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The Eucharist ( //), also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance. It is celebrated in accordance with Jesus' instruction at the Last Supper as recorded in several books of the New Testament, that his followers do in remembrance of Him as when he gave his disciples bread, saying, "This is my body", and gave them the cup, saying, "This is my blood".
There are different interpretations of the significance of the Eucharist, but according to the Encyclopedia Britannica "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."
The word Eucharist may refer not only to the rite but also to the consecrated bread (leavened or unleavened) and wine (or unfermented grape juice in some Protestant denominations), used in the rite. In this sense, communicants may speak of "receiving the Eucharist", as well as "celebrating the Eucharist".
Names and their origin
Eucharist, from Greek εὐχαριστία (eucharistia), means "thanksgiving". The verb εὐχαριστῶ, the usual word for "to thank" in the Septuagint and the New Testament, is found in the major texts concerning the Lord's Supper, including the earliest:
For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that 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." (1 Corinthians 11:23–24)
The Lord's Supper (Κυριακὸν δεῖπνον) derives from 1 Corinthians 11:20–21.
When you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat, for as you eat, each of you goes ahead without waiting for anybody else. One remains hungry, another gets drunk.
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
Terminology for the Eucharist
- "Eucharist" (noun). The word is derived from Greek "εὐχαριστία" (transliterated as "eucharistia"), which means thankfulness, gratitude, giving of thanks. Today, "the Eucharist" is the name still used by the Eastern Orthodox, the Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Reformed/Presbyterian, United Methodists, and Lutherans. Other Protestant traditions rarely use this term, preferring either "Communion", "the Lord's Supper", or "the Breaking of Bread".
- "The Lord's Supper", the term used in 1 Corinthians 11:20. Most denominations 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. Many evangelical Anglicans will often use this term rather than "Eucharist".
- "The Breaking of Bread", a phrase that appears in the New Testament in contexts in which, according to some, it may refer to celebration of the Eucharist: Luke 24:35;Acts 2:42, 2:46, 20:7; 1 Corinthians 10:16.
- "Communion" (from Latin communio, "sharing in common") or "Holy Communion", a term that some, especially among groups that originated in the Protestant Reformation apply to the Eucharistic rite as a whole, but others only to the partaking of the consecrated bread and wine, and to these consecrated elements themselves. In this latter understanding, it is possible to participate in the celebration of the Eucharistic rite without necessarily "receiving Holy Communion". The term "Communion" is multivocal also in that it refers in addition to the relationship of the participating Christians, as individuals or as Church, with God and with other Christians (see Communion (Christian)).
- "Mass", used in the Latin Rite Roman Catholic Church, Anglo-Catholicism, the Church of Sweden, the Church of Norway and some other forms of Western Christianity. Among the many other terms used in the Roman Catholic Church are "Holy Mass", "the Memorial of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord", the "Holy Sacrifice of the Mass", and the "Holy Mysteries".
- The "Blessed Sacrament" and the "Blessed Sacrament of the Altar" are common terms used by Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Lutherans for the consecrated elements, especially when reserved in the Church tabernacle. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the term "The Sacrament" is used of the rite. "Sacrament of the Altar" is in common use also among Lutherans.
- "The Divine Liturgy" is used in Byzantine Rite traditions, whether in the Eastern Orthodox Church or among the Eastern Catholic Churches. These also speak of "the Divine Mysteries", especially in reference to the consecrated elements, which they also call "the Holy Gifts".
- Within Oriental Orthodoxy, the "Oblation" is the term used in the Syrian, Coptic and Armenian churches, while "Consecration" is used in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. "Oblation" and "Consecration" are of course used also by the Eastern Catholic Churches that are of the same liturgical tradition as these churches. 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".
- The "Divine Service" is the title for the liturgy used in Lutheran churches and is used by most conservative Lutheran churches to refer to the Eucharist.
- The many other expressions used include "Table of the Lord" (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:16), the "Lord's Body" (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:29), "Holy of Holies".
