their regular offer of in-home Bible studies also invite anyone that may be interested to attend this special night. The week of the Memorial is generally filled with special activity in the ministry, such as door-to-door work. A suitable hall, for example a Kingdom Hall, is prepared for the occasion.

The Memorial begins with a song and a prayer. The prayer is followed by a discourse on the importance of the evening. A table is set with red wine and unleavened bread. Jehovah's Witnesses believe the bread stands for Jesus Christ's body which he gave on behalf of mankind, and that the wine stands for his blood which redeems from sin. They do not believe in transubstantiation or consubstantiation. Hence, the wine and the bread are merely symbols (sometimes referred to as "emblems"), but they have a very deep and profound meaning for Jehovah's Witnesses. A prayer is offered and the bread is circulated among the audience. Then another prayer is offered, and the wine is circulated in the same manner. After that, the evening concludes with a final song and prayer. Only those who are anointed partake as the emblems are passed around the room to all who are present. This does not minimize the importance of the Memorial event as far as the rest in attendance are concerned. All present view this as an opportunity to show that they accept the belief that Jesus Christ is the one who sacrificed himself in behalf of redemption for all mankind, becoming the only mediator between Jehovah God and mankind (John 3:16). At the same time, it is an opportunity to publicly show thanks for that worldwide redemption.

[edit] Latter-Day Saints

In the Latter Day Saint movement (also known as Mormonism), the "Holy Sacrament of the Lord's Supper",[67] more simply referred to as the Sacrament, is held at the beginning of Sacrament meeting. The Sacrament, both bread and water, is prepared by priesthood holders prior to the beginning of the meeting. At the beginning of the Sacrament priests say individual prayers to bless the bread and water. The bread is passed first after the priests have broken slices of bread into small pieces. All in attendance are provided an opportunity to partake of the Sacrament as it is passed from row to row by priesthood holders. After all have who desire partake, the bread is returned to the priests, who then replace the bread trays and cover them, while uncovering the water held in trays. The priests then say the second prayer and the water is then passed in small individual cups, just as the bread was.

[edit] Lutheran

In the Lutheran Book of Concord, in the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, article 24, paragraph 1 it is asserted that among Lutherans in 1531 the eucharist was celebrated weekly: "In our churches Mass is celebrated every Sunday and on other festivals, when the sacrament is offered to those who wish for it after they have been examined and absolved." This was the Lutheran response to those who accused them of abolishing the eucharist. Strict adherence to this assertion varies in present day Lutheranism as does the manner of sacramental practice. Some congregations celebrate the eucharist in formal rites similar to the Roman Catholic and "high" Anglican services. Other congregations may celebrate the sacrament outside of traditional liturgical worship services, such as during in-home meetings and services. Administration of the sacrament varies between congregations. The bread can be a thin wafer, or leavened or unleavened. The wine may be administered via a common cup (the "chalice"), or through individual cups that may be either prefilled or filled from the chalice during the distribution of the sacrament. Intinction is acceptable, but rarely used. Some congregations that use wine, make grape juice available for those who are abstaining from alcohol, and some will accommodate those with an allergy to wheat or grapes.

[edit] Mennonites/Anabaptists

Traditional Mennonite churches have with footwashing and the serving of the bread and wine two parts to the Communion service. In the more modern groups, Communion is only the serving of the Lord’s Supper. In the communion meal, the members of the Mennonite churches renew their covenant with God and with each other.

[edit] Reformed/Presbyterian

In the Reformed Churches the Eucharist is variously administered. Acknowledging that the bread at the Passover celebration was almost certainly unleavened, some Churches use bread without any raising agent (whether leaven or yeast). The Presbyterian Church (USA), for instance, prescribes "bread common to the culture". The wine served might be true alcoholic red wine or grape juice, from either a chalice or from individual cups. Hearkening back to the regulative principle of worship, the Reformed tradition had long eschewed coming forward to receive communion, preferring to have the elements distributed throughout the congregation by the presbyters (elders) more in the style of a shared meal, but some Churches have reappropriated a High Church liturgy in the spirit of Philip Schaff's Mercersburg theology, which held ancient traditions of the Church in higher esteem than did much of the Reformed world. The elements may be found served separately with "consecration" for each element or together. Communion is usually open to all baptized believers, and although often it is reserved for those who are members in good standing of a Bible-believing Church, participation is left as a matter of conscience.

[edit] Roman Catholicism

See Mass (Catholic Church) for Catholic worship in the Latin Rite and Divine Liturgy for worship in the Eastern Catholic Churches.

In the Latin Church, the administration of the Eucharist to children requires that they have sufficient knowledge and careful preparation so that they understand the mystery of Christ according to their capacity and are able to receive the Body and Blood of Christ with appropriate faith and devotion.

[edit] United Methodist

United Methodists are encouraged to celebrate the Eucharist every Sunday. In the United Methodist church grape juice is often used instead of wine (though there is no official restriction on the use of wine). The elements may be distributed in various ways. Communicants may receive standing, kneeling, or while seated. Gaining more wide acceptance is the practice of receiving by intinction (receiving a piece of consecrated bread or wafer, dipping it in the blessed wine, and consuming it). United Methodists practice open communion and allow non confirmed youth and adults to receive the Eucharist.

