The Eucharist, also called Holy Communion (Or simply Communion) or the Lord's Supper, is one of the most important Sacraments in Christianity, and one held by all three branches of it. It is generally agreed upon by all denominations upon how the Eucharist is to be carried out.
The Eucharist is meant to only to be taken by Christians.
Origins and History Edit
The Eucharist originated from the Last Supper, the final meal before the death of Jesus Christ. He passed unleavened bread and wine around, and said that they were his body and his blood. This marked the first Eucharist, and afterward he said commanded His disciples to do it in rememberance of Him. "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 he took the cup also, after supper, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me'"
Christians would mimic this in all future denominations.
The Eucharist is performed either every Sunday, with every meeting of a large body of Christians, monthly, or never for non-sacramental churches, depending on the denomination. It is almost always taken on major holidays or events, such as Easter or Christmas.
The Eucharist can be done in two ways. In the first, members of the congregation go up to the front and dip the unleavened bread into the cup of wine, and then eat it (or one eats the bread and then drinks the wine). In the second, pieces of unleavened bread are passed around, followed by tiny cups of wine or grape juice.
Some churches only eat the bread, and others use a special type of bread that contains wine inside of it. Some churches also use grape juice instead of wine for health concerns of alcoholics or minors.
Agape Feast Edit
An Agape Feast is a feast held sometimes before taking Communion. This was originally held nearly always before the Eucharist, though now it is a rare occurance.
The Eucharist is considered a sacrament, and is to be performed by all Christians. It is considered a reminder of the Last Supper and of Jesus Himself, as well as His death, a memorial of His time on earth and a reminder of what is to come.
Meanings, Effects, and Symbolism Edit
Catholic and Orthodox branches of Christianity believe that during the Eucharist the bread becomes the physical flesh of Christ, and the wine becomes the physical blood of Christ. It is considered a mystery as to how this happens. Most other denominations believe that the bread and wine are simply symbolic of His body and blood. They do, however, agree that Christ is present during the Eucharist.
The word Eucharist come from the Greek word εὐχαριστία (eucharistia), meaning "thanksgiving."
The Lord's Supper is a term originating from Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, which was probably referring to the Agape Feast and Holy Communion.
Holy Communion is the term commonly used by the Protestants, and has no clear origin.