The Last Supper appears in all three Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke; and in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, while the last-named of these also indicates something of how early Christians celebrated what Paul the Apostle called the Lord's Supper. As well as the Eucharistic dialogue in John chapter 6.
Paul the Apostle and 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'." 
The synoptic gospels, first Mark, and then Matthew and Luke, 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. 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.
The expression The Lord's Supper, derived from St. Paul's usage in 1 Corinthians 11:17-34, may have originally referred to the Agape feast, the shared communal meal with which the Eucharist was originally associated. The Agape feast is mentioned in Jude 12. But The Lord's Supper is now commonly used in reference to a celebration involving no food other than the sacramental bread and wine.
Early Christian sources
The Didache (Greek: teaching) is an early Church treatise that includes instructions for Baptism and the Eucharist. Most scholars date it to the early 2nd century, and distinguish in it two separate Eucharistic traditions, the earlier tradition in chapter 10 and the later one preceding it in chapter 9. The Eucharist is mentioned again in chapter 14.
Ignatius of Antioch (ca. 35 or 50-between 98 and 117), one of the Apostolic Fathers, mentions the Eucharist as "the flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ", 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."
Many Christian denominations classify the Eucharist as a sacrament. 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 elements used, recognize a special presence of Christ in this rite. But Christians differ about exactly how, where and how long Christ is present in it. Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, and the Church of the East teach that the reality (the "substance") of the elements of bread and wine is wholly changed into the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ, while the appearances (the "species") remain. Transubstantiation is the term used by Roman Catholics to denote what is changed, not to explain how the transformation occurs, since the Catholic Church teaches that "the signs of bread and wine become, in a way surpassing understanding, the Body and Blood of Christ". Lutherans believe that the body and blood of Jesus are present "in, with and under" the forms of bread and wine, a concept known as the sacramental union. The Reformed churches, following the teachings of John Calvin, believe in an immaterial, spiritual (or "pneumatic") presence of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit and received by faith. Anglicans adhere to a range of views although the teaching on the matter in the Articles of Religion holds that the presence is real only in a heavenly and spiritual sense. Some Christians reject the concept of the real presence, believing that the Eucharist is only a memorial of the death of Christ.
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".
Ritual and liturgy
The Catholic Church teaches that when the bread and wine are consecrated in the Eucharist, they cease to be bread and wine, and become, respectively, the body and blood of Christ, each of which is accompanied by the other and by Christ's soul and divinity. The empirical appearance and physical properties are not changed, but for Catholics, the reality is. 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 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.
The Catholic Church sees as the main basis for this belief the words of Jesus himself at his Last Supper: the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20) and Saint Paul's 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 recount that in that context Jesus said of what to all appearances were bread and wine: "This is my body … this is my blood." The Roman Catholic understanding of these words, from the Patristic authors onward, has emphasized their roots in the covenantal history of the Old Testament. The interpretation of Christ's words against this Old Testament background coheres with and supports belief in the Real Presence. In 1551 the Council of Trent definitively declared: "Because Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly his body that he was offering under the species of bread, it has always been the conviction of the Church of God, and this holy Council now declares again, that by the consecration of the bread and wine there takes place a change of the whole substance of the bread into the substance of the body of Christ our Lord and of the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood. This change the holy Catholic Church has fittingly and properly called transubstantiation."  The Fourth Council of the Lateran in 1215 had spoken of "Jesus Christ, whose body and blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar under the forms of bread and wine; the bread being changed (transsubstantiatis) by divine power into the body, and the wine into the blood." The attempt by some twentieth-century Catholic theologians to present the Eucharistic change as an alteration of significance (transignification rather than transubstantiation) was rejected by Pope Paul VI in his 1965 encyclical letter Mysterium fidei In his 1968 Credo of the People of God, he reiterated that any theological explanation of the doctrine must hold to the twofold claim that, after the consecration, 1) Christ's body and blood are really present; and 2) bread and wine are really absent; and this presence and absence is real and not merely something in the mind of the believer.