The standard liturgies for the Eucharist (as well as other services) are found in The United Methodist Hymnal and The United Methodist Book of Worship. The standard "Service of Word and Table" is set in a fourfold movement of Entrance, Proclamation and Response, Thanksgiving and Communion, and Sending Forth. The Eucharistic Prayer, as found in the Thanksgiving and Response section, is prayed by an authorized minister as set forth in the Book of Discipline. Generally speaking, the ministry of presiding at the Eucharist is given by the church to the Elders (presybters, priests, or pastors in other traditions). The Eucharistic Prayer of the United Methodist Church takes on an ancient pattern that begins with the "Dialogue" (The Lord be with you/and also with you) and Sursum Corda (Lift up your hearts). Following is a Preface that gives thanks to the Father and ends leading into the "Sanctus et Benedictus" (Holy, holy, holy Lord...Blessed is he who comes....). Then there is a "Post-Sanctus" Prayer which praises the Father for the gift and ministry of Jesus Christ which leads into the Words of Institution (the recalling of the Last Supper). The anamnesis follows, leading into the Memorial Acclamation (Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again). The presiding minister then prays the epiclesis (pour out your Holy Spirit...) and closes with a Trinitarian doxology. The congregation joins in a final "Amen" and recites the Lord's Prayer. Different proper prefaces are provided in the Book of Worship that are appropriate for Holy Days and Seasons of the Church Year.

Variations of the Eucharistic Prayer are provided for various occasions, including communication of the sick and brief forms for occasions that call for greater brevity. Though the ritual is standardized, there is great variation amongst United Methodist churches, from typically high-church to low-church, in the enactment and style of celebration. United Methodist clergy are not required to be vested when celebrating the Eucharist, though it is most often the case that they are.

[edit] Branch Davidian Seventh Day Adventists

While most churches, to one degree or another, follow the Catholic tradition received from the Church Fathers that the one leading in the service does, by means of his (or her) words and actions, consecrate the bread and wine, The Branch holds to the position that it is the believers, themselves, the "body" of Christ, are the only things thereby consecrated, and that alone by the presence and infilling of the Holy Spirit by which they are sanctified as they continue to abide in the grace of God by living in love one for another for Christ's sake. Thus, they are the "living sacrifice"[68], and each member a "priest"[69], ministering God's love one to another.

They note that the word sacrament means "keeping of an oath of allegiance," and that said "oath" is the baptismal vows wherein one pledges to abide in Christ by allowing the Holy Spirit to abide in them, thereby producing the fruits of the Spirit[70] – love towards God and man.

Though many churches are of the opinion that purpose of the Lord's Supper (the Eucharist) is to commemorate,"by consecrating bread and wine, the Last Supper," the Branch Davidian SDAs among others[71] see a much broader meaning to the institution. That being that Christ characterized Himself as the "bread of heaven"[72], and therefore, the bread and wine serve to remind them that He is their daily bread, the sustaining nourishment of their souls, and, by the will of God, the provider of their food. Thus, they take literally the words of Ellen White, "The light shining from that Communion service in the upper chamber makes sacred the provisions for our daily life. The family board becomes as the table of the Lord, and every meal a sacrament."[73].

Although the Catholics generally preserve the extra bread that they have consecrated (even reverencing it by genuflecting before it), and many Protestant churches (including Seventh Day Adventists) destroy the leftovers they have consecrated by burning or burying the bread, and pouring out the wine, the Branch Davidian SDAs recognize no such customs, instead treating them like the leftover loaves and fishes which Jesus likewise "blessed" and "gave thanks" for[74]. That being, saving them for another meal.

[edit] Preparation

Catholic churches encourage their members to participate in Confession, called the Sacrament of Reconciliation (also known as the Sacrament of Penance, or Penance and Reconciliation), before taking communion, though the mode of such differs in the Western and Eastern traditions. Many Protestant congregations generally reserve a period of time for self examination and private, silent confession just before partaking in the Lord's Supper.

[edit] Footwashing

Seventh Day Adventists (like some other Protestant groups) participate in "footwashing"[75] as a preparation for partaking in the Lord's Supper, which they celebrate quarterly. At that time they are to individually examine themselves, and confess any sins they may have between one and another. [76]

As the Branch Davidian SDAs consider every meal to be "a supper of the Lord" they do not teach the need of having the footwashing proper before every meal. They teach that the footwashing is an antitype of the ancient sin offering of the Hebrew economy[77]. They say that as there was no sin offering ordained as a daily ritual, but only on the new moons and other Biblical feast days, or when necessary, they say that there shouldn't be a need for a formal footwashing on a daily basis. That is, in accordance with the belief in the ability of God to keep the repentant from falling into sin on a regular basis[78], they say that true believers who are abiding in Christ, by the Holy Spirit shouldn't be sinning and repenting on a daily basis.[79]

They also follow Jesus' example of giving "thanks" (eucharista) and "blessing" the Lord both before and after their meals (suppers of the Lord)[80], and in obedience of the commandement in Deuteronomy 8:10. Catholics[81] and Jews[82] also teach that thanksgiving should be said after their daily meals, though relatively few practice it.

