Eucharist

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Eucharist (Communion), is the celebration of the sacrifice of Christ, marked by partaking in the Body of Christ, the bread; and the Blood of Christ, the wine.

In the process of the [[The Last Supper|Last Supper, last supper, Jesus told his disciples, "Do this in remembrance of me." This command was understood by the early Christians as a command to recreate the Last Supper in a remembrance service.

Initially, the remembrance service took the form of agape feasts. Agape is one of the Greek words for love. This service apparently was a full meal, with each participant bringing their own food, with the meal eaten in a common room. Some echoes of this meal remain in fellowship or potluck dinners held at some churches.

This service is known as the Eucharist in Catholic traditions. The name Eucharist is from the Greek word eucharios which means thanksgiving or thank you. Catholics typically restrict the term 'communion' to the distribution to the commmunicants during the service of the body and blood of Christ. The Roman Catholic belief that the priest can turn bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ is called transubstantiation.

Within many Protestant traditions, the name Communion is used. This name emphasizes the nature of the service as a "joining in common" between God and humans, due to the sacrifice of Christ Jesus.


See also: Catholic sacraments