On entering a church, Roman Catholics genuflect to the consecrated host in the tabernacle that holds the consecrated host, in order to acknowledge respectfully the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, a presence to which a red votive candle or sanctuary lamp kept burning close to such a tabernacle draws attention.
Among Eastern Christians, the Eucharistic service is called the Divine Liturgy (Eastern Orthodox) or similar names (Oriental Orthodox). 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 homily; 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 Rite of Constantinople, two different anaphoras are currently used: one is attributed to Saint John Chrysostom, the other to Saint Basil the Great. Among the Oriental Orthodox, a variety of anaphoras are used, but all are similar in structure to those of the Constantinopolitan Rite, in which the Anaphora of Saint John Chrysostom is used most days of the year; Saint 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 (1 January). At the conclusion of the Anaphora the bread and wine are held to be the Body and Blood of Christ. Unlike the Church of Rome, the Eastern Orthodox Church uses leavened bread, with the leaven symbolizing the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Armenian Apostolic Church, like the Roman Catholic, uses unleavened bread.
Conventionally this change in the elements is understood to be accomplished at the Epiclesis (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.
Holy Qurbana or Qurbana Qadisha, the "Holy Offering" or "Holy Sacrifice", refers to the Eucharist as celebrated according to the East Syrian and West Syrian traditions of Syriac Christianity. The main Anaphora of the East Syrian tradition is the Holy Qurbana of Addai and Mari, while that of the West Syrian tradition is the Liturgy of Saint James. Both are extremely old, going back at least to the third century, and are the oldest extant liturgies continually in use.
In most churches of the Anglican Communion, the Eucharist is celebrated every Sunday, having replaced Morning Prayer as the principal service. The rites for the Eucharist are found in the various prayer books of Anglican churches. Wine along with unleavened wafers or leavened bread are used. Daily celebrations are the norm in most cathedrals, and many parish churches offer Eucharistic services multiple times a week. Only a small minority of parishes with a priest do not celebrate the Eucharist at least once each Sunday. The nature of the ceremony, however, varies according to the orientation of the priest, parish, diocese or regional church.
The bread and "fruit of the vine" indicated in Matthew, Mark and Luke as the elements of the Lord's Supper are interpreted by many Baptists as unleavened bread (although leavened bread is often used) and, in line with the historical stance of some Baptist groups (since the mid-19th century) against partaking of alcoholic beverages, grape juice, which they commonly refer to simply as "the Cup". The unleavened bread, or matzoh, also underscores the symbolic belief attributed to Christ's breaking the matzoh and saying that it was his body. Baptists do not hold Communion, nor the elements thereof, as sacramental; rather, it is considered to be an act of remembrance of Christ's atonement, and a time of renewal of personal commitment.
Since Baptist churches are autonomous, Communion practices and frequency vary among congregations. In many churches, small cups of juice and plates of broken bread are distributed to the seated congregation by a group of deacons. In others, congregants proceed to the altar to receive the elements, then return to their seats. A widely accepted practice is for all to receive and hold the elements until everyone is served, then consume the bread and cup in unison. Usually, music is performed and Scripture is read during the receiving of the elements.
Some Baptist churches are closed-Communionists (even requiring full membership in the church before partaking), with others being partially or fully open-Communionists. It is rare to find a Baptist church where The Lord's Supper is observed every Sunday; most observe monthly or quarterly, with some holding Communion only during a designated Communion service or following a worship service.
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 the body and blood of Christ himself as well as the bread and wine in this sacrament. The Lutheran doctrine of the Real Presence is more accurately and formally known as the "sacramental union". It has been inaccurately called "consubstantiation". This term is specifically rejected by Lutheran churches and theologians since it creates confusion about the actual doctrine and subjects the doctrine to the control of an non-biblical philosophical concept in the same manner as, in their view, does the term "transubstantiation".