[edit] Open and closed communion

Christian denominations differ in their understanding of whether they may receive the Eucharist with those with whom they are not in full communion. The famed apologist St. Justin Martyr (c. 150) wrote: "No one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true...." For the first several hundred years, non-members were forbidden even to be present at the sacramental ritual; visitors and catechumens (those still undergoing instruction) were dismissed halfway through the Liturgy, after the Bible readings and sermon but before the Eucharistic rite. The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, used in the Byzantine Churches, still has a formula of dismissal of catechumens (not usually followed by any action) at this point.

The ancient Churches, such as the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox exclude non-members from Communion under normal circumstances, though they may allow exceptions, e.g., for non-members in danger of death who share their faith in the reality of the Eucharist and who are unable to have access to a minister of their own religion. Many conservative Protestant communities also practice closed communion, including conservative Lutheran Churches like the Old Lutheran Church. The Landmark Baptist Churches also practices closed communion, as a symbol of exclusive membership and loyalty to the distinctive doctrines of their fellowship.

Most Protestant communities practice open communion, including some Anglican, Reformed, Evangelical, Methodist, and more-liberal Lutherans (such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Church of Sweden). Some open communion communities adhere to a symbolic or spiritual understanding of the Eucharist, so that they have no fear of sacrilege against the literal body and blood of Christ if someone receives inappropriately. Others feel that Christ calls all of his children to his table, regardless of their denominational affiliation. Many Churches that practice open communion offer it only to baptized Christians (regardless of denomination), although this requirement is typically only enforced by the recipients' honesty. Some Progressive Christian congregations offer communion to any individual who wishes to commemorate the life and teachings of Christ, regardless of religious affiliation.[83]

Though the Branch Davidian SDAs teach that only a true believer should be allowed to offer the thanksgiving and bless the Lord after Jesus' example, they also follow His example of allowing both believers and non-believers to partake in the meal, as He did with the 4000 and the 5000[84], and in His eating with "publicans and sinners"[85].

[edit] Health issues

[edit] Catholic interpretation

The Roman Catholic Church believes that the matter for the Eucharist must be wheaten bread and fermented wine from grapes: it holds that, if the gluten has been entirely removed, the result is not true wheaten bread,[86] and that grape juice that has not begun even minimally to ferment cannot be accepted as wine. It allows in certain circumstances low-gluten bread and mustum (grape juice in which fermentation has begun but has been suspended without altering the nature of the juice).[87] Besides, except for the priest, those who participate in Mass may receive Holy Communion in the form of either bread alone or wine alone.

[edit] Seventh Day Adventists and Branch Davidan SDAs

Having health reform as one of their fundamental teachings, they follow Ellen White's counsel that only unfermented wine should be used to represent the Savior's blood[88], and only unleavened bread should be used to represent His broken body[89]. While the SDAs usually use only wheaten bread, The Branch does not limit the unleavened bread to be made of wheat (rye and barley being the daily breads of the poorer class in Christ's day).

[edit] Other traditions

[edit] Alternatives to fermented wine

Many Protestant churches allow alcoholic clergy and communicants to take mustum instead of wine. In addition to, or in replacement of, wine some churches offer grape juice which has been pasteurized to stop the fermentation process the juice naturally undergoes; de-alcoholized wine from which most of the alcohol has been removed (between 0.5% and 2% remains); or water.[90]

[edit] Alternatives to wheaten bread

Many mainline Protestant churches offer communicants gluten-free alternatives to wheaten bread, usually in the form of a rice-based cracker or gluten-free bread.[91]

[edit] Controversies

Until fairly recently, members of one denomination would not, generally, partake in the observance of the sacrament with those of another one, even in ecumenical councils, due to their differing interpretations of the Biblical and historical records of it, and the importance attached by each to their own teachings and practices on the matter. This is especially true in regards to the Catholics and the Protestants. Members of different Protestant denominations, though, are more open to partaking in it with those of a similar practice.

In 2000, and again in 2007, the Vatican , through documents issued by the Congregation For The Doctrine Of The Faith, has reasserted its contention that its teaching and practice in regards to the sacrament are the true ones by saying that most other churches are not real "'Churches in the proper sense" "because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood," and because they "have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery"[92], meaning that their words and actions that result in the transubstantiation of the bread and wine are the only true embodiment of Christ's bidding. Therefore, they conclude that through a toning down of their rhetoric towards their "separated brethren," "dialogue between competent experts from different Churches," "cooperation between them in the duties for the common good of humanity which are demanded by every Christian conscience ," and "prayer in common," "all Christians will at last, in a common celebration of the Eucharist, be gathered into the one and only Church in that unity which Christ bestowed on His Church from the beginning," which "unity" "subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose."[93]

Consequently, the controversy revolves around which authority is recognized as being valid. The criteria, though, used by the various churches to determine such varies from one denomination to another. The Catholic churches rely on the Bible, Sacred Tradition and the episcopacy. Many of the Protestant and other churches say they accept the Bible only (sola scriptura), though, in practice, there is generally an incorporation of a number of traditions and interpretations (some ancient, some more modern) which, though said to be subordinate to the Bible, are causes of debate within and between their respective congregations. It all comes down to the leadership of each church exercising the authority given them by those who follow them, or take by them through other circumstances (often, political incitements).