While an official movement exists in Lutheran congregations celebrate Eucharist weekly, using formal rites very similar to the Roman Catholic and "high" Anglican services, it was historically common for congregations to celebrate monthly or even quarterly. Even in congregations where Eucharist is offered weekly, there is not a requirement that every church service be a Eucharistic service, nor that all members of a congregation must receive it weekly.
Brethren and Mennonites/Anabaptists
Traditional Mennonite and German Baptist Brethren Churches such as the Church of the Brethren churches and congregations have the Agape Meal, footwashing and the serving of the bread and wine two parts to the Communion service in the Lovefeast. 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.
Among both open and Exclusive assemblies of Plymouth Brethren, the Eucharist is more commonly called Breaking of Bread or the Lord's Supper. It is seen as a symbolic memorial and entirely non-sacramental, and central to the worship of both individual and assembly. In principle the service is open to all baptised Christians, however who is eligible to participate depends on the views of the individual assembly. The service takes the form of non-liturgical, open worship with all male participants able to pray audibly and select hymns or readings. The breaking of bread itself typically consists of one leavened loaf which is prayed over and broken by a participant in the meeting, and then shared around. The wine is poured from a single container into one or several vessels, and these are again shared around.
In the Reformed Churches the Eucharist is variously administered. Most commonly, the celebration is not held on every Lord's Day. Most churches serve it the first Sunday of the month. The Service for the Lord's Day is found in the Book of Common Worship. The following would be standard during that service. Some churches use bread without any raising agent (whether leaven or yeast), in view of the use of unleavened bread at Jewish Passover meals. The Presbyterian Church (USA), for instance, prescribes "bread common to the culture". Harking 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. Now many Presbyterian 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 high esteem of Holy Communion on the tradition of John Calvin and John Knox and the Reformed church of that day in France and Scotland was much more 'high church" The Presbyterians hold that Christ is spiritually present in the Bread and Wine and we do share the body and blood of the Lord spiritually. The elements may be found served separately with "consecration" for each element or together. Communion is usually open to all baptized believers (open communion) for those that profess their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
United Methodists in the United States are encouraged to celebrate the Eucharist every Sunday, though it is typically celebrated on the first Sunday of each month, while a few go as long as celebrating quarterly (a tradition dating back to the days of circuit riders that served multiple churches). In the United Methodist church grape juice is used instead of wine. The current Book of Worship of the United Methodist church says that "the pure unfermented juice of the grape, or an equivalent, shall be used during the service of Holy Communion." 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). The most common alternative to intinction is for the communicants to receive the consecrated juice using small, individual, specially made glass or plastic cups known as communion cups. United Methodists practice open communion, inviting "all who intend a Christian life, together with their children" to receive Communion. Undergoing Baptism is not a prerequisite for receiving Communion, but if unbaptized people "regularly participate in Holy Communion, it is appropriate for pastors to talk with these people" about the possibility of them being baptized.
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 (presbyters, 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 communion 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 vested either in a Geneva gown and stole or an alb and stole.
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. 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 only 144,000 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 unadulterated 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 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.
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS church), the "Holy Sacrament of the Lord's Supper", more simply referred to as the Sacrament, is administered every Sunday (except General Conference or other special Sunday meeting) in each LDS Ward or branch worldwide 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 specific 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 row-by-row to the congregation by priesthood holders (typically deacons). The bread is then returned to the priests, who then replace the bread trays and cover them, while uncovering the water which is held in trays in small individual cups. In a manner similar to the bread, the priests say the second prayer and the water is then passed to the congregation.
The prayer recited for the bread is found in the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants. It reads:
- "O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath* given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen." (Book of Moroni 4:3, Doctrine and Covenants 20:77--*in the Doctrine and Covenants, the verse reads "which he has given them").
The version of this prayer on the water is as follows:
- "O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee, in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this water* to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen." (Book of Moroni 5:2, Doctrine and Covenants 20:79--*the word "water" is substituted for "wine").
In the Seventh-day Adventist Church the Holy Communion service customarily is celebrated once per quarter. The service includes the ordinance of footwashing and the Lord’s Supper. Unleavened bread and unfermented (non-alcoholic) grape juice is used. Open communion is practised: all who have committed their lives to the Saviour may participate. Children learn the significance of the service by observing others participating. After receiving formal instruction in baptismal classes and making their commitment to Jesus in baptism, they are thereby prepared to partake in the service themselves. Seventh-day Adventist Church holds opinion that "Christ’s example forbids exclusiveness at the Lord’s Supper. It is true that open sin excludes the guilty. This the Holy Spirit plainly teaches. 1 Cor. 5:11. But beyond this none are to pass judgment." The communion service must be conducted by an ordained pastor, minister or church elder.
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 community. Some Protestant communities including Lutheran churches in the LCMS and WELS practice closed communion and require catechetical instruction for all people before receiving the Eucharist. Many of the stricter communities of the Reformed and Presbyterian denominations practice a form of restricted Communion, which they designate Close Communion (to distinguish it from the closed communion system mentioned above). Believing it is the elders' responsibility to ensure that participants do not "eat and drink judgment to themselves" (as mentioned in I Corinthians 11:27-34) they require those who would participate to make themselves known to the Kirk Session before the service begins. When it comes time to issue the invitation to come to the table the warning from I Corinthians 11:27-29 is read which is referred to as "fencing the table." Thereafter, when the elements are distributed they are passed to those who are known to the Kirk Session as members of the Congregation, members of sister Churches and those who have already met with the elders. The elements are not passed to others. Most Protestant communities, including Reformed, Evangelical, Methodist, the Church of Sweden, ELCA Lutherans and Anglicans practice open communion in the sense of not limiting it to members of their own Church alone, but some of them require that the communicant be a baptized person or a member of a partner church. Some Progressive Christian congregations offer communion to any individual who wishes to commemorate the life and teachings of Christ, regardless of religious affiliation.
Roman 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.
Seventh Day Adventists, Mennonites, and some other groups participate in "foot washing" (cf. John 13:3-17) as a preparation for partaking in the Lord's Supper. At that time they are to individually examine themselves, and confess any sins they may have between one and another.
The gluten in wheat bread may be dangerous to people with celiac disease. For the Roman Catholic Church, this issue was addressed in the 24 July 2003 letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which summarized and clarified earlier declarations. 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, For celiacs, but not generally, it allows low-gluten bread. It also permits Holy Communion to be received under the form of either bread or wine alone, except by a priest who is celebrating Mass without other priests or as principal celebrant. 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.
The alcohol in wine may be inappropriate for alcoholics. The Roman Catholic Church believes that grape juice that has not begun even minimally to ferment cannot be accepted as wine, which it sees as essential for celebration of the Eucharist. For alcoholics, but not generally, it allows the use of mustum (grape juice in which fermentation has begun but has been suspended without altering the nature of the juice), and it holds that, "since Christ is sacramentally present under each of the species, communion under the species of bread alone makes it possible to receive all the fruit of Eucharistic grace. For pastoral reasons this manner of receiving communion has been legitimately established as the most common form in the Latin rite." As already indicated, the one exception is in the case of a priest celebrating Mass without other priests or as principal celebrant. The water that in the Latin Church is prescribed to be mixed with the wine must be only a relatively small quantity. The practice of the Coptic Church is that the mixture should be two parts wine to one part water. Many Protestant churches allow 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. Exclusive use of unfermented grape juice is common in the Churches of Christ, Baptist churches, and other independent Protestant churches.
Fear of transmission of diseases
In influenza epidemics, some churches suspend the giving of communion under the form of wine, for fear of spreading the disease. This is in full accord with Roman Catholic Church belief that communion under the form of bread alone makes it possible to receive all the fruit of Eucharistic grace. However, the same measure has been taken also by churches that normally insist on the importance of receiving communion under both forms. This was done in 2009 by the Church of England.