Many of the New Testament letters (Epistles) relate that even in the presence of the Apostles there were men who were seeking the "preeminence" among the congregations, even going so far as to forbid those in their congregations from receiving the Apostles, and casting out those who would[94]. Therefore, with the death of Apostles and first disciples, the way was opened for the influx of the very type divergent doctrines and practices they had been warning the churches against[95].

[edit] Reformation's influence

During the Protestant Reformation Martin Luther stated his opposition to the Catholic practice of celebrating the Eucharist by saying, "The mass is a bad thing; God is opposed to it; it ought to be abolished; and I would that throughout the whole world it were replaced by the supper of the gospel."[96] He also, though, followed that with counsel as to how to and how not to accomplish that end[97]. During that same time, other reformers also voiced their similar theological opposition[98], though their reforms were slow in overcoming the long held traditions.

The effects of the reformed thinking have been an ongoing phenomena, even resulting in creating a major point of controversy among Roman Catholics concerning the Mass since Vatican II. That is, "A 1992 Gallup poll showed that 70% of Catholics who attend the Novus Ordo Mass [New Order of the Mass] do not believe they are receiving the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, under the appearance of bread and wine, at Holy Communion. That is to say, only 30% believe in the Real Presence."[99] [brackects added]

[edit] Names

  • "The Lord's Supper", the term used in 1 Corinthians 11:20. "The Lord's Supper" is also a common term among Lutherans, as is "The Sacrament of the Altar". Other Churches and denominations also use the term, but generally not as their basic, routine term. The use is predominant among Baptist groups, who generally avoid using the term "Communion", due to its use (though in a more limited sense) by the Roman Catholic Church.
  • "Communion" (from Latin communio, "sharing in common") or "Holy Communion",[100] used, with different meanings, by Catholics, Orthodox Christians, Anglicans, and many Protestants, including Lutherans. Catholics and Orthodox apply this term not to the Eucharistic rite as a whole, but only to the partaking of the consecrated bread and wine, and to these consecrated elements themselves. In their understanding, it is possible to participate in the celebration of the Eucharistic rite without necessarily "receiving Holy Communion" (partaking of the consecrated elements. Groups that originated in the Protestant Reformation usually apply this term instead to the whole rite. The meaning of the term "Communion" here is multivocal in that it also refers to the relationship of the participating Christians, as individuals or as Church, with God and with other Christians (see Communion (Christian)).
  • In Oriental Orthodoxy the terms "Oblation" (Syriac, Coptic and Armenian Churches) and "Consecration" (Ethiopian Church) are used. Likewise, in the Gaelic language of Ireland and Scotland the word "Aifreann", usually translated into English as "Mass", is derived from Late Latin "Offerendum", meaning "oblation", "offering".