Some fear contagion through the handling involved in distributing the hosts to the communicants, even if they are placed on the hand rather than on the tongue. Accordingly, some churches use mechanical wafer dispensers or "pillow packs" (communion wafers with wine inside them). While these methods of distributing communion are not accepted in Roman Catholic churches, one such church provides a mechanical dispenser to allow those intending to communicate to place in a bowl, without touching them by hand, the hosts for use in the celebration.
- Holy Qurbana
- Closed communion
- Communion under both kinds
- Eucharistic adoration
- First Communion
- Fraction (religion)
- Open communion
- Sacramental wine
- Thanksgiving after Communion
Views of different churches
- Anglican Eucharistic theology
- Sacrament (Latter Day Saints)
- Sacramental Union (Lutheran)
- Transubstantiation (Roman Catholicism)
- Origin of the Eucharist (The Last Supper)
- Marburg Colloquy (1529)
- Sacramentarians (Protestant Reformation period, approx. 16th Century)
- The Adoration of the Sacrament by Martin Luther (1523)
- Confession Concerning Christ's Supper by Martin Luther (1528)
- Ubiquitarians (1530 and 1540)
- Year of the Eucharist (2004–2005)
- Host desecration
- ^ Gospel Figures in Art by Stefano Zuffi 2003 ISBN 9780892367276 pages 252
- ^ a b c Encyclopaedia Britannica, s.v. Eucharist
- ^ Ignazio Silone, Bread and Wine (1937).
- ^ Cf. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition 2000.
- ^ Parallel Translations
- ^ 1 Corinthians 10:16
- ^ Many, especially Anglicans, prefer the fuller term "Holy Communion" rather than just "Communion".
- ^ Catholic Church (2006). Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. 275. Libreria Editrice Vaticana. , and Catholic Church (1997). Catechism of the Catholic Church. 1328–1332. ISBN 9781574551105. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P3Y.HTM.
- ^ Tyndale Bible Dictionary / editors, Philip W. Comfort, Walter A. Elwell, 2001 ISBN 0-8423-7089-7, article: Lord's Supper, The
- ^ Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church / editors, F. L. Cross & E. A. Livingstone 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3, article Eucharist
- ^ (1 Corinthians 11:23-25
- ^ 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
- ^ 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
- ^ 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
- ^ a b Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985.
- ^ Tyndale Bible Dictionary / editors, Philip W. Comfort, Walter A. Elwell, 2001 ISBN 0-8423-7089-7, article: "John, Gospel of"
- ^ Lambert, J. C. (1978 reprint). The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. ISBN 0-8028-8045-2.
- ^ Bruce Metzger. The canon of the New Testament. 1997
- ^ "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
- ^ 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. ...
- ^ 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.
- ^ The tradition that Ignatius was a direct disciple of the Apostle John is consistent with the content of his letters (Introduction to the Roberts-Donaldson translation of his writings.)
- ^ " ... (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
- ^ 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
- ^ For example, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, "Anglo-Catholic" Anglicans, 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
- ^ "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).
- ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1333 (emphasis added)
- ^ "Abrahamic, Mosaic, and Prophetic Foundations of the Eucharist." Inside the Vatican 16, no. 4 (2008): 102-105.
- ^ CCC 1376
- ^ Session XIII, chapter IV; cf. canon II)
- ^ Canon 1. A misprint in this source gives "transubstantiatio" in place of "transubstantiatis" of the original: "Iesus Christus, cuius corpus et sanguis in sacramento altaris sub speciebus panis et vini veraciter continentur, transsubstantiatis pane in corpus, et vino in sanguinem potestate divina" (Denzinger 8020.
- ^ Steven Runciman, The Great Church in Captivity (Cambridge University Press 1968 ISBN 0-521-31310-4), p. 90
- ^ Matthew 26:26–29, Mark 14:22–25, Luke 22:19
- ^ See, e.g., Graves, J. R. (1928). What is It to Eat and Drink Unworthily. Baptist Sunday School Committee. OCLC 6323560.
- ^ Augsburg Confession, Article 10
- ^ F.L. Cross, ed., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, second edition, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1974), 340 sub loco.
- ^ J.T. Mueller, Christian Dogmatics: A Handbook of Doctrinal Theology, (St. Louis: CPH, 1934), 519; cf. also Erwin L. Lueker, Christian Cyclopedia, (St. Louis: CPH, 1975), under the entry "consubstantiation".
- ^ What Lutherans Believe About Holy Communion. Retrieved 2011-04-25.
- ^ How Lutherans Worship at LutheransOnline.com. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- ^ How do we move to weekly Communion? at elca.org Retrieved 2011-09-18
- ^ Darby, J.N., quoted in Bradshaw, P.F. The new SCM dictionary of liturgy and worship, p.375
- ^ Muller, G. (1860) A Narrative of some of the Lords dealings with George Muller, pp.279-281
- ^ Bradshaw, P.F. The new SCM dictionary of liturgy and worship, p.375
- ^ Brethren Online FAQs
- ^ United Methodist Church, 1992, The United Methodist Book of Worship, Nashville: United Methodist Publishing House. p. 33
- ^ Communion Cups, 1000 from Broadman / Holman Church Supply. Christianbook.com. Accessed 5 July 2009.
- ^ UMC 1992, 29.
- ^ Felton, Gayle. 1998 By Water and the Spirit., Nashville: Abingdon Press. P. 44
- ^ The Lord’s Evening Meal—An Observance That Honors God
- ^ See, e.g., Roberts, B. H. (1938). Comprehensive History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Deseret News Press. OCLC 0842503005.
- ^ "Doctrine and Covenants 20:75". LDS Church. http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/20/75-84#75. Retrieved 2009-06-19.
- ^ "Handbook 2: Administering the Church, Chapter 20.4.3". http://lds.org/handbook/handbook-2-administering-the-church/priesthood-ordinances-and-blessings?lang=eng&query=passing+sacrament#204. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
- ^ "Handbook 2: Administering the Church, Chapter 20.4.3". http://lds.org/handbook/handbook-2-administering-the-church/priesthood-ordinances-and-blessings?lang=eng&query=passing+sacrament#204. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
- ^ Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual, 17th edition, 2005, pp. 81-86. Published by the secretariat, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
- ^ Seventh-day Adventists Believe: An exposition of the fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. 2nd edition, 2005. Copyright Ministeral Association, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Chapter 16: The Lord's Supper
- ^ Code of Canon Law, canon 843 §4
- ^ a b At what age do ELCA congregations allow members their first Communion?. Retrieved 2010-01-17.
- ^ "Closed Communion" @ www.lcms.org. Retrieved 2010-01-17.
- ^ WELS Closed Communion FAQs. Retrieved 2010-01-17.
- ^ ELCA Full Communion Partners
- ^ 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
- ^ McNamara, Father Edward (2004-09-14). "Gluten-free Hosts". ZENIT International News Agency. http://www.ewtn.com/library/Liturgy/zlitur47.htm. Retrieved 2008-04-22.
- ^ The same 24 July 2003 letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
- ^ Jax Peter Lowell, The Gluten-Free Bible, p. 279.
- ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1390
- ^ Code of Canon Law, canon 924 §1
- ^ Sacrament of the Eucharist: Rite of Sanctification of the Chalice
- ^ Compare John Howard Spahr, I Smell the Cup, Christian Century, 12 March 1974, pp. 257-259.