[edit] References

  1. ^ "Encyclopaedia Britannica, s.v. Eucharist
  2. ^ Ignazio Silone, Bread and Wine (1937).
  3. ^ – Mass in the Roman Catholic Church
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Encyclopaedia Britannica, s.v. Eucharist
  6. ^ cf. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition 2000
  7. ^ Tyndale Bible Dictionary / editors, Philip W. Comfort, Walter A. Elwell, 2001 ISBN 0-8423-7089-7, article: Lord's Supper, The
  8. ^ Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church / editors, F. L. Cross & E. A. Livingstone 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3, article Eucharist
  9. ^ (1 Corinthians 11:23-25
  10. ^ And as they were eating, he took bread, and blessed (εὐλογήσας - eulogēsas), and broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Take; this is my body." And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks (εὐχαριστήσας - eucharistēsas) he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I shall not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God." Mark 14:22-25
  11. ^ Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed (εὐλογήσας - eulogēsas), and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks (εὐχαριστήσας – eucharistēsas) he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." Matthew 26:26-29
  12. ^ They prepared the passover. And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you I shall not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks (εὐχαριστήσας – eucharistēsas) he said, "Take this, and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes." And he took bread, and when he had given thanks (εὐχαριστήσας – eucharistēsas) he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." And likewise the cup after supper, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. ..." Luke 22:13-20
  13. ^ a b Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985.
  14. ^ Tyndale Bible Dictionary / editors, Philip W. Comfort, Walter A. Elwell, 2001 ISBN 0-8423-7089-7, article: "John, Gospel of
  15. ^ Bruce Metzger. The canon of the New Testament. 1997
  16. ^ "There are now two quite separate Eucharistic celebrations given in Didache 9-10, with the earlier one now put in second place." Crossan. The historical Jesus. Citing Riggs, John W. 1984
  17. ^ 9.1 Concerning the thanksgiving (tēs eucharistias) give thanks thus: 9.2 First, concerning the cup: "We give thanks to you, our Father, For the holy vine of David your servant which you have revealed to us through Jesus your servant. To you be glory for ever." 9.3 And concerning the fragment: "We give thanks to you, our Father, For the life and knowledge, which you have revealed to us through Jesus your servant." But let no one eat or drink of your Eucharist, unless they have been baptized into the name of the Lord; for concerning this also the Lord has said, "Give not that which is holy to the dogs." 10.1 After you have had your fill, give thanks thus: 10.2 We give thanks to you holy Father for your holy Name which you have made to dwell in our hearts and for the knowledge, faith and immortality which you have revealed to us through Jesus your servant. To you be glory for ever. 10.3 You Lord almighty have created everything for the sake of your Name; you have given human beings food and drink to partake with enjoyment so that they might give thanks; but to us you have given the grace of spiritual food and drink and of eternal life through Jesus your servant. 10.4 Above all we give you thanks because you are mighty. To you be glory for ever. 10.5 Remember Lord your Church, to preserve it from all evil and to make it perfect in your love. And, sanctified, gather it from the four winds into your kingdom which you have prepared for it. Because yours is the power and the glory for ever. ...
  18. ^ 14.1 But every Lord's day do ye gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. 14.2. But let no one that is at variance with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned. 14.3. For this is that which was spoken by the Lord: In every place and time offer to me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great King, saith the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations.
  19. ^ " ... (t)he eucharist is the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ, which flesh suffered for our sins, and which in His loving-kindness the Father raised up. ... Let that eucharist alone be considered valid which is under the bishop or him to whom he commits it. ... It is not lawful apart from the bishop either to baptize, or to hold a love-feast. But whatsoever he approves, that also is well-pleasing to God, that everything which you do may be secure and valid." Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 6, 8 "Give heed to keep one Eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup unto union with His blood. There is one altar, as there is one bishop, together with the presbytery and deacons, my fellow-servants; that whatsoever you do, you may do according unto God."Letter to the Philadelphians, 4
  20. ^ There is then brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands. And when he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying Amen. This word Amen answers in the Hebrew language to γένοιτο [so be it]. And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion. And this food is called among us Εὐχαριστία [the Eucharist], of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, "This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body"; and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, "This is My blood"; and gave it to them alone. Which the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done. For, that bread and a cup of water are placed with certain incantations in the mystic rites of one who is being initiated, you either know or can learn. ... And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. First Apology, 65-67]
  21. ^ For example, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglo-Catholics, Old Catholics; and cf. the presentation of the Eucharist as a sacrament in the Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry document of the World Council of Churches
  22. ^ "Most Christian traditions also teach that Jesus is present in the Eucharist in some special way, though they disagree about the mode, the locus, and the time of that presence" (Encyclopaedia Britannica Online).
  23. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1367; Council of Trent: Session XXII, chapter 2
  24. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1412; Code of Canon Law, canon 924; Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, canon 705
  25. ^ Council of Trent, Session XIII, canon 3;Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1390; Catholic Encyclopedia, Communion under Both Kinds
  26. ^ The Catholic Church holds that no explanation is possible about how the change from bread and wine to the body and blood of Christ is brought about, and limits itself to teaching what is changed: "The signs of bread and wine become, in a way surpassing understanding, the Body and Blood of Christ" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1333, emphasis added).
  27. ^ Denzinger 416
  28. ^ Denzinger 430
  29. ^ Denzinger 544
  30. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1378-1380, 1418
  31. ^ Ware pp. 283-285
  32. ^ For instance, "after the consecration of the bread and of the wine, there no longer remaineth the substance of the bread and of the wine, but the Body Itself and the Blood of the Lord, under the species and form of bread and wine; that is to say, under the accidents of the bread" (Chapter VI of Acts and Decrees of the Synod of Jerusalem).
  33. ^ Ware p. 287
  34. ^ Ware p. 279
  35. ^ Donne, John. Divine Poems — On the Sacrament, (Flesher's Edition)
  36. ^ Cf., e.g., "Lift Up Your Hearts website": "But I like 'Holy Communion'; I actually prefer it, even over the now-almost-universally familiar 'Eucharist.' Why? 'Eucharist' (Greek for "Thanksgiving") suggests, to its credit, the aspect of joy too often missing (Lord knows!) in our so-called 'celebrations' of the Supper. But it's one-directional: it spells out nicely what we do: that is, give thanks. But the term 'Holy Communion' is multi-directional: me toward God, God toward me, me toward you, you toward me. 'Holy Communion,' that is, suggests a mutuality and a relationship lacking in the term 'Eucharist.'"
  37. ^ A Short Exposition of Dr. Martin Luther's Small Catechism, (St. Louis: CPH, 1912), 141, q. 320; A Short Explanation of Dr. Martin Luther's Small Catechism: A Handbook of Christian Doctrine, (St. Louis: CPH, 1943), 193.
  38. ^ Theodore G. Tappert, ed. and trans., The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1959), 252.
  39. ^ Article XXIV.76-77 in ibid., 263
  40. ^ The United Methodist Church: The Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church — Article XVIII — Of the Lord's Supper
  41. ^ a b c d "This Holy Mystery: Part Two". The United Methodist Church GBOD. Retrieved on 2007–07–10. 
  42. ^ "This Holy Mystery: Part One". The United Methodist Church GBOD. Retrieved on 2007–07–10. 
  43. ^
  44. ^ The United Methodist Church: The Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church — Article XIX — Of Both Kinds
  45. ^ a b c Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, book 4, chapter 17, points 10-11 [1]
  46. ^ Doctrine & Covenants 20:75-79 (see also Moroni 4:3, Moroni 5:2)
  47. ^ Doctrine & Covenants 27:2
  48. ^ The Lord's Supper, from the Table to the Altar, and Back's_Supper_Meals_History_Table_Altar_Agape_Doug_Mitchell;'s_Supper_The_Daily_Worship_Tamid_Agape_Doug_Mitchell
  49. ^ Matthew 26:26, 27; Mark 14:22, 23;
  50. ^ "Eating, the Rabbis considered to be a religious act because it sustained life – both body and soul. Therefore they ruled: 'It is forbidden man to enjoy anything without pronouncing a benediction.' In eating and drinking one experienced the spiritual reality of God's Creation. This transcendental attitude towards food was especially cherished by the Jewish Essenes, the pre Christian sectaries and personal perfectionists who made preparation for every meal by self purification – by bathing and putting on clean white raiment. The historian Josephus, who was acquainted with their mode of life first hand, noted: 'They enter the dining room pure, as they would enter a sacred precinct. At the beginning and at the end of the meal, they do honor to God as the sustainer of life. Quite obviously, the grace Christians say before meals must be an adaptation of the older Jewish prayer...." The Book of Jewish Knowledge.
  51. ^ Luke 22:19, 20; Matt. 26:29; 1 Corinthians 11:26 "For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes."
  52. ^ Acts 2:42, 46
  53. ^ 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
  54. ^ 1 Corinthians 11:27-32
  55. ^ Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:12-16; 5:30; Colossians 1:18, 24
  56. ^ 1 Corinthians 10:16, 17; 12:12-25)
  57. ^ Gr. koinonia; 1Cor. 10:16; 2Cor. 6:14; 2Cor. 13:14
  58. ^ The Lord's Supper, from the Table to the Altar, and Back's_Supper_Meals_History_Table_Altar_Agape_Doug_Mitchell;'s_Supper_The_Daily_Worship_Tamid_Agape_Doug_Mitchell
  59. ^ "The view which was almost universal, and which is still by far the most common, is that from the first the Christians celebrated the Eucharist and also a common meal to which some liturgical importance was attached, and which was called, from at least the later part of the 1st cent., the 'Agape'; that the Eucharist and the Agape were at first united, but that, by reason either of abuses or of external [or internal] persecution, they were disjoined at some time in the later half of the 1st or the first quarter of the 2nd cent., though the time of the separation was not the same in all countries." Hastings, art. "Agape," p. 166. [brackets added] "St. Paul does not attack the thing itself, but only the abuse.... All knew that the Eucharist began when the community were assembled. And further, the Fathers who comment on the passage all see in it the Agape and Eucharist combined – Chrysostom, Theodoret, Augustine, Jerome..." id., p. 167 "In the Didache and Ignatius they were probably combined, and perhaps also in Bithynia quite up to the time of Pliny..." id., p. 173. "After the 4th century, social changes and the growth of ecclesiastical organization brought about the gradual disappearance of the agape." New Catholic Encyclopedia. "In the East the connection seems to have been longer maintained, but by and by the severance became universal; and though the agape continued for long to maintain itself as a social function of the church, it gradually passed out of existence or was preserved only as a feast of charity for the poor."The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, art. "Agape," p. 70.'s_Supper_Meals_History_Table_Altar_Agape_Doug_Mitchell
  60. ^ -Historical Development.
  61. ^ Says the church historian Mosheim of the state of the church around twenty years after the death of the apostle John: "The bishops augmented the number of religious rites in the Christian worship, by way of accommodation to the infirmities and prejudices both of Jews and heathen, in order to facilitate their conversion to Christianity." "For this purpose, they gave the name of mysteries to the institutions of the gospel, and decorated particularly the holy sacrament [i.e., the Lord Supper] with that solemn title. They used in that sacred institution, as also in that of baptism, several of the terms employed in the heathen mysteries, and proceeded so far at length as to adopt some of the ceremonies of which those renowned mysteries consisted. This imitation began in the Eastern provinces; but after the time of Hadrian [emperor A. D. 117-138], who first introduced the mysteries among the Latins, it was followed by the Christians who dwelt in the western part of the empire. A great part, therefore, of the service of the church in this century, had a certain air of the heathen mysteries, and resembled them considerably in many particulars."– Mosheim's Church History, cent. 2, part 2, chapter 4, par. 2, 5. [brackets added] Further regarding the influence that brought the change in the simple communal feast - "...the strongest influence of all would come from the growth of the ceremonial and sacerdotal spirit by which Christ's simple institution was slowly turned into a mysterious priestly sacrifice. To Christ Himself it seemed natural and fitting to institute the supper at the close of a social meal. But when this memorial Supper had been transformed into a repetition of the sacrifice of Calvary by the action of the ministering priest, the ascetic idea became natural that the Eucharist ought to be received fasting, and that it would be sacrilegious to link it on to the observances of an ordinary social meal." The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, art. "Agape," p. 70. [brackets added]'s_Supper_Meals_History_Table_Altar_Agape_Doug_Mitchell