- ^ Archbishops advise against sharing chalice during swine flu pandemic
- ^ Wall Street Journal, 7 January 2011
- Chemnitz, Martin. The Lord's Supper. J. A. O. Preus, trans. St. Louis: Concordia, 1979. ISBN 0-570-03275-X
- Dix, Dom Gregory. The Shape of the Liturgy. London: Continuum International, 2005. ISBN 0-8264-7942-1
- Cabrera de Armida, Concepcion. I Am: Eucharistic Meditations on the Gospel, Alba House Publishing 2001 ISBN 0-8189-0890-4
- Elert, Werner. Eucharist and Church Fellowship in the First Four Centuries. N. E. Nagel, trans. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1966. ISBN 0-570-04270-4
- Felton, Gayle. This Holy Mystery. Nashville: Discipleship Resources, 2005. ISBN 0-88177-457-X
- Father Gabriel. Divine Intimacy. Rockford, IL: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1996 reprint ed. ISBN 0-89555-504-2
- Grime, J. H. Close Communion and Baptists
- Hahn, Scott. The Lamb's Supper: Mass as Heaven on Earth. Darton, Longman, Todd. 1999. ISBN 0-232-52500-5
- 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 0-8146-0432-3
- Kolb, Robert and Timothy J. Wengert, eds. The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000. (ISBN 0-8006-2740-7)
- 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 1-878009-50-8)
- 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 0-9679074-0-3
- Nevin, John Williamson. The Mystical Presence: A Vindication of the Reformed or Calvinistic Doctrine of the Holy Eucharist. 1846; Wipf & Stock reprint, 2000. ISBN 1-57910-348-0.
- Oden, Thomas C. Corrective Love: The Power of Communion Discipline. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1995. ISBN 0-570-04803-6
- Rasperger (Raspergero), Christopher (Christophorus, Christoph, Christophoro, Christophe) Two hundred interpretations of the words: This is my Body, Ingolstadt, 1577 Latin text. (Latin title: Ducentae paucorum istorum et quidem clarissimorum Christi verborum: Hoc est Corpus meum; interpretationes,; German title: Zweihundert Auslegungen der Worte das ist mein Leib.)
- 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 1-57910-766-4
- Schmemann, Alexander. The Eucharist. St Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1997. ISBN 0-88141-018-7
- Stoffer, Dale R. The Lord's Supper: Believers Church Perspectives
- Stookey, L.H. Eucharist: Christ's Feast with the Church. Nashville: Abingdon, 1993 ISBN 0-687-12017-9
- Tissot, The Very Rev. J. The Interior Life. 1916, pp. 347–9.
- Wright, N. T. The Meal Jesus Gave Us
Liturgical texts and services
- The Ordinary of the Mass, Roman Rite according to current edition of the Roman Missal
- The Ordinary of the Sacred Liturgy according to the Roman Missal of 1962
- The Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom One form of the Orthodox Divine Liturgy.
- The Book of Common Prayer, used by the Episcopal Church (ECUSA). Contains the liturgy for the Eucharist and other rites.
- Word and Table I, The Eucharistic Liturgy of The United Methodist Church.
History, theology, practice
- Sacrament of the Eucharist — Catechism of the Catholic Church]
- Eucharist — Catholic Encyclopedia
- Catholic Dictionary
- The Holy Eucharist— EWTN: Catholic teaching on the Eucharist]
- Broken but Never Divided - An Orthodox perspective
- Celebrating Eucharist—Guide to Eucharistic practice starting from current Anglican rites
- This Holy Mystery: A United Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion
- The Duty of Constant Communion by John Wesley
- Holy Communion as a Means of Grace by Gregory S. Neal
- Online Holy Communion: Theological Reflections Regarding The Internet and The Means of Grace by Gregory S. Neal
- Typology and the Real Presence of Jesus in Holy Communion by Gregory S. Neal
- Christians and Alcohol by Hermano Cisco: symbolism of the wine.
- The Lord's Supper—by Ralph Waldo Emerson, rejecting the Lord's supper as a perpetual rite.
- My Brethren — Studies — The Lord's Supper and the Service of God
- A Baptist viewpoint
- A Church of Christ viewpoint
- A Mennonite viewpoint
- A Reformed (Presbyterian) viewpoint
- Pilgram Marpeck's defense of continuing to practice Lord's Supper (1531)
- Scholarly articles on the Lord's Supper from the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Library
- The Lord's Supper, from the Table to the Altar, and Back
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