  62. ^ Acts 2:42, 46
  63. ^ Bengt Hägglund, History of Theology, Gene J. Lund, trans., (St. Louis: CPH, 1968), 194
  64. ^ "after the consecration of the bread and of the wine, there no longer remaineth the substance of the bread and of the wine, but the Body Itself and the Blood of the Lord, under the species and form of bread and wine; that is to say, under the accidents of the bread" (Confession of Dositheus, Synod of Jerusalem); "the word transubstantiation is not to be taken to define the manner in which the bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of the Lord; for this none can understand but God; but only thus much is signified, that the bread truly, really, and substantially becomes the very true Body of the Lord, and the wine the very Blood of the Lord" (The Longer Catechism of the Orthodox, Catholic, Eastern Church. Augsburg Confession of Lutheran Church); the Catechism of the Eastern Orthodox Church also uses the term transubstantiation.
  65. ^ Matthew 26:26–29, Mark 14:22–25, Luke 22:19
  66. ^ See, e.g., Graves, J. R. (1928). What is It to Eat and Drink Unworthily. Baptist Sunday School Committee. OCLC 6323560. 
  67. ^ See, e.g., Roberts, B. H. (1938). Comprehensive History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Deseret News Press. OCLC 0842503005. 
  68. ^ "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Romans 12:1.
  69. ^ "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light" 1Peter 2:9; "And hath made us kings and priests." Revelation 1:6
  70. ^ But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another." Galatians 5:22-26.
  71. ^ Christ In The Daily Meal, Norman Fox (1895-8)
  72. ^ John 6:31-58
  73. ^ "The ordinances that point to our Lord's humiliation and suffering are regarded too much as a form. They were instituted for a purpose.... "The bread we eat is the purchase of his broken body. The water we drink is bought by his spilled blood. Never one, saint or sinner, eats his daily food, but he is nourished by the body and blood of Christ. The cross of Calvary is stamped on every loaf. It is reflected in every water spring. All this Christ has taught in appointing the emblems of His great sacrifice. The light shining from that Communion service in the upper chamber makes sacred the provisions for our daily life. The family board becomes as the table of the Lord, and every meal a sacrament." Desire of Ages, p. 660.
  74. ^ Matthew 15:34-37; Mark 8:1-8; Matthew 14-15-20; Mark 6:40 44;
  75. ^ John 13:3-17
  76. ^ 'The Desire of Ages, p. 645-661
  77. ^ Questions and Answers on A Supper of the Lord,Daily, Question #6's_Supper_Often_Footwashing_Q_and_A_Doug_Mitchell
  78. ^ "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy" Jude 1:24 ; "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thessalonians 5:23; "Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless." 2 Peter 3:14
  79. ^ Questions and Answers on A Supper of the Lord,Daily, Question #6's_Supper_Often_Footwashing_Q_and_A_Doug_Mitchell
  80. ^ "And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you." Luke 22:17-20.; "For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 1 Corinthians 11:23
  81. ^
  82. ^
  83. ^ In most United Church of Christ local churches, the Communion Table is "open to all Christians who wish to know the presence of Christ and to share in the community of God's people." (Book of Worship). Holy Communion: A Practice of Faith in the United Church of Christ
  84. ^ Matthew 15:32-38; 14:19-21
  85. ^ Matthew 9:10-13
  86. ^ McNamara, Father Edward (2004-09-14). "Gluten-free Hosts". ZENIT International News Agency. Retrieved on 2008-04-22. 
  87. ^ A 24 July 2003 letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith details the circumstances in which low-gluten bread and mustum are permitted.
  88. ^ "Christ did not contradict His own teaching. The unfermented wine that He provided for the wedding guests was a wholesome and refreshing drink. This is the wine that was used by our Saviour and His disciples in the first Communion. It is the wine that should always be used on the Communion table as a symbol of the Saviour's blood. The sacramental service is designed to be soul-refreshing and life-giving. There is to be connected with it nothing that could minister to evil." Ministry of Healing, p. 333.
  89. ^ "The broken bread and pure juice of the grape are to represent the broken body and spilled blood of the Son of God. ... unleavened bread is the only correct representation of the Lord's Supper. Nothing fermented is to be used. Only the pure fruit of the vine and the unleavened bread are to be used." Review and Herald, June 7, 1898
  90. ^ Compare John Howard Spahr, I Smell the Cup, Christian Century, March 12, 1974, pp. 257-259.
  91. ^ Jax Peter Lowell, The Gluten-Free Bible, p. 279.
  92. ^ Congregation For The Doctrine Of The Faith, Responses To Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects Of The Doctrine On The Church
  93. ^ Decree On Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio ii_decree_19641121_unitatis-redintegratio_en.html
  94. ^ "I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. 3 John 9, 10 see also Galatians 1:6-9, 2:4; 2 Corinthians 11:13 11:26; 2 Peter 2:1
  95. ^ Romans 16:17, 18; 1 Timothy 1:3, 4; 2 Timothy 3:1-9; 2 Timothy 4:3, 4; 1 Titus 1:10, 11
  96. ^ " Martin Luther quoted in The Great Controversy, p. 189. -Merle d'Aubigne, History of the Reformation, book 9, ch. 8
  97. ^ But let no one be torn from it by force. We must leave the matter in God's hands. His word must act, and not we. And why so? you will ask. Because I do not hold men's hearts in my hand, as the potter holds the clay. We have a right to speak: we have not the right to act. Let us preach; the rest belongs unto God. Were I to employ force, what should I gain? Grimace, formality, apings, human ordinances, and hypocrisy. . . . But there would be no sincerity of heart, nor faith, nor charity. Where these three are wanting, all is wanting, and I would not give a pear stalk for such a result. . . . God does more by His word alone than you and I and all the world by our united strength. God lays hold upon the heart; and when the heart is taken, all is won. . . . "I will preach, discuss, and write; but I will constrain none, for faith is a voluntary act. "Martin Luther quoted in The Great Controversy, p. 189. -Merle d'Aubigne, History of the Reformation, book 9, ch. 8, also – Luther on the mass
  98. ^ Symbolic Commemoration or Memorialism "Zwingli believed that Christ was present in and through the faith of the participants, but that this presence was not tied to the elements and depended completely upon the faith of the communicants. In contrast to Luther he interpreted the sacrament as a commemoration of the death of Christ, in which the church responded to grace already given, rather than a vehicle of grace." http://mb
  99. ^
  100. ^ Many, especially Anglicans, prefer the fuller term "Holy Communion" rather than just "Communion".
  101. ^ Pope Benedict XVI (2006). Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. USCCB. pp. 275. , and Catholic Church (200). Catechism of the Catholic Church. 1328–1332 (Second Edition ed.). ISBN 0–385–50819–0. 

[edit] See also

[edit] Books

  • Chemnitz, Martin. The Lord's Supper. J. A. O. Preus, trans. St. Louis: Concordia, 1979. ISBN 057003275X
  • Dix, Dom Gregory. The Shape of the Liturgy. London: Continuum International, 2005. ISBN 0826479421
  • Elert, Werner. Eucharist and Church Fellowship in the First Four Centuries. N. E. Nagel, trans. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1966. ISBN 0570042704
  • Felton, Gayle. This Holy Mystery. Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2005. ISBN 088177457X
  • Father Gabriel. Divine Intimacy. Rockford, IL: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1996 reprint ed. ISBN 0895555042
  • Grime, J. H. Close Communion and Baptists
  • Grosse, C. Les Rituels de la cène. Le Culte eucharistique réformé à Genève (XVIe-XVIIe siècles). Genève, 2008 (Travaux d’Humanisme er Renaissance, 443). ISBN 978-2-600-01187-7
  • Hahn, Scott. The Lamb's Supper — Mass as Heaven on Earth. Darton, Longman, Todd. 1999. ISBN 0232525005
  • Henke, Frederick Goodrich A Study in the Psychology of Ritualism. University of Chicago Press 1910
  • Jurgens, William A. The Faith of the Early Fathers. Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1970. ISBN 0814604323
  • Kolb, Robert and Timothy J. Wengert, eds. The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000. (ISBN 0800627407)
  • Lefebvre, Gaspar. The Saint Andrew Daily Missal. Reprint. Great Falls, MT: St. Bonaventure Publications, Inc., 1999
  • Macy, Gary. The Banquet's Wisdom: A Short History of the Theologies of the Lord's Supper. (2005, ISBN 1878009508)
  • Magni, JA The Ethnological Background of the Eucharist — Clark University. American Journal of Religious Psychology and Education, IV (No. 1–2), March, 1910.
  • McBride, Alfred, O.Praem. Celebrating the Mass. Our Sunday Visitor, 1999.
  • Neal, Gregory. Grace Upon Grace 2000. ISBN 0967907403
  • Nevin, John Williamson. The Mystical Presence: A Vindication of the Reformed or Calvinistic Doctrine of the Holy Eucharist. 1846; Wipf & Stock reprint, 2000. ISBN 1579103480.
  • Oden, Thomas C. Corrective Love: The Power of Communion Discipline. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1995. ISBN 0570048036
  • Sasse, Hermann. This Is My Body: Luther's Contention for the Real Presence in the Sacrament of the Altar. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2001. ISBN 1579107664
  • Schmemann, Alexander. The Eucharist. St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1997. ISBN 0881410187
  • Stoffer, Dale R. The Lord's Supper: Believers Church Perspectives
  • Stookey, L.H. Eucharist: Christ's Feast with the Church. Nashville: Abingdon, 1993 ISBN 0687120179
  • Tissot, The Very Rev. J. The Interior Life. 1916, pp. 347–9.
  • Wright, N. T. The Meal Jesus Gave Us
  • Christopher ( Christophorus, Christoph, Christophoro, Christophe ) Rasperger (Raspergero), Two hundred interpretations of the words: This is my Body, Ingolstadt, 1577 [2]Latin text
  • Latin title: Ducentae paucorum istorum et quidem clarissimorum Christi verborum: Hoc est Corpus meum; interpretationes, [3]
  • German title: Zweihundert Auslegungen der Worte das ist mein Leib [4